Jewish Democrats slammed Republicans for planning a tribute to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) at the GOP national convention.
Paul, a libertarian who sought the GOP presidential nomination this year, has repeatedly condemned Israel for taking actions of self-defense, has opposed foreign aid to the Jewish state and has denied that Iran is building nuclear weapons.
In the 1980s and 1990s, he also published financial advice newsletters that were abound with racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic tropes, although he now blames past associates for the offensive material.
"It is extremely disturbing for so many Americans -- especially American Jews -- to see that the Republican Party will be honoring anti-Israel Representative Ron Paul at its convention next week, but it is not the least bit surprising,” David Harris, the president and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council, said in a statement.
“Throughout the campaign, every alarm bell possible has sounded signaling that Paul is a legitimate factor within the GOP -- whether it was his 'strategic partnership' with Mitt Romney, his delegates winning multiple state party conventions, his former spokesman receiving a senior position at the RNC, or the legions of followers who turned out [to] cheer him on during debates. As these alarms were sounding, Jewish Republicans and other pro-Israel Republicans utterly failed to counter Paul's influence. Now they will be sitting respectfully -- or perhaps even applauding -- while their Party honors one of the greatest opponents of the U.S.-Israel relationship on Capitol Hill.”
The convention is expected to play a short film in tribute to Paul on Tuesday, the Romney campaign said Friday and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who shares many of his father's libertarian and isolationist beliefs, is also scheduled to speak at the convention.
"Paying tribute to this man who disparaged the U.S.-Israel relationship on Iranian television and empathized with Iran's nuclear weapons program -- on top of the history of his hate-filled newsletters -- is a national disgrace," said Harris. "Romney and the RNC should cancel the tribute and end this dangerous strategic partnership once and for all."