Palestinians Rip Romney's 'Racist' Praise for Israel
Candidate again steps in it, says Israel has better 'culture' for business
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2012 10:16 AM CDT
Updated Jul 30, 2012 10:50 AM CDT
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney delivers a speech in Jerusalem, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – Mitt Romney offended Palestinians again today, saying that Israel was more prosperous than Palestine because of its superior culture and the will of God. "You notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality" between Israel and Palestine, Romney said at a fundraiser in Jerusalem today, citing each nation's per-capita GDP, the AP reports. He went on to say that in considering Israel's accomplishments "I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things" including the "hand of providence."

Palestinians were not amused. "What is this man doing here?" one Palestinian official asked the Guardian. "Yesterday, he destroyed negotiations by saying Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and today he is saying Israeli culture is more advanced than Palestinian culture. Isn't this racism?" The official contends that Palestine's economy is suffering "because there is an Israeli occupation." A Romney spokesman now says the comments "were grossly mischaracterized," saying he touched on income disparities between other neighboring nations, like the US and Mexico, as well. But the controversy at least came with a silver lining for Romney: He raised more than $1 million at the fundraiser, Reuters reports.