Ron Paul to Obama and Romney: “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Get over it.”
News is now leaking out about a private meeting between evangelical leaders and presidential candidate Ron Paul which took place last Wednesday night. The leaders asked Dr. Paul about an Executive Order moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “The real issue here is not what America wants but what Israel wants. We have no right to chose their capital,” Dr. Paul said, “If they say it is Jerusalem, then it is Jerusalem.”
The Barack Obama administration has consistently rejected this idea and Governor Mitt Romney steadfastly refuses to make a commitment on the issue.
The meeting held last Wednesday night in Ft. Worth, Texas, had two representatives of evangelicals presenting Dr. Paul with a list of questions they had received from denominational leaders, pastors and television evangelists. In the wake of Senator Rick Santorum’s departure from the presidential race, many evangelical leaders are turning to Ron Paul.
The question to Dr. Paul was posed by Rev. Brian Jacobs, one of the evangelical participants. Jacobs, a former consultant to the Billy Graham Association and a pastor of the Ft. Worth Metroplex Church asked the question at the beginning of the meeting. According to Jacobs, Dr. Paul asked, “How would we feel if some other nation told us that we would have to make our capital in New York and they refused to build their embassy in Washington, D.C. It is none of our business.”
Paul’s answer even surprised some of his own staff.
In earlier interviews Dr. Paul has stated that we should stop being Israel’s master and start being her friend and trading partner. In 1981, Dr. Paul was the only public figure who defended Israel’s military action when she took out the Iraqi nuclear facilities. He, alone, in the U.S. Congress, refused to condemn the action saying that Israel has the right to defend herself without approval of the United States.
Dr. Paul, nevertheless, has been the target of vitriolic attacks from evangelical leader, Gary Bauer, who issued a fund raising letter criticizing the Texas congressman for wanting to “cut off foreign aid to Israel.” Bauer’s letter failed to mention that Dr. Paul is calling for the end of all foreign aid, which not only includes the $3 billion the United States gives to Israel but also the $12 billion it gives to Israel’s avowed enemies, including Palestinians, who publicly proclaim that they will drive her into the sea. Dr. Paul points to America’s practice of borrowing money from China to give to Pakistan as foolish.
Ron Paul campaign officials have long complained that their man is so intellectually honest and so committed to a constitutional form of government he is easily tripped up by issues taken out of context by a demagogue.
On December 29, 2011, the Israeli Mossad Chief, Tamir Pardo, told 100 ambassadors gathered in Jerusalem that a “nuclear Iran does not pose an existential threat to Israel.” When Dr. Paul said something similar in a debate the next week, insisting that we should not go to war with Iran on a presidential executive decision but only by consultation with the congress, he was heavily criticized and ridiculed.
In a GOP debate on January 9, 2012, Ron Paul said that, anyway, Iran was not on the verge of developing a nuclear weapon. This statement too, was heavily criticized and called “dangerous” by media pundits. When Secretary of Defense, Leon Paneta said the same thing three days later on the CBS program Face the Nation no one apologized to Dr. Paul.
In the meeting with evangelicals Dr. Paul was asked questions about his personal faith. The Ron Paul campaign issued a statement of faith at the beginning of the campaign with Dr. Paul declaring “I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, and I endeavor every day to follow Him in all I do and in every position I advocate.” But the congressman admitted that his faith is very much a private matter.
Justin Machacek, an Emmy Award winning Christian television producer, asked Dr. Paul how his faith shaped his worldview.
Dr. Paul said, “I am not big on public displays and marches. I would not want a theocracy.” But as to how his faith shaped his character and his worldview? “You know I’ve been married 55 years,” he laughed, “So it is pretty obvious. It is how I live my life.”
Mr. Machacek said he was deeply moved by the meeting and wants other Christian leaders to meet with Dr. Paul themselves. “I’m drafting an email for a Christian leader who is a coordinator for a 10 denomination coalition. He will forward the idea about a meeting with church leaders.”