GOP presidential contender Ron Paul has come out swinging against a report that he is "absolutely" anti-Israel, claiming instead that of all the candidates, he is the "most pro-Israel."The official denial came in a statement by campaign spokesman Gary Howard emailed Wednesday to the media following a blitzkreig of media reports quoting a former aide who said Paul's "view is that Israel is more trouble than it is worth, specifically to the American taxpayer."
"Dr. Paul is the most pro-Israel candidate in this race," Howard wrote. "He is the only leader who will stop sending tens of billions of dollars in aid and arms to her Arab enemies, cut off subsidies to companies who do business with Iran, and allow Israel to defend herself as she sees fit, without the permission and interference of the U.S. or the United Nations.
That statement is, however, is in stark contrast to the tale told by his former aide, Eric Dondero, who spent more than 12 years with the candidate in various capacities -- including as a campaign manager and as a senior aide to the Texas Congressman.Dondero insisted Paul is not a racist and "has no problem with American Jews" -- but wrote bluntly that Ron Paul "wishes the Israeli state did not exist at all... He sides with the Palestinians, and supports their calls for the abolishment of the Jewish state, and the return of Israel, all of it, to the Arabs."
Earlier this month, the Republican Jewish Coalition chose not to include him in its December 7 candidates' forum due to the "extreme views" he expressed in a November debate.At that time, Paul argued for an isolationist foreign policy in general, and specifically regarding Israel. "They can take care of themselves," he said at that time. "Why do we have this automatic commitment that we're going to send our kids and send our money endlessly to Israel?"
Israel has never asked the United States to send military forces to the region on its behalf. Moreover, the vast majority of its foreign aid is provided as funds for purchases of American-manufactured military equipment, thus providing an infusion to the U.S. economy through jobs, joint technology research projects and cash via sales.