Last July, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney invited the ridicule and wrath of the world’s politically correct during a visit to Jerusalem. Culture, he said, seriously impacts the prospects for economic and political development in Palestine and the Arab world. A senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas immediately branded Romney’s remarks “racist” and insisted that Palestine’s only problem with development is the Israeli occupation. But if one looks beyond the equally critical media headlines, Romney and the Harvard emeritus economist and historian David Landes, whom he cited, turn out to have an army of unexpected allies in the Arab world. Between 2002 and 2009, the United Nations Development Program published the five-volume Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) drawn up by more than a hundred Arab scholars and experts.