Reality Check: Are Ron Paul's views on Israel "misguided and extreme?"

(FOX19) - So, how real is the concern over Congressman Ron Paul's position on Israel?  Real enough that the Republican Jewish Coalition last week told Congressman Paul that he was not invited to speak at a candidates forum even though every other Republican candidate was invited.

The same group also banned the Congressman from speaking in 2007.

As a private organization, the Republican Jewish Coalition doesn't have to invite anyone, but what reason did the RJC give for excluding Rep. Paul?  They cited his "misguided and extreme views" on Israel.

There is plenty on the Internet about Rep. Paul's beliefs, but most of that has been debunked.  Instead of using conjecture, we look at actual statements the Congressman has made.

Lets being with the criticism of "it's all Israel's fault," the idea that Ron Paul blames Israel for the terror waged against it.

"Hamas was really started by Israel because they wanted Hamas to counteract Yasser Arafat.  They say it was better then and it served its purpose but we didn't want Hamas to do this.

"Then the United States says we have such a good system we are going to impose this on the world and have free elections, we encourage Palestinians to have free elections and they elect Hamas." said Rep. Paul on the House floor.

The author of the blog where this was posted says this is proof that Congressman Paul is anti-Israel because clearly Paul blames Israel for attack from Hamas.  He blames the United States for Hamas.

What does the Congressman say?

He says "blowback," the military and intelligence term for consequence for foreign policy and interventions, is something the United States doesn't want to deal with and yet is very real.

Is the Congressman factually correct in what he said about Hamas?

According to Avner Cohen, who worked for the Israeli government in religious affairs in Gaza for decades, it was 30 years ago when Israel tolerated and, in some cases, encouraged Hamas as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

So it would be incorrect to say that Congressman Paul is blaming Israel for bombings by Hamas.

Rather, his position appears to be warning about the consequence of blowback in both American and Israeli foreign policy.

That brings us to the second issue.  Clearly Ron Paul is anti-Israel, detractors say, because after all he wants to deny Israel foreign aid.

"To me foreign aid is taking money from poor people in this country and giving it to rich people in other countries, no matter how well motivated it is," said Rep. Paul during the CNN Republican debate.

When Anderson Cooper asked if Paul would cut foreign aid to Israel, Paul answered, "I would cut all foreign aid.  I would treat everyone equally and fairly."

Despite the headlines, is that an anti-Israel stance?

It is an anti foreign-aid stance combined with consistency in foreign policy.

But Israel has had a special relationship with the United States for many years, some have said, and shouldn't an exception be made?

Isn't Congressman Paul turning his back on this nation that needs the United States?

"I'm the one who defends the Israel.  I don't want Israel to be beholding to us," Rep. Paul told Fox News Anchor Megan Kelly.

Jeffrey Goldberg of "The Atlantic" recently wrote that Ron Paul's position is actually the closest to a Zionist of all the candidates because, "In one sense, a true Zionist, is a believer in two core values of the Jewish Liberation Movement: Jewish independence and Jewish self-reliance."

Is Ron Paul anti-Israel?

Well, consider history.  In 1981, Israel bombed an Iraqi nuke plant.  Rep. Paul went against both the U.N. and president Ronald Reagan when he defended Israel's right to defend itself.

Today, that position hasn't changed.

Paul seems to believe that the strongest stance with Israel is for the United States to no longer try to control that nation's every move.

If today Israel decided that it must launch an attack on Iran to protect its own people, which candidate aside from Ron Paul would support that move without Israel first receiving U.S. approval?

And that is Reality Check.

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