Israel Was A Reason Rand Succeeded, and Ron Didn’t
March 10, 2013 4 Comments
“I am a supporter of Israel”.
“I want to be known as a friend of Israel”.
While Rand Paul advocates cutting all foreign aid, including to Israel, he makes sure to express his support for the country. He also continues to insist that cutting aid to fiercely anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, and decidedly anti-liberal groups like the Muslim Brotherhood should be America’s first priority.
I doubt there is much here his father would disagree with. But Ron Paul never could shed the perception that he is hostile to Israel. Perhaps that’s because he is. He unwisely called Gaza a “concentration camp”, after all. Yes, this is the so-called ‘siege’ of Gaza, where there hasn’t been a single recorded incident of death by starvation since it began.
Ron Paul struggled to reassure people that even though he didn’t want America to guarantee Israel’s security, he had no particular gripe against the little state. Ron Paul failed to offer simple little words of support that Americans could believe. Perhaps this was out of some sense of libertarian purity. Perhaps it is something else.
My position is that that anybody who wants civilization to triumph over barbarism should support Israel, whether you are on the right, the left, the centre, or a libertarian. I don’t care about little differences in opinion and where you would like the final borders to be. As long as you want Israel to survive and thrive, you’re one of the good guys.
Interestingly, according to Scott Rasmussen, despite its record of interventionism, there are only four countries that the clear majority of Americans (60% plus) feel obliged to defend: Canada, Britain, Australia, and Israel. Essentially, that’s the Anglosphere + Israel. It shows how deep-rooted American identification with Israel really is. Only 49% of Americans want to stay in NATO. As Rand Paul himself might say, I like the ring of that.
And, as Rand Paul has realised, the philosophy of non-interventionism has a deep appeal to Americans, provided it is combined with a special fondness for Israel and some place for America as a force for good in the world. America can easily offer to step in as a last resort to help Britain or Israel if they face serious existential threats. Its the right thing to do, and the odds of it actually happening are very small. Britain and Israel are prosperous, powerful nations that can easily take care of most of their problems. The same goes for Australia and Canada.
It is the height of libertarian silliness, purism to the point of suicide, to attack Rand Paul and libertarians who don’t tow the same line on Israel. A case in point is Justin Raimondo, who fiercely attacked Rand Paul for visiting Israel, supposedly “aligning himself with fundamentalist fanatics”, and allegedly sullying his father’s legacy with “untrammeled ambition.”
Well, Rand Paul is now a household name and the foremost champion of civil liberties in the Senate, while Raimondo huffs and puffs in a little padded cell of his own making.