By Jamal Kanj
Mitt Romney has just ended an international tour intended to prop his political credentials as a world leader.
In the first leg of his trip, he angered the otherwise temperate Brits by voicing an unwarranted opinion on London’s readiness for the Olympic Games.
His second gaffe soon followed during the now common US presidential campaign pilgrimage to the ‘Wailing Wall’ in Jerusalem.
During his next international stop, at a closed $50,000 a plate fundraiser for Israeli sworn citizens and American donors, he credited Israel’s "providence "and "culture" for the economic disparity between Israelis and Palestinians.
Romney walked out of the small private event with $1 million for his presidential campaign.
First, the figures used by his contrived GDP scale measuring cultural superiority were dead wrong.
Basic math from the 2011 CIA book reveals that Israel’s GDP was 10-folds of the Palestinians ($31,400 versus $2,900), not two-folds.
Second, Israel must have furnished the gullible Romney with the incorrect data to show that Palestinians were doing better under occupation, or else to hide the striking inequality between the two so-called economies.
Being in the one per cent bracket of high US income earners, Romney must have been "provident" at making money and legally evading paying his fair share in income taxes – in 2010, he paid 13.9pc of his income.
He, however, comes across as obtuse in his understanding of the work of economic systems.
Economy is defined by various references as "self-managed social system consisting of labour, capital and land resources involved in production, trades, distributions and consumption of goods and services" in a defined region.
Absence of the ability to control any of these economic pillars, a sovereign economy ceases to exist.
Israeli occupation policies inhibiting the basic economic principles of the fledgling Palestinian market were protested broadly by the EU, World Bank institutions, UN and human rights organisations.
Speaking at a UN seminar in February, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Israeli "settlements and their infrastructure severely restrict access to land and natural resources by the Palestinian people".
The Israeli occupation has turned the Palestinian entity into a consumption economy, contributing directly to Israel’s GDP scale of "superiority".
Bluntly speaking, it did not come as a surprise, hearing a racist remark from a disciple of the Church of Latter Day Saints, which until 1978 did not allow blacks to take part in temple services.
I had my encounter with this church’s teaching when several years ago a colleague shared with me the book of Mormon.
I was astonished discovering that, I, like the Lamanite tribe in the book, had a dark skin curse mark from God.
Romney’s dullard GDP gauge of superiority is, nevertheless, self-defeating.
In retrospect, every culture has enjoyed affluence, when others, even within the same culture (east and west Germany, North and South Korea) were lacking.
In researching countries’ GDP ranking, Germany was higher than Israel on Romney’s cultural benchmark.
Fortunately, Germany does not have wealthy donors with the motivation to manipulate US foreign policy enticing Romney to come drivelling to Berliners on their advanced superior culture.
But who knows? Romney could turn out to be a real pioneer.
His Jerusalem fundraising broke a long held American taboo against seeking foreign base money in US election.
Following his successful outsourcing career, fundraising in foreign capitals could become the new frontier in US presidential campaign financing.
– Jamal Kanj writes frequently on Arab issues and is the author of Children of Catastrophe, Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at: email@example.com. (This article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper.)