Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

Romney and Einstein: Racists?

The GOP candidate was deemed ‘racist’ for calling Israeli culture superior. Albert Einstein said it too.

Print Email
Mitt Romney on July 20, 2012, in Bow, N.H., and Albert Einstein, c. 1947. (Left: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images; right: Library of Congress)

Just how racist against Palestinians is Mitt Romney? According to Current TV host Cenk Uygur, “deeply racist.” Salon-partner site Mondoweiss similarly accused the presumptive Republican presidential nominee of espousing “painfully oblivious racism.” Saeb Erekat, senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, deemed Romney simply a “racist.”

What grave offense did Romney commit to merit such opprobrium? Speaking to donors in Jerusalem, he ascribed the success of the Israeli economy to the country’s strong entrepreneurial culture—implicitly deriding Palestinian culture as inadequate by comparison. “Culture makes all the difference,” Romney said. “As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel, which is about $21,000, and you compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice a dramatic, stark difference in economic vitality.”

It is true that Romney made no mention of Israeli occupation as a cause of Palestinian stagnation—a crucial and highly problematic omission. But is his claim, however inadequate, prima facie racist? Before answering, we might want to consider a person who made exactly the same argument almost a century ago: Albert Einstein.

***

Einstein disdained all forms of racial discrimination, having experienced its effects firsthand many times in the form of anti-Semitism. Perhaps most infamously, the physicist’s groundbreaking scientific theories were derided by German Nobel laureates Philipp Lenard and Johannes Stark as “Jüdische Physik” in contradistinction to the superior “Deutsche Physik.” Spurred by such ordeals, Einstein would fight against anti-Semitism for much of his later life, most notably through his Zionist advocacy. But his battle against racism extended beyond Einstein’s own community.

Already in 1931, while still living in Berlin, he penned a letter of support to African-American civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois. It was printed in the NAACP’s magazine, The Crisis, with an introduction that recapped Einstein’s achievements and noted that “he hates race prejudice because as a Jew he knows what it is.”

Einstein brought his passion for racial equality to America, where he befriended the residents of the largely segregated African-American community of Princeton and allied himself with the African-American actor and activist Paul Robeson. He inveighed harshly against “the treatment of the Negro,” which he called “the worst disease under which the society of our nation suffers,” adding that “everyone who freshly learns of this state of affairs … feels not only the injustice, but the scorn of the principle of the Fathers who founded the United States that ‘all men are created equal.’ ”

Yet in a largely overlooked September 1930 conversation with a Russian rabbi and personal friend named Chaim Tchernowitz, Einstein expressed sentiments highly similar to the ones Mitt Romney articulated last week in Jerusalem. Tchernowitz recorded the exchange–which took place at Einstein’s summer home in Caputh, Berlin—in his Hebrew memoir, Masekhet Zikhronot. There, he recounts how the discussion turned to the question of the Jews in Palestine and their surrounding Arab neighbors. The rabbi transcribed Einstein’s thoughts as follows:

Einstein explained to me that he is universalist in his outlook in that he does not believe in differences between the races. Rather, he believes in the acculturation of individuals and nations to their surroundings and the spiritual inheritance that is acquired through education. He believes that the individual is born as a blank slate and only education can make him into anything. … For this reason, he is able to believe in the unique genius of the Jewish nation. … He believes in its future because it is an ancient nation that has absorbed the great spiritual treasure of many generations.

Einstein’s formulation is valuable because it spells out exactly how cultural explanations are distinct from racial ones. Racists argue that human behavior is determined by factors that are intrinsic and immutable. Cultural explanations of difference, on the other hand, point to things that are contingent and changeable.

Einstein explicitly proffered his cultural analysis of Jewish success not to affirm the racial thinking of his time, but to combat it. For him, the reason one nation may appear more advanced than another is not inherent racial superiority, but extrinsic advantages like education or intellectual inheritance that can be tapped into by anyone.

Put another way, racial thinking is about circumscribing human potential; cultural criticism is about unlocking it by making the tools for success available to all. Unfortunately, in recent times, accusations of racism have become so elastic that this crucial insight of Einstein’s has often been lost. For some in our excessively policed discourse, cultural criticism has become racism.

***

An intelligent cultural critique, far from being bigoted, can point the way toward constructive improvement. Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, famously applied social, political, and economic lessons from the West to revive his crumbling country. The late New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s trenchant critique of the “culture of poverty” in America posited a link between unmarried mothers, welfare dependency, and poverty among urban African-American families. Though once similarly assailed as racist, his culture-based thinking is quickly becoming conventional wisdom among social scientists and being applied to other poor communities. President Obama, in his Cairo address to the Muslim world in 2008, offered many pointed criticisms of Arab culture, censuring its disempowerment of women, suppression of personal freedom, and the corruption endemic in many Arab governments. These examples are not racist: They are honest attempts at constructive discourse based on the assumption that culture is mutable.

Whether Romney’s statement reaches this standard is up for debate. His analysis may have been right or wrong. It may prove reductive and oversimplified, or an expression of a hard truth about Palestinian culture. On this, very smart people can disagree. But for honest observers, it should not be debatable that whatever the merits of Romney’s cultural contrast between Israelis and Palestinians, it does not rise to the level of racism.

You don’t need to be an Einstein to figure this out. Just ask Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian Prime Minister, who keeps a copy of Start-Up Nation—the book by Romney adviser Dan Senor, which the candidate cited as his source for attributing Israel’s economic success to its entrepreneurialism—on his desk. Apparently, the Palestinian prime minister thinks his people have something to learn from Israeli culture as well.

***

Like this article? Sign up for our Daily Digest to get Tablet Magazine’s new content in your inbox each morning.

Print Email

The use of the term racist has become so broad, so overused that its meaning has been lost.

The Palestinian don’t belong to a different race than the Jews, at most they are just a different tribe.

btw: does occupation also cause poverty in Gaza?

    Intrepid TechGrrl says:

    The blokade (which I approve of) likely does hurt the economy. Being run by terrorists is far worse, though.

      The blockade was and is half fiction. The only items not allowed into Gaza are war making equipment (for rockets, etc.). Besides the Egyptian border which was half open is now completely open (thought today’s terrorist attack in Sinai might change that).

      What really hurt the Gaza economy is Hamas’ attack on the trade Union and its restrictions on trade occasioned by their Koranic beliefs.

        This is a lie: “The only items not allowed into Gaza are war making equipment (for rockets, etc.)”

        Israel has never released any comprehensive list of what is banned from Gaza. All information is based on experience of actually having to request permission only to learn the item is banned. This is a list from one Palestinian group from 2010. How do you make rockets from paper and goats?

        http://gisha.org/UserFiles/File/HiddenMessages/ItemsGazaStrip060510.pdf

    paul delano says:

    If you’re speaking of the small minority of palis who can trace their ancestry back before the arab invasion then you’re correct. If you’re speaking of the vast majority of palis who are a mixture of regional arabs along with North Africans, Chechens, Egyptians, Turks, Kurds, Circassians, Greeks, Bosnians and all the rest of the immigrants from the moslem and Europeann world, you are incorrect.

    paul delano says:

    If you’re speaking of the small minority of palis who can trace their ancestry back before the arab invasion then you’re correct. If you’re speaking of the vast majority of palis who are a mixture of regional arabs along with North Africans, Chechens, Egyptians, Turks, Kurds, Circassians, Greeks, Bosnians and all the rest of the immigrants from the moslem and Europeann world, you are incorrect.

Yes that is racism! Romney is racist not for thinking culture has to do with success but for being so narrow minded about it that he probably really belives the Palestinian GDP is $10,000 – when in fact is closer to $2,900. Blaming that on culture alone is racism. Palestinian territories’ GDP is ten times less than the Israeli per capita GDP. In fact, culture may play a role but it is mostly politics, geography and occupation related issues that are responsible. The denial of accepting such realities, including those related to Israel and its policy choices, make him racist. Applying such a double standard is the problem and not believing cultures may have different prosperity outcomes.

    Actually, the palestinian authority has a very big “black economy,” that is, many of its people work off the books, do business off the books, and underpay taxes. They get huge amounts per capita from the EU, USA, UN, Japan, and other states and organizations. Individuals and families in the PA zones also get a lot of money from relatives abroad who often are well paid or prosperous in countries where they have immigrated. There has been a certain prosperity in the PA zones in recent years under Salem Fayyad. But that prosperity is based on foreign contributions as explained. They do not have a productive economy, and that is a cultural and political feature. Political because arafat set up a system of monopolies in producing and trading in various commodities. The monopolies –in cigarettes, cement, telephones, etc– were given to cronies and to high bidders. That is more significant is stifling enterprise than any Israeli roadblocks which are by the way necessary to stopping terrorists incited by the PA’s TV, radio, papers, schools, mosques, etc.

Milton Strauss, Ph.D. says:

Romney’s statement was naive and incorrect on many counts, including underestimating the disparity in income between the Israelis and Palestinians, the critical role of money from outside of Israel in its development, the history of marginalization of Palestinians (in some sense the Jews of the Arab world), and role of European (not Jewish) culture in the development of Israel. Einstein’s comments have all to do with the culture of educational opportunity and its absence in colonized countries. The question of how the Arabs, at one time the saviors of western culture, lost their intellectual and economic energy is an interesting and complex one not suitable for political sound bites.

    Common Milton, what accounts for the disparity in income between Israelis and say Jordanians? Surely culture (religious especially) is one of the main causes.

      Milton Strauss, Ph.D. says:

      Come on, is what I think you meant, Jacob. Did you finish reading my post? It is a multi-factorial issue, and racism — especially by us Ashkenazi (I remember the whispers of “schwarze” among my parents’ generation — escapees from Hitler and the disparaging views of “goyim”) — will not auger well for the future of us or the middle east. Remember the shtetl? Not a bulwark of progress, capitalism or growth….more like the Arab states I’d suggest.

    paul delano says:

    Milton, I’m pretty sure your Ph.D is not in Islamic studies. The arabs lost their way for one, and one only reason which has been examined by many scholars. Bernard Lewis, in particular. has written extensively on this subject. The arabs turned their back on Western science and technology. It didn’t fit well with Islam, they were content with their culture as defined by sharia law and that was it. End of story. As for them being saviors of Western culture, they were the middlemen. All the works of the great Greek, Assyrian, Indian, and Babylonian cultures which fell into their hands ,and which they didn’t destroy,as they conquered the Middle East, were later translated for the West by an assortment of Jewish and arabic speaking peoples. Historically, the arabs never had much use for anything which wasn’t based or compatible with Islam.

Rosenberg is comparing apples and oranges here and the analogy he attempts to establish is very slight. And yes, at the end of the day, Romney and his ilk represent a tendentious Orientalism at best, and most likely, an unexamined racism.

Ephraim_K says:

“Whether Romney’s statement reaches this standard is up for debate. His analysis may have been right or wrong. It may prove reductive and oversimplified, or an expression of a hard truth about Palestinian culture. On this, very smart people can disagree.”

According to the author, “very smart people” includes conservatives like Philip Klein, who like the author and the Tikvah Fund leans to the right. How did the editors let this qualifier slip by?

Terry Richardson says:

This is a completely disgusting op-ed and it’s to Tablet’s enduring shame that they offered it to their readers with above the fold positioning.

There are so many things wrong with this, there’s really no point in trying to rank them since any one of them is fatal by itself.

The quote attributed to Einstein in no way parallels what Romney said, unless any random praise of Jewish culture generally can be taken as such a parallel. The two speech acts are specifically unrelated in either content, connotation or tone. Simply put, it’s more than a stretch to equate Romney’s denigration of Palestinians and his fallacious comparison along a single dimension of two specific societies which are uniquely situated in a particularly painful historical context with Einstein’s very high level and generalized praise- absent any comparisons- for the power of culture to elevate a people.

Second, we don’t have Einstein’s words as the lead would have us believe; we have the words of a rabbi who makes claim about something Einstein supposedly verbally relayed to him in private. Need we say more?

There is a sad little historical parade of religious people who distort and twist and misrepresent what Einstein said about a variety of topics, especially on the topics of Jews and God, for their own purposes. I am not saying the rabbi is guilty of this, but we have no way of verifying what Einstein said and it’s fundamentally immaterial anyway, by the first point above. I don’t blame the rabbi in this situation, I lay the blame , and what a lot of blame their is here, for this latest “what Einstein said” distortion squarely at the feet of this author. It’s disgusting and disingenuous to attempt to drag Einstein into this latest Romney gaffe.

No one would have given a second thought to Romney’s quote had he confined himself to praising Israel, Judaism, Jews or any economic aspect of any of the above. With such a broad, easy and uncontroversial target to aim at, it’s hard to understand how Romney could miss. And yet.

The whole uproar centers entirely around Romney’s brain-dead and viciously gratuitous dragging in of the Palestinian’s economic condition relative to Israel’s. It’s as if he hadn’t read even the headlines for the past 30 years, never mind developed any penetrating or nuanced opinions surrounding the world’s most enduring hot spot, such as we might reasonably expect from a Presidential candidate. In fact, any U.S. 9th grader would have known better than to let go with that kind of historically decontexualized insensitivity on this topic and at this time.

How can Romney be running for President of the United States of America and have fanned the flames of resentment, hatred and rage in this area of the world on his first trip out ? It’s like an achievement in reverse. If a Hollywood script writer had authored it, the right would be shrieking about liberal Hollywood’s portrayal of conservatives as bungling idiots with no grasp of reality.

As far as Einstein goes, the author writes like Einstein is impossibly far away in time for us to ever know what he said. This is not ancient history, and we are not reliant on 3rd party
writings and verbal history to piece together what Einstein’s opinion
was on any topic he was moved to express himself on. If the great man had actually been possessed of any opinion which in any meaningful way resembled the one Romney let go with, we would know about it.

This is a very low low for Tablet. When the New Yorker recently found themselves dragged down to this level of “journalism” , they didn’t hesitate to do right thing and get rid of the writer who was tarnishing their reputation. I suggest Tablet do the same thing here. This is not journalism or even a decent op-ed. It’s shilling and damage control. tablet’s readers deserve better, far far better.

    I agree in part with Terry’s view but only in part.

    Many things hinder economic development and from my standpoint, Romney’s economic view is one of them.

      paul delano says:

      Right. And of course Obama has done a wonderful job in getting the economy back on track. Is that what you’re saying/

    Nanush says:

    “that kind of historically decontexualized insensivity…”
    The minut ehtat I read that kind of language, I know that the author has NEVER sat down for a cup of Turkish coffee with a Palestinian construction worker. That he has ZERO real life contact with any of the cultures whose honor he is defending, know ZERO Arabic, let alone the real codes of insult and complement that Palestinians have about themselves. Has never heard any of the jokes that Israeli Arabs tell about their own mentality.
    I am writing this while sitting in an Israeli hospital. A huge percentage of the nursing staff is Arab. Some of the young doctors are, as are a huge percentage of the technicians and pharmacists. In my extensive REAL LIFE dealings with Palestinians and Israeli Arabs, of ALL social classes, and not just pseudo academic models and the witings of Arabic-illiterate trendy journalists in the NYT, I can say that there are so many intelligent, warm people with moral integrity. (this is coming from a Romney voting “racist”)
    The problem begins when 3 of them come together. Arab society inbuilt around unbelievably powerful codes of honor and shame, group loyalty and above all, conformity. The minute that 3 come together in a group, all signs of individual opinions, deeper understanding and complexity -vanish onto thin air.
    I im writing this, while sitting in an Israel

      Terry Richardson says:

      Nanush said :
      “I am writing this while sitting in an Israeli hospital. A huge
      percentage of the nursing staff is Arab. Some of the young doctors are,
      as are a huge percentage of the technicians and pharmacists. …I can say that there
      are so many intelligent, warm people with moral integrity.

      The problem begins when 3 of them come together. Arab society inbuilt
      around unbelievably powerful codes of honor and shame, group loyalty and
      above all, conformity. The minute that 3 come together in a group, all
      signs of individual opinions, deeper understanding and complexity
      -vanish onto thin air.”

      So let me get this straight. You’re saying some of your best friends are Arabs AND you will even let yourself be treated by Arab doctors and nurses and many of them are even intelligent and warm people with moral integrity BUT when “those people” get together in a pack, that’s when you have to watch out because they stop acting like individuals and begin to act with a herd mentality…

      And there’s nothing bigoted in what you’re saying in any of the above, it’s just the way it is, and you’re certainly not a bigoted racist because, hey, you just said they’re fine people and you’ll even let yourself be treated by an Arab doctor or nurse.

      Posted just so all readers can contemplate the distilled version of what it is you’re saying .

      HTH

        paul delano says:

        Terry, if you understood a lot more about Islam than you presently do, you would understand that what Nanush said is spot on. The concept of individuality and free will does not exist, and has never existed in Islam. All is subjugated to what has been proclaimed in the Quran and everything is the will of Allah. So while one encounters individual moslems who in a one-on-one dialogue may appear to be open to a mutuality of ideas on issues, once these same moslems are part of the larger society of moslems they will not and do not deviate from the ‘party’ line. This has been most clearly visible in the lack of any worldwide moslem movement to renounce terrorism. A few voices here and there have been heard but they are few and far between. Many more moslems may share this anti-Jihadi sentiment but the risks of speaking out are too great.

        I not only WOULD be treated by Arabs, I and my family members HAVE been treated and operated on by Arab surgeons, obstetricians, nurses etc.

        Progressive thought emphasizes the fact that “all people are created equal” and twists that concept to “all people are the same”. In an inverse form of racism/colonialism, “Progressives” negate all other non liberal Western cultures, and in their imaginations, recreate other peoples in their own image, acting according to the same motivations and priorities.

        A few years ago in the NYT and anthropologist analyzed the consensus of what consider to be morality around the world. Traditional societies had 5 criterium: The first two involve protecting individuals; not harming other’ and doing as you would have done to you. The other 3 protect the group; loyalty, respect for authority and for purity (or holiness). Extreme liberals negate the last three. Therefore, traditionalist have an easier time comprehending liberals 2 remaining criteria, than the other way around.
        http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/18/science/18mora.html?pagewanted=all

        (Extreme Progressives tend to dilute ALL ideological arguments to an argument about civil rights. For example the single sex marriage argument in the US, in which the essence of marriage is NOT discussed, or even why the institution of marriage justifies massive economic discrimination against singles.)

        Back to the point: Group Loyalty is a supreme value in Arab society. The pressure to conform, to preserve “Honor” in the eyes of your family, clan, village, nation, is beyond what you can comprehend in narrow, cosmopolitan, academic thought. Ironically, I have found that religious, traditionalist, nationalist Israelis, have a much easier time understanding Palestinians, than do their secular, progressive, Euro-centric brothers.

          surfer_dad says:

          Wow!
          This is SPOT on:”Progressive thought emphasizes the fact that “all people are created equal” and twists that concept to “all people are the same””
          THAT is the issue that we need to deal with. I am not a racist, individually I believe we are all born in essence the same and deserve the same. Our CULTURAL differences create different actions, real actions that have real consequences. Positive and negative.
          Someone above mentioned comparing Israel to Jordan is a better measuring stick. I’d add Beirut, Cairo or Damascus.

          Yes, what Romney said was unfortunate, it discounted the hardship from Israel AND other Arab states the Pals endure.
          AND YET he could have compared Israel and say “how do we teach the lessons of Israel to the Pals and other Arab states” and not have ignited a firestorm. That would have been truthful.

      Terry Richardson says:

      Nanush said :
      “I am writing this while sitting in an Israeli hospital. A huge
      percentage of the nursing staff is Arab. Some of the young doctors are,
      as are a huge percentage of the technicians and pharmacists. …I can say that there
      are so many intelligent, warm people with moral integrity.

      The problem begins when 3 of them come together. Arab society inbuilt
      around unbelievably powerful codes of honor and shame, group loyalty and
      above all, conformity. The minute that 3 come together in a group, all
      signs of individual opinions, deeper understanding and complexity
      -vanish onto thin air.”

      So let me get this straight. You’re saying some of your best friends are Arabs AND you will even let yourself be treated by Arab doctors and nurses and many of them are even intelligent and warm people with moral integrity BUT when “those people” get together in a pack, that’s when you have to watch out because they stop acting like individuals and begin to act with a herd mentality…

      And there’s nothing bigoted in what you’re saying in any of the above, it’s just the way it is, and you’re certainly not a bigoted racist because, hey, you just said they’re fine people and you’ll even let yourself be treated by an Arab doctor or nurse.

      Posted just so all readers can contemplate the distilled version of what it is you’re saying .

      HTH

Renee Scherer says:

I believe Einstein was not undermining other cultures when he spoke of the greatness of jewish intellectual inheritance. He never said that Jewish cultural inheritance was superior to other cultures; he simply stated that intellectual inheritance of jewish people has been accomplished by layers and layers of education and that everyone regardless of their color or creed can by education become great. Let us not forget, Einstein was making these comments after having lived pre WW II and post WW II Europe where Nazis thought Jews inferior in every way. Whereas Romney, while he is stating that Jewish culture is great and he compares it and says it is superior to Palestinian culture, and gives as an example their living situation ( i.e. see how rich Jews are because they are intelligent, how poor palestinians are, because they are stupid) First of all Einstein never would equate intelligence with having made money, how much you have in the bank. Culture, intellectual history is not bought. He also would know immediately that one’s living condition differs greatly if one is a slave or one is a king. Palestinian culture is not keeping them in poverty, it is the fact that they do not have economic possibilities in their ghetto. Remember, when we lived in ghettos?

    Yes, I very much remember. I humbly suggest that you will
    educate yourself as to what it was a Jewish ghetto (pre-nazi period) instead of
    using slogans. There was no ghetto with a population of hundreds of thousands
    that received an international economical and supply help over a large territory.
    Jews in ghetto did not receive from their captors modern farms and then intentionally
    destroyed the farms. Jews in Popes ghetto
    (which existed till late 19 century) studied Torah developed craft and
    negotiated.

PhillipNagle says:

The only prosperity achieved in the entire arab world has been through oil, usually drilled for, refined and marketed by someone else. Their culture which includes their economic structure and the way they treat women, does not appear condusive for economic growth.

Charles E. Vernoff says:

This matter was settled by anthropologists decades ago. Ashkenazic Jews have the highest IQs in the world. This is because their CULTURE selected the best and the brightest to become rabbis and have many children, schooling them in the incomparable intellectual rigors of Talmud. Duller folk often had trouble finding mates. Over centuries, these cultural norms raised the collective IQ. In the meantime, Catholic Europe relegated its best and brightest to celibate priesthood. There is no mystery and no racism whatever to the anthropological reality (now diluting with assimilation) of Jewish intellectual prowess. End of discussion.

    There may be a genetic component as well, and that’s been written on as well (and no, not just by Nazis and their ilk)…

jcarpenter says:

Romney uses terms of GDP and “economic vitality” as signs of a superior culture. “Show me the money” “it’s all about greed” “it’s about the economy, stupid”—–so a superior culture is only about ledgers and (Swiss, Cayman) bank accounts, not about art, music, poettry, education, literacy, community spirit, international cooperation. Love and serve God, love your neighbor is the standard, last I heard.

herbcaen says:

Israeli heritage sites-The Kotel, City of David, Rachels Tomb, Tomb of the Patriarchs, Masada
Palestinian heritage sites- Dophinarium, Park Hotel of Netanya, Cafe Hillel on Emek Refaim, No 18 Jerusalem bus, Sbarros in downtown Jerusalem
When I think of Palestinian heritage, I think of the man who held up his bloody hands after lynching 2 Israeli soldiers. It should be on the coins and stamps of Palestine

Divya Srikanth says:

What Einstein implies is very different from what Romney has stated.

spearofpinchas says:

Most of the commentators hate Romney from the get-go and see his comments about Israel’s superiority as pure rubbish,racist, stupid, and see the Tablet author who sort of defended him as a dope and shill. Most of the commentators of course are Jews, maybe even terry richardson the biggest windbag of all. My point: As we see here Jews are their own worst enemies, have NO sense of honor, self respect and group loyalty– totally OPPOSITE the basic condition in Arab culture where (as, e.g., Nanush points out from empirical experience in his talkback) honor, shame and conformity are the norm. There is little to no middleground between the two.

In terms of ultimate consequences, what does this mean? The Jews will continue to be smart, creative, technologically superior, but more will emigrate, Israelis are and increasingly will be too divided to defend the state let alone be united to successfully wage a preemptive war against Iran. In effect Jewish individualism in the long run may well destroy the state of israel. ( I believe it was Hitler who said in Mein Kampf that the Jews are like rats who will eat and destroy themselves. A horrible, evil, disgusting statement which alas, may have some grains of truth in it. Indeed, the prophet Isaiah said back in the period of the First Temple that destruction would come from within…)
Meantime the Arabs will lag behind, culturally an uncreative hodgepodge, lots of mercedes on the one hand and lots of donkeys on the other, lots of dictators who come and go, Arab spring here, Arab winter there, generally a primitive culture typified visually by thousands prostrating in “prayer” then screaming allah akbar with murder in their eyes– but alas, the Arab/Moslem “world’ will last. And their braindead unity, conformity and mental stagnation, their unwillingness to migrate, their unwillingness to modernize islam and revise their Koranic-inspired Jew hatred, may well be the main factors undergirding their continuity and longevity. It’s called tsamood in Arabic, steadfastness.
I hope I’m wrong.
Have a nice day…

I have not See ridiculous since Reagan sad the Soviet Union was a evil Empire
it did not matter that Marxists murdered many more people then the Nazi
To say society that or make heroes auto people who slit the throats of infant’s
that name parks after homicide bombers is a inferior sick culture
it’s just not polite to be honest one would not wish to hurt their feelings. Of murderers of our children

paul delano says:

Ugyur, Mondoweiss and Erekat! Now there are three sources I absolutely must access for a balanced and unbiased view of all things regarding Israel.

Here is how Bernard Lewis explains, in his interview to the Jerusalem Post, why the economy in any Muslim country cannot reach its potential:

There’s one other group of people that I think one should bear in mind when considering the future of the Middle East, and that is women. The case has been made, and I think there is some force in it, that the main reason for the relative backwardness of the Islamic world compared to the West is the treatment of women. As far as I know, it was first made by a Turkish writer called Namik Kemal in about 1880. At that time an agonizing debate had been going on for more than a century: What went wrong? Why did we fall behind the West?

He said, “The answer is very clear. We fell behind the West because of the way we treat our women. By the way we treat our women we deprive ourselves of the talents and services of half the population. And we submit the early education of the other half to ignorant and downtrodden mothers.

AN ERRONEOUS AND UNFORTUNATE HEADER. TO EQUATE ROMNEY’S ILLITERATE BABBLINGS WITH EINSTEIN’S STATEMENTS IS JUST IDIOTIC AND A GROSS DISSERVICE TO YOUR READERS AND A BOOST TO REPUBLICAN RACISTS EVERYWHERE. BRANDEIS WOULD SPEAK OF THE TRADITION OF TEACHING AND LEARNING TOO BUT FOR GOSH SAKES BE CONTEMPORANEOUS WITH THESE COMPARISONS.

    Since you’re so literate, maybe you could figure out how to type without using caps-lock.

      Yaw Mandy says:

      @AsherAbrams:disqus : You sense of humor and ‘candid’ views is the only thing to laugh about in this whole article. It is funny.

Jonathan Langdale says:

You might want to read this:
http://rdfrs.com/news_articles/2012/8/15/albert-einstein-s-historic-1954-god-letter-handwritten-shortly-before-his-death#.UC22y1LFTxc.google_plusone_share

“As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything ‘chosen’ about them.”
-Albert Einstein

I think it debunks the thesis of this article pretty easily.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Be a Mensch. Support Tablet.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Romney and Einstein: Racists?

The GOP candidate was deemed ‘racist’ for calling Israeli culture superior. Albert Einstein said it too.

More on Tablet:

Manhattan’s Biggest Menorah Mystery, Solved

By Stephanie Butnick — The story behind the massive Hanukkiah atop a Fifth Avenue building