2012 U.S. Presidential Campaign: Ron Paul
Learn More about Republican Challenger Ron Paul
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Voting history on Israeli matters
In 2009 Congressman Paul addressed Congress to voice his opposition to a House resolution expressing strong support for Israel in its Gaza invasion and branding Hamas a terrorist organization. Instead of supporting the bill, Paul called for American neutrality in conflicts that do not relate to the U.S.
- RonPaul.com, January 12, 2009
In 1981 Congressman Paul voted against condemnation of Israel for attacking the Iraqi Osirak nuclear reactor and stood up for Israel’s right for sovereignty.
U.S. Aid to Israel and the Middle East
Paul advocates that the U.S. end all aid to Israel because only then “Israel would finally have the motivation to take care of herself,” Paul’s website says. He also wants to cut aid to all Arab countries. Overall, Paul thinks that Israel and Israel alone ought to deal with issues of domestic and regional concern, namely resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict.
"I would cut all foreign aid. I would treat everybody equally and fairly. And I don't think aid to Israel actually helps them. I think it teaches them to be dependent. We're on a bankruptcy course.
And -- and look at what's the result of all that foreign aid we gave to Egypt? I mean, their -- their dictator that we pumped up, we spent all these billions of dollars, and now there's a more hostile regime in Egypt. And that's what's happening all around Israel. That foreign aid makes Israel dependent on us. It softens them for their own economy. And they should have their sovereignty back. They should be able to deal with their neighbors."
- Republican Presidential Debate in Nevada, October 18, 2011
"There are a lot of people at the UN who say that Iran will not have a weapon. It is no different than 2003. There are war propagandas going on and it’s another Iraq. We are going to overreact and bomb Iran. The head of Israeli security says it would make no sense to take Iran out because they might be having a weapon. There is no evidence that they have a bomb. If we lived through the cold war we need to sit back and think and not jump the gun. That’s how we got involved in the useless war in Iraq and lost so much.
All we are doing is promoting their desire to have one. They are surrounded for geopolitical reasons and they have a desire to get a lot more respect. Look what we did to Libya. We talked them out of nuclear weapons and then we killed them. We have to get things in a proper context and we don’t need another war...
I want to see less nuclear weapons. I don’t want Iran to have a nuclear weapon. To say that all Muslims are the same is dangerous talk. They don’t come to kill us because we are free and prosperous. Why aren’t they killing people in Switzerland. They only want to come and do us harm because we are bombing them. We are begging and pleading to get a drone back but why did we have a drone up there anyway? We have hundreds of bases and all these drones and things and we are totally bankrupt...This wild goal to have yet another war is us overreacting and we only need to go to war with a declaration of war."
- Republican Presidential Debate in Iowa, December 15, 2011
QUESTION: Congressman Paul, would you support Israel and help Israel in such an attack [to prevent Tehran from getting nuclear weapons]?
PAUL: "No, I wouldn't do that. But there would be good reasons because I don't expect it to happen. Because, you know, the Mossad leader that just retired said it would be the stupidest thing to do in the world. And it's a big argument over in Israel. They're not about to do this.
"They've just polled 40 major experts on foreign policy here by the National Journal. Not one of them said there should be a unilateral attack on the sites in Iran.
"So that's not going to happen. And if it did, why does Israel need our help? We need to get out of their way. I mean, we interfere with them. We interfere with them when they deal with their borders. When they want to have peace treaties, we tell them what they can do because we buy their allegiance and they sacrifice their sovereignty to us. And then they decide they want to bomb something, that's their business, but they should, you know, suffer the consequences. When they bombed the Iraqi missile site, nuclear site, back in the '80s, I was one of the few in Congress that said it's none of our business and Israel should take care of themselves. Israel has 200, 300 nuclear missiles. And they can take care of themselves.
"Why should we commit -- we don't even have a treaty with Israel. Why do we have this automatic commitment that we're going to send our kids and send our money endlessly to Israel? So I think they're quite capable of taking care of themselves.
"I think we do detriment -- just think of all the money we gave toEgypt over 30 or 40 years. Now, look, we were buying friendship. Now there's a civil war, they're less friendly to Israel.
"The whole thing is going to backfire once we go bankrupt and we remove our troops, so I think we should be very cautious in our willingness to go to war and send troops without a proper declaration by the U.S. Congress."
- Republican Presidential Debate in Washington, D.C., November 22, 2011
Congressman Paul claims Iran is "a big nobody" and is not seeking to build a nuclear weapon but rather is waiting until "the Zionist regime collapses." Essentially, Paul's policy recommendation for U.S.-Israel relations is “Israel can do what she wants – but leave America out of it.”
- RonPaul.com, August 14, 2011.
"Sanctions are not diplomacy. They are a precursor to war and an embarrassment to a country that pays lip service to free trade."
- United States House website, December 20, 2009
On the Palestinians
During Israel's Operation Cast Lead in January 2009, Paul equated Gazans' situation to concentration camp levels of miserable conditions, blaming Israel entirely and making no mention of Gaza's Palestinian Hamas leadership.
- Fox Business, (posted to YouTube) June 3, 2010