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Republican Jewish Coalition Bars Ron Paul From Presidential Debate, Saying He's Too "misguided and extreme"

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Reason
Matt Welch

On Wednesday, Dec. 7, the Republican Jewish Coalition will host a presidential-candidates forum featuring Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum. Not invited is the GOP candidate currently polling around third in New Hampshire and second in Iowa: Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). The explanation:

Paul was not invited to attend the RJC’s candidates forum because the organization – as it has stated numerous times in the past – “rejects his misguided and extreme views,” said [RJC Executive Director Matt] Brooks.

“He’s just so far outside of the mainstream of the Republican party and this organization,” Brooks said. Inviting Paul to attend would be “like inviting Barack Obama to speak.”

Link via the Twitter feed of an approving Jamie Kirchick.

Brooks gave a more detailed critique of Ron Paul back in May:

“As Americans who are committed to a strong and vigorous foreign policy, we are deeply concerned about the prospective presidential campaign of Congressman Ron Paul. While Rep. Paul plans to run as a Republican, his views and past record place him far outside of the Republican mainstream. His candidacy, as we’ve seen in his past presidential campaigns, will appeal to a very narrow constituency in the U.S. electorate. Throughout his public service, Paul has espoused a dangerous isolationist vision for the U.S. and our role in the world. He has been a virulent and harsh critic of Israel during his tenure in Congress*. Most recently Paul gave an interview in which he voiced his objection to the recent killing of Osama Bin Laden.

Brooks added, “We certainly respect Congressman Paul’s right to run, but we strongly reject his misguided and extreme views, which are not representative of the Republican Party.”

Weird punctuation in the original.

So what are these “extreme views”? Over at The Huffington Post, Dovid Efune, the director of The Algemeiner Journal and Gershon Jacobson Foundation, offers an explanation:

Paul’s positions on Israel have been almost uniformly derided. Whilst claiming to be non-interventionist on the issue, he has routinely adopted Arab talking points on Israel, even comparing Gaza to ‘a concentration camp.’ His Isolationist mantra may appeal to fiscal conservatives, but in the real world its implementation would create a global power vacuum that would likely be filled by supporters of Israel’s enemies.

Anti Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman has a perhaps unintentionally interesting take about Paul, U.S. politics, and Israel:

with the exception of Ron Paul, there is not much difference between the parties

And no orthodoxy-definition would be complete without David Frum:

Of the 8 candidates competing for the Republican presidential nomination, 7 declared themselves intense supporters of the State of Israel, the sole exception being crank no-hoper Ron Paul.
I’m no expert on Ron Paul’s Israel views, and I reserve the right to be outraged later by what I don’t know now, but what I find interesting here is the namecalling-to-content ratio. Here, let’s count it out:

Name-calling: 1) “misguided and extreme,” 2) “so far outside of the mainstream,” 3) “like…Barack Obama,” 4) “will appeal to a very narrow constituency,” 5) “dangerous isolationist vision,” 6) “uniformly derided,” 7) “claim[s] to be non-interventionist,” 8) “Isolationist,” 9) “differen[t],” 10) “crank.”

Content: 1) “virulent and harsh critic of Israel,” 2) “voiced his objection to the…killing of Osama Bin Laden,” 3) “routinely adopted Arab talking points,” 4) “compar[ed] Gaza to ‘a concentration camp,” 5) “would create a global power vacuum that would likely be filled by supporters of Israel’s enemies.”

Looking at the five content items, 1) is supported only by 4); 2) intentionally left out the phrase “legal method of,” 3) is a general and largely contentless insult, 4) is a discrete piece of hyperbole that rubs my literalist heart the wrong way, too (though the full quote contains two qualifiers: “Palestinians are virtually in like a concentration camp”); and 5) is the Transitive Property run amok, though it does at least hint at the real-world question/critique of what, exactly, replaces hegemonic American responsibility for world affairs, and which bad actors are more likely to do badder things.

Does this, plus Paul’s principled rejection of all foreign aid, his relentless espousal of the “blowback” theory of terrorism, and his negligence in allowing to appear under his name during the first Clinton administration some newsletter conspiracy theorizing about (among other things) the 1993 World Trade Center bombing being a “setup by the Israeli Mossad” enough to disqualify him for the grownups’ table on foreign policy?

Well, I’m neither Republican nor Jewish nor a member of a Coalition, so the immediate event is not my call (though I do believe that dissonance is more illuminating than seven-part harmony). That said, this seems to me more of an attempt to draw boundaries around acceptable policy discourse than any active concern that President Dr. Ron Paul would be actively anti-Israel or anti-Semitic. The fact that he is a political outlier on an effectively bipartisan U.S. foreign policy that has become increasingly expensive and unpopular strikes me as a count in favor, not against. And nothing Paul said at last month’s largely grotesque American Enterprise Institute foreign policy debate struck me as more objectionable than Mitt Romney’s grovel that his first overseas trip as president would be to Israel.

Some other bullet-pointed observations and gratuitous commenter bait:

* The New York Sun editorial board, not known for its unfriendliness toward Israel, defended Paul both from charges of anti-Semitism and foreign policy insanity last year.

* Here’s how quickly Paul’s anti-interventionist rhetoric can be turned into charges of “anti-Semitic arguments,” courtesy of Ben Stein. (Slightly less inflammatory accusations from David Horowitz circa March 2007. UPDATE: And, thanks to commenter Ken E., a considerably more inflammatory accusation from the Horo show this February: “Ron Paul Is A Vicious Anti-Semite and Anti-American and Conservatives Need To Wash Their Hands of Him.”)

* Some Republicans tried to bar Paul from all debates back in May 2007 on grounds that his overall foreign policy views were “just so off the wall and out of whack.”

* Here’s Paul himself talking to then-Reasoner David Weigel in May 2007, in response to charges of old newsletter “anti-Semitism.”

Reason on Ron Paul here, including his candidate profile as part of our Presidential Dating Game.

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    Total 20 comments
    • Ron Paul Fan

      Well Jews work extremely hard, intelligent and nice. But I did
      not no that they were Republican. Well you and I know that there is really no difference between the Republican and Democratic parties except for there bylaws and what they say. Other than that they are the same. Ron Paul is probley the only candidate out there that even comes close to what a Republican should be. Someone should tell them that Ron Paul may be the only salvation for Isral and the United States. But wait when I was at Parris Island in 1959 a Jewish fellow got into a fight with another recruit. After the fight all he could say was why didn’t someone tell me that he boxed golden gloves. My intelligent Jewish friends please do some real research and ask some questions. When Ron Paul says that he wants to cut foreign aid to Israel; he is just saying that this country no longer wants to be your enabler. Just as I refused to let my ex-wife give money to her alcloholic brother for booze many years ago as she was just enabling him to not work and be a drunk. Also Ron Paul is not singling Israel out as he wants to stop Foreign Aid to all countries.
      Go Ron Paul Go and take on the other Republican Candidates as Israel took on the other Arabian counties in the 6 day war.

    • Anonymous

      All I can say is that the fact that Israel rejects Ron Paul is very good sign, showing that Ron Paul is on the right track. With practically all other congresspeople being de-facto Israeli agents, safely putting Israeli interests over their own country, Israel’s endorsement by itself is a proof of corruption.

      Mike Rivero @ whatreallyhappened has put it best:

      “No government can serve two masters. And a government that serves Israel does not serve the American people. (Don’t believe me? Take a look around!)

      America needs leaders who will put America first, second, and third.”

    • Anonymous

      They should let THE PEOPLE decide that instead of CONTROLLING the media. Are they NAZIS?

    • Anonymous

      I’m Jewish, somewhat observant, and I observe
      Ron Paul being swept into office because he is the
      only one who is anti-nobody and Pro America’s founding principles.
      I don’t care who’s God the founder’s worshiped. They believed in G-d’s existence and his will for us. Leave the Powers that were, to do whatever they can, because anybody’s principles defended within the confines of their soul is in no danger from perceived outsiders. Bring our soldiers home, protect our borders, invite non-patrioted aliens to leave and our way of life of freedom and liberty for all will return. RJC,KKK,NBC,MTV NOT WITHSTANDING!

    • Anonymous

      This is very good news indeed. All we have to do is to PUBLICIZE the Republican Jewish Coalition decision to bar Dr. Ron Paul. That way would remove any doubt about their stand on free political debate. Barring the messenger actually help propagate his message.

    • Anonymous

      “rejects his misguided and extreme views” — As Goldwater said, extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. http://www.newsandopinions.net

    • zeestan

      I for one am sick and tired of 1% of the poulation owning congress,the media. havebeen caught spying on us.Commited an act of war against us (the u.s.s liberty) while they continue to kill and steal not to mention walking us into ww3.

    • TimOsman

      “When you’re getting flack it means you must be over the target”

    • Anonymous

      Israel is starting to remind of panhandlers.

    • Anonymous

      Article should read, Zionist coalition. The money traders and nothing more, have shoved your heads up your ass. Get the drift? RON PUAL 2012.

    • Anonymous

      Look Again: A balanced consideration would be that humanity (demon infested) became debt slaves in order to keep them under control (neutralized). Just imagine the world without such controls (social structure). The Lord taketh the wise at their own craftiness (he causes them to defeat themselves).

    • Anonymous

      Brooks gave a more detailed critique of Ron Paul back in May:

      “As Americans who are committed to a strong and vigorous foreign policy…
      ________________________________________________________

      Definition: Vigorous Foreign Policy

      Source: Zionist Dictionary.

      To have vigorous unabashed, unrelenting, unquestioning support for Israel even to the detriment of your own nation.

    • Anonymous

      Republican mainstream would accordingly be to continue killing
      millions of people around the globe and driving the white American population into tent cities. And when somebody comes
      along and says “stop this nonsense” then he would be a dangerous
      extremist. Such chuzpe stupor can only emanate from Jews, who are disgsuising themselves as American Reublicans. And as for Bachmann? Her level of incompetent fulfills exactly
      all requirement to become chief boot licker. Palin as Vice President would round off the picture!

    • TimOsman

      Anti Semites – (noun) people who are hated by a certain category of Jews because they see that organized Jewish Supremacy is intricately linked to the Banksters Satanic Empire

      I’m Jewish and I love Ron Paul because he is pro-freedom.

      Rest want to be head dictator of 4th Reich until it collapses like Rome did

    • Anonymous

      What percent of the Jewish population voted for obama??

    • OUR COUNTRY IS BEING INVADED

      Entrenched liberal establishment does not like or permit any change,either for worse or for better;and as long as the sheep have their stomachs full all the time,it is doubtful that anything will change,since revolution with full stomachs never happened before.
      Anyway,I can smell victory in Tea Party movement !

      More from Pat Buchanan’s book titled “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025 ? “,and also at http://www.thelibertytrust.com

    • grasscrown

      Give me a break! These people would be as hapyy to kiss Obamas behind as they would have Palins supporters kiss theirs.

    • Anonymous

      This beast system is far more entwined and deadly than some believe. Almost all World Leaders who opposed them were murdered.

      They lack only four nations before they own the world. That is how powerful they are.

    • Anonymous

      WOW what are you people afraid of, the truth he will tell. What a bunch of chicken sht people..TRUTH will prevail.. It always does and 20 years ago no one was looking at Ron Paul, now millions are… Its only a matter of time..b4 your ship will sink….

    • Anonymous

      They are angry because he wants to destroy their counterfeit printing press…which they have used to destroy our freedom…that is too “extreme” for them.

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