First, Zogby cheers because Romney gave the Palestinians what they always want: attention.
"With one factually wrong, decidedly insensitive, and patently biased comment, Republican presidential aspirant, Mitt Romney, did more to focus U.S. media attention on the impact of the Israeli occupation on the Palestinian economy than any other development in the past two decades."Then, he rewrites history:
"Back in 1993 around the time that Israelis and Palestinians were signing the Oslo Accords, the World released a multi-volume study on the Palestinian economy The study noted the impact of sustained occupation on the West Bank and Gaza, and the resultant deformity and de-development of sectors of the economy. Nevertheless, the World Bank was bullish on the entrepreneurial spirit of the Palestinians and opined that with investment in infrastructure and freedom, the territories could experience rapid growth....That never happened. Instead of experiencing the freedom to grow and develop, new hardships were imposed on the Palestinians. In fact, in 1994 the Palestinian economy received a devastating hit resulting from the Israeli closure of the territories"He whines pitifully:
" The "Palestine" of Arafat, on the other hand, had none of these attributes. The Authority he headed had no control of their land, resources, or access and egress. They, therefore, were unable to produce, trade or grow. While Israelis were experiencing the fruits of peace, Palestinians were becoming poorer, more dependent on foreign aid, and more cynical about "peace." The situation was not only unsustainable, it was a recipe for disaster. Since my answer did not fit Washington's dominant "Arafat is at fault" narrative, it was ignored."And makes excuses:
"And this state of affairs has continued to be ignored until the present day -- with horrific consequences for ordinary Palestinians. Since the days of Oslo, Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem have more than doubled, creating new hardships and humiliation and anger. For nearly two decades now, Gaza, blockaded and strangled, has had a youth unemployment rate of nearly 80 percent -- meaning that most young men in that "prison camp" have no jobs, no prospects of a job, no ability to even think of marrying and raising a family, and are living in deep despair."What can we learn from this essay? If you're willing to consider James Zogby to be a representation of the typical Palestinian viewpoint, this is the Palestinian reaction to criticism of their economic position:
1. It's Israel's fault.
2. It's always been Israel's fault.
3. It's Israel's fault.
4. We are under no obligation to do anything as long as Israel's oppressing us (it's Israel's fault).
Zogby is saying that the Palestinian economy sucks and as long as there's no peace, it will continue to suck. And even though the Palestinians don't want peace and refuse to negotiate with Israel, it's not the Palestinians' fault that there isn't peace, and therefore it's not the Palestinians fault their own economy sucks.
This viewpoint of blaming every problem among the Palestinians on Israel is common in Palestinian culture. We see Israel used as an excuse for the lack of women's rights, gay rights, the lack of peace, the poor economy, the supporter of jihad terrorists, the corruption in government, etc. So really, when you look at it, Zogby's essay proves Mitt Romney right. Romney said that cultural differences cause the economic disparity and lo and behold, the Palestinian culture of blaming Israel and refusing to make peace certainly doesn't help their economy. Indeed, if anything, they have contributed to their own economy's destruction by relying on their victim status to take care of them.