Ron Paul and Israel
By Doug Wead
I am a “born again Christian” and like most from my culture I support Israel’s right to live at peace behind secure borders.
I am also a strong supporter of Ron Paul because he, more than any other public figure, fights for personal liberty. Christians don’t need to take power. They had power in England and France and Spain and it didn’t work. All power, even Christian power, corrupts. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. And the idea of liberty is what gave birth to the American experiment. This country has seen many of the greatest spiritual awakenings in modern history not because we seized government and used it to promote our agenda but because government stayed out of the way.
So I am deeply disappointed at my good friend, Gary Bauer, for a misleading fundraising letter smearing Congressman Ron Paul and suggesting that he wants to cut off aid to Israel. The letter was sent out last month but I am still having it forwarded onto me by well intentioned, but misled, evangelical friends.
Here is the opening paragraph of the Gary Bauer letter, sent out to “Friends and Supporters.”
“Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) has just introduced an amendment to end all U.S. aid to Israel. The amendment could be voted on before the day is over. I need your help right now to stop this ill-conceived proposal! ”
Now, here is the truth:
Congressman Ron Paul never introduced legislation calling for an end to U.S. aid to Israel. What he did introduce was legislation that would have ended foreign aid to ALL countries.
Ron Paul sees foreign aid as taking money from poor people in rich countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries. It was this foreign aid that made Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his family wealthy.
The United States is in the middle of a desperate financial crisis and we are still acting like we are the world’s rich uncle, picking up the restaurant tab for every meal.
But Bauer’s letter discounts this idea:
“Don’t be deceived. This Ron Paul proposal would not lower our budget deficit. By abandoning Israel while its enemies are gaining strength, the risk of a major war in the Middle East would increase. A major war would cost the U.S. billions and billions of dollars as we have already seen in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Now for the dirty little secret that Evangelical Christian Washington lobbyists don’t want you to know. While America’s foreign aid package gives Israel $ 3 billion in loans, it also gives Israel’s collective Arab enemies four times as much, more than $ 12 billion in direct aid.
Far from abandoning Israel, Ron Paul’s legislation would have given Israel a net $ 8 billion advantage over the status quo. One could have just as easily sent out a fundraising letter saying that Gary Bauer is promoting a policy that will give the enemies of Israel four times the aid we give her.
Such demagoguery is not just ridiculous, it is wrong.
Ron Paul’s principled stands have been consistent and logical and unchanging.
In the 1980’s, when Republicans and Washington power elites were pushing for a deal that would sell AWACS to Saudi Arabia, Ron Paul was a defiant, lonely voice trying to block the sale. The pressure was on and most evangelical leaders abandoned Israel, rationalizing their position. Not Ron Paul.
In recent years he has urged congress to end all corporate subsidies to companies that do business with Iran and other nations bellicose to Israel. Few if any evangelicals recognize the importance to Israel of this ongoing struggle involving billions of dollars and corporate corruption and powerful Washington lobbyists. And he continues to fight the growing protectionist sentiment in our country to ensure we maintain the freest possible exchange of trade and commerce with Israel.
Most of all, Ron Paul believes that American should mind its own business and let Israel make her own decisions without interference and control from Washington. He recognizes that Israel has one of the best trained, most elite armed forces in the world and he believes that we should NEVER try to use our influence to stop Israel from defending herself. Ron Paul refused to vote to condemn Israel during the 2006 war with Lebanon. And he will never try to pressure Israel into accepting a “land for peace” compromise before the Israelis themselves decide.
I have spoken with Dr. Ron Paul about Israel, He recognizes the special relationship between Israel and the United States based on our shared values and Judeo-Christian history. As the former vice president of Christian and Jews United for Israel, I would strongly argue that Ron’s position of friendship, free trade, ending support for Israel’s enemies and a cessation of meddling in Israel’s internal affairs would provide for a stronger U.S.- Israeli relationship and a net advantage for the Israelis.
As a “born again Christian” I have been amused at the willingness of our power brokers to conveniently embrace presidential candidates who have had four marriages or have been bitter opponents to our own people facing nomination in the Senate or who flip flop on the issues just in time for Iowa, all because the candidate will do a radio show or appear at a university or a political briefing – fund raiser.
Well, Ron Paul is the real deal. Raised as a Lutheran, (now attending a Baptist church in Lake Jackson) he puts his Christian faith into practice. He has always been pro life, always been married to the same wife and always been the nation’s premier advocate for liberty.
As we see our liberties being stripped away by the courts and by government agencies and by presidential fiat, we need to speak carefully and truthfully about those few men and women in Washington who have the integrity to defy the temptations of power. Ron Paul is just such a man. We should cherish his independence from the corruption and partisanship of Washington, D. C.. and instead of distorting his positions on the issues we should celebrate his courage to speak the truth.