Monday, July 30, 2012

At a $50,000-a-couple fundraising breakfast for top donors in Jerusalem, Republican presidential candidate Romney tells supporters that the Palestinian economy is more the victim of ‘‘cultural’’ flaws than Israeli restrictions. Romney also dramatically understates Israeli GNP ($21,000 per capita vs. $32,282) and overstates Palestinian GNP ($10,000 per capita vs. $1,600). Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat remarks: ‘‘All I can say is that this man needs a lot of education. He doesn’t know the region, he doesn’t know Israelis, he doesn’t know Palestinians, and to talk about the Palestinians as an inferior culture is really a racist statement.’’ Romney then leaves for Poland, the last leg of his tour. Of note: the breakfast, which brought in over $1 m., marks the 1st fundraising event for a U.S. presidential candidate ever to be held in Israel. (NYT, WP 7/31; WJW 8/2; JPI 8/10; see also WP 7/28)

Overnight, IDF troops on the s. Gaza border sporadically fire into agricultural areas along the Gaza border e. of Khuza for hours, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts latenight patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Qalqilya and nr. Jenin. (PCHR 8/2; OCHA 8/3)