Responses to my January 2nd article “Why Are Ron Paul’s Followers So Touchy?” prompted me to look more closely at Dr. Paul’s position on Israel, and what I found raised some serious red flags, especially his “concentration camp” remarks made on Iran’s state-run PressTV in January, 2009.
The fact is, before last week, I had not written a single word about Congressman Paul, despite the faulty recollection of some readers like “bdrake,” who commented, “Michael, your past references to Ron Paul have been all but positive. While you may try to make them seem innocent here, I have read your articles in the past and you do shoot Ron Paul down regularly.” (Sorry, bdrake, but there were no past articles or past comments.)
Ironically, it was the comments of some of Paul’s quite level-headed supporters that challenged me to look more deeply at his policies, specifically as they relate to Israel.
In Paul’s favor, he has said that, “We should be [Israel’s] friend and their trading partner. They are a democracy and we share many values with them. But we should not be their master. We should not dictate where their borders will be nor should we have veto power over their foreign policy.”
Paul also reminded his critics that when Israel bombed Iraq’s nuclear plant in 1981, “I was one of the few who defended her right to make her own decisions on foreign policy and to act in her own self-interest.” And Paul stated that, “We should honor our pledge to refuse any arms sales that would undermine Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region. . . . And Israel should stop sacrificing their sovereignty as an independent state to us or anybody else, no matter how well-intentioned.”
On the other hand, in his 2011 book Liberty Defined he made clear that he was sympathetic to sentiments expressed by President Jimmy Carter in his infamous 2007 volume Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.