Sunday, January 16th | 15 Shevat 5782

May 9, 2011 10:37 am

Ron Paul and Israel

avatar by Gabriel Martindale

Ron Paul.

I want Ron Paul to win the Presidential election of 2012. Strictly speaking, it’s none of my business, of course, and I’ll try to avoid being the right-wing mirror image of millions of Europeans who get some bizarre vicarious satisfaction out of seeing a politician win an election in a country they’ll never visit and implement healthcare reform that will never affect them (except negatively, since most new treatments come from American pharmaceutical companies). I do agree with most of Ron Paul’s policies, from abortion to education, but if Americans would prefer other policies that’s their lookout.

On the other hand, the election of Ron Paul would affect me in a very concrete way. America is careering towards a full spectrum economic crisis, involving both an inability to pay its bills and the collapse of the dollar amidst an orgy of inflation. Paul Ryan’s plan would go some way towards averting the first catastrophe, if it’s implemented and if everything goes off without a hitch, but such has been the largesse of the Obama administration (yes, yes Bush was terrible on that front as well) that far more radical action even than he is suggesting is now necessary. However, Ron Paul is really the only prominent politician with a consistent record of discussing both problems, long before the 2006 crash made it marginally more fashionable. Since a collapse of the dollar will mean the implosion of the western economic system upon which my personal wellbeing depends, I think I have a legitimate interest in seeing that averted.

That’s not to say the actions of Ben Bernanke and his money-printing (or more accurately now, ‘money-typing’) chums isn’t unconstitutional – it is – or that it’s not destroying the savings of millions of hard working Americans to benefit rentiers and parasites – it is. If Americans, on reflection, really prefer to have their currency, and hence their economy, controlled by hucksters working on behalf of other hucksters, then I guess that’s up to them. On the other hand, if their actions are set to bring down the western world, then that’s my business too. Accordingly, I’m going to be doing what I can (i.e. basically nothing) to see that Ron Paul wins the Republican nomination and, from there, the Presidency.

Whenever I tell anyone this, though, whether Jewish or non-Jewish, I always get the same response: “but doesn’t Ron Paul hate Israel?”

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I’ll admit I don’t care all that much either for a state that spends it’s time persecuting settlers who own weapons for self-defence or arresting Rabbis for teaching Torah, but I certainly don’t hate Israel as a country, so how can I support Ron Paul?

There are two ways of answering this objection. The first is to look at Ron Paul’s stated policies rather than peoples’ conjectures about them. He’s an old fashioned isolationist who wants American troops out of, not only Iraq and Afghanistan, but Germany too. He also wants to end all American foreign aid, whether for military or other purposes, both for moral reasons (since it was taken forcefully from American taxpayers) and because he doesn’t think it does any good. On the first count, I do find it hard to justify why Americans should have money they have worked for taken from them and used to buy weaponry for the army of a country that is in the OEDC. On the second, an end to foreign aid would also apply to avowed enemies of Israel like Pakistan and fake friends like Egypt. On the whole, who do you think would be better able to weather the change? A Ron Paul Presidency would change U.S. Middle East policy from one of constant, but incoherent, intervention to neutral neglect. Israel stands to gain at least as much from that as it has to lose.

But if all that doesn’t wash, let’s try a different tack. Let’s say that Ron Paul really does hate Israel. What would be the likely consequence of an Israel-hater in the White House? I submit that it would be the best thing that has happened to Israel since 1967.

What??!?!?! Well, let me explain. The vast majority of Arabs, people and governments, hate Israel and want to see it destroyed. Most of the rest of the Muslim world agrees with them, with odd little exceptions like Kosovo. But there’s absolutely nothing they can do about it. The military superiority of the IDF ensures that even before nuclear weapons are brought into the equation. No, the material threat to the state of Israel comes from the Israeli Left within and the U.S. State Dept. without. It was the conjunction of these two forces that forced the withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza (with the ethnic cleansing of the Jewish inhabitants), causing the rockets that have subsequently fallen on northern Israel and Sderot. It is these two now that place unceasing pressure on Israel to take the literally deranged step of creating a *Palestinian* state in Judea and Samaria, while stopping it from taking the necessary action either against the terrorist-gangster outfits of Fatah and Hamas or the Iranian nuclear programme.

The Israeli Left is intellectually moribund and deservedly unpopular, increasingly reduced to a sort of self-indulgent hysteria. So the real threat to Israel comes from the U.S. The Obama administration, full of some very nasty Israel haters indeed, appears to mark a shift in the U.S. relationship with Israel, but this is superficial. It was that great friend of Israel, George Bush, who capitulated to Al Qaeda by making the establishment of a Palestinian State official U.S. policy. Before that it was the moderate Clinton who engineered the Oslo accords, resulting in the special kind of ‘peace’ where more people -on both sides, one might add – died than before. The net effect of the Obama Presidency has been positive, bringing out something resembling a backbone from the Israeli government that has spent the last two decades moving from one suicidal concession to another.

It is only a ‘friend’ with a financial whip in its hand that can pressurise Israel into so consistently acting against its own interests. A Ron Paul administration that had no leverage over Israel and was perhaps somewhat hostile in its posture would give Israel something more important than money: freedom.

It’s never a good thing, in the long term, to be a client state of an empire, but being a client state of America is particularly bad. Normal empires, motivated by self-interest, have limits to the demands they place, but Pax Americana, whether it be led by liberals or neo-cons, is motivated by a peculiarly neo-Christian altruism, embarking on endless mad missions to spread democracy or what not around the world and dragging its unfortunate clients along with it, before turning on them willy-nilly for all sorts of obscure and ill thought out “moral” reasons.

The editor of Ha’aretz (Hashem y’rachem) once called upon America to ‘rape’ Israel, but the truth is that it has been doing so for decades. Israel either can’t or won’t free itself from this schizophrenic and abusive husband until that husband walks out for himself. That’s exactly what a Ron Paul presidency will mean. With an Arab terror state on the west bank of the Jordan looming ever larger on the horizon, that really can’t come soon enough.

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