January 07, 2008

Shmuel Rosner, writing in Ha’aretz, is skeptical of Ron Paul’s position on Israel—no aid—and furthermore avers:

“Much has already been written about Paul and Israel. Some have accused him of being anti-Israel and have found anti-Semitic sentiments among some of his supporters. A few of Paul’s statements have teetered on the thin line between sharp criticism and dangerous conspiracy theories. For example: “The assumption is that AIPAC is in control of things, and they control the votes, and they get everybody to vote against anything that would diminish the [Iraq] war.”

In fact, Fox News, by excluding Paul, was merely following in the footsteps of the Jewish Republican Coalition, which had similarly declined to invite him to their candidates’ forum. Rosner interviews Paul about his view of Israel and the aid question:

“In fact, Paul explains, Israel only stands to gain from his position. ‘It’s a good deal,’ he says, since when aid to Israel stops so would the aid to all the Arab states currently enjoying American patronage. It is true that Israel receives more than any of the Arab states, but, Paul notes, it receives less than they do put together. ‘The enemies would also be denied the money,’ he says.

“‘I believe in the sovereignty of Israel,’ Paul says. If Israel stops receiving U.S. aid, then it could do whatever it wants. If it wants peace, then it will make peace. In any event, Paul is certain that ‘It will do quite well.’ Israel doesn’t really ‘need us.’”

What’s interesting is the link between those allegedly “dangerous conspiracy theories” and his Paul’s free market economic prescription for Israel, and, indeed, for all countries. If you look at the seminal document that has spawned the idea that, say, support for Israel’s strategic interests was a major motivating factor for the Iraq war—“A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm”—you can see that it endorses a radical decrease in American aid and eventually weaning the Israeli economy off foreign (i.e. American) subsidies precisely for the reason cited by Paul: Israel would then be free to act freely, without coming to the American hegemon for permission. Written by a team of neoconservatives—including Richard Perle and Doublas Feith—who were then advising the government of Israeli Prime Minister—the strategy embraced by “A Clean Break” involved breaking free of the US while acting aggressively to expand Israeli control into Lebanon and Syria, with the first objective of humbling Iraq.

Here is a rare instance where Ron agrees with the neocons: decrease and then eliminate the flow of US tax dollars to Israel. It’s just the second part of their strategy—using the Americans as their instrument for ridding the Middle East of their enemies—that Paul objects to.


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