Republican presidential contender Ron Paul says it’s “their business” if Israel attacks Iran, “but they should suffer the consequences.”
His comments in a debate with other GOP presidential hopefuls set him apart from the crowd and are in line with his view that American foreign aid should be cut back to “square one” without making Israel an exception to a total policy review.
"I think they're quite capable of taking care of themselves," the Texas Congressman said, noting that Israel has nuclear missiles. "Why does Israel need our help? We need to get out of their way," he added.
Paul’s relative isolationist stand may find favor with voters and boost his standing, which right now is towards the bottom of the pile. While virtually every other candidate has tried to outdo the other by stating support for Israel and making the standard pledge to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Paul has consistently called for less foreign intervention.
He pointed to Egypt as an example of unnecessary and wasteful interference in local affairs, arguing that the billions of dollars of aid to Cairo have not discouraged blatant anti-American views.
During the debate, Newt Gingrich, who has bolted to the top of the polls, was unenthusiastic about an attack on Iran, primarily because of doubts whether bombs could penetrate nuclear plants buried underground in mountainous regions. However, he said he would back an attack if it would topple the regime.
Herman Cain was less reserved and said he would support Israel if it attacked and "if the mission and the plan were clear."