Ron Paul - Friend of Israel
In an unstable Middle East, Israel is the one anchor of stability. In a region of shifting alliances, Israel is America’s unwavering ally. Israel has always been pro-American. Israel will always be pro-American. My friends, you don’t have to -- you don’t need to do nation-building in Israel. We’re already built. You don’t need to export democracy to Israel. We’ve already got it. And you don’t need to send American troops to Israel. We defend ourselves.
- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, speech to the US Congress, May 24th, 2011
Of all the objections to Ron Paul, perhaps the most prevalent one is in regards to Israel. This can become a very complicated subject, and it is often made that way to confuse and mislead. Arguably, the focus should be on three key things:
Israel's right to exist.
Israel's right to self govern.
Stop helping Israel's enemies.
On June 7th, 1981, Israel performed a daring raid (Operation Opera) on the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak. I won't go into all the details here, since there are books written about it, but this much is clear: the world condemned Israel. The UN Security Council (unanimous, Security Resolution 487), the US State Department, pretty much everyone - except Ron Paul. He publicly broke with President Reagan, most allied leaders including Margaret Thatcher, and our own government in praising Israel's right to exit and determine their own course. Ron Paul believes in Israel's right to exist.
The government of the United States has continuously and repeatedly tried to tell Israel how to conduct itself with her own people and her neighbors. Our government has called for a division of Jerusalem, and return to 1967 borders, the end of construction in "captured" lands - and we have no right to do this. Much of the land Israel "occupies" it captured when attacked by other nations. They have held it as a security measure. Regardless of whether you think this is the right thing to do or not, it is between Israel, her people, and her neighbors. Ron Paul believes in Israel's right to self govern.
Foreign Aid is a part of the federal budget that most conservatives have wanted to end for a long, long time. Most of us would like to end the United Nations as well. After all, making the world "safe for democracy" was a goal of Woodrow Wilson, and it has carried forward with every Progressive/Liberal ever since. Crazily, many in the GOP now support Foreign Aid (which I should remind you is paid with borrowed money) because Israel gets some of that money. Well, here's some facts, from the 2012 Statistical Abstract of the Census Bureau: in 2010 we gave Israel $2,692 million ($2.692 Billion) in grants and credits. Ron Paul opposes that - but he also opposes: $802 million for Jordan, $119 million for Lebanon, $48 million for Yemen, $687 million for West Bank/Gaza Regional, $2942 million for Iraq, $10,862 million for Afghanistan, $1216 million for Egypt, $1528 million for Pakistan, $46 million for Turkey - I'll stop there but those are countries that are at a minimum not friends with Israel, and the total for them is $18,250 million ($18.25 Billion). I have not included our "contribution" to the UN, but that certainly doesn't help Israel, nor have I included other countries in Central Asia, other African countries, and organizations (NGO's) not friendly to Israel. You tell me - is Israel better off with us giving her $2.692 Billion and giving her enemies $18.25 Billion, or would Israel be better off if we stopped all foreign aid? Ron Paul wants to stop helping Israel's enemies.
There are many people who have a vested interest in American Empire. It may be a financial interest, or a religious interest, or a political interest - but it is not in the interest of the American people. As a nation, we are going broke while we try to police the world, defending countries that are fully capable of defending themselves, and giving money to countries that don't need our help as well as our enemies. It is time to bring sanity back to the Republican Party, in the tradition of Robert Taft, Dwight Eisenhower, and the Founding Fathers. I leave you with the famous quote from Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural Address (March 4th, 1801):
Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none