by Ron Paul
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Ron Paul: U.S. Should Remain Neutral in Israel-Gaza Conflict
JIHAN HAFIZ, PRESS TV CORRESPONDENT: As the death toll mounts in Gaza and as global outrage continues to dominate massive protests around the world, the leaders of the United States Congress and the Bush administration continue to back Israel’s war on the besieged Gaza Strip.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I understand Israel’s desire to protect itself.
HAFIZ: But one voice on Capitol Hill has broken from the status quo. Republican Congressman Ron Paul recently called the onslaught in Gaza an atrocious massacre.
REP. RON PAUL, (R), TEXAS: It’s our money and our weapons. But I think we encouraged it. Certainly, the president has said nothing to diminish it. As a matter of fact, he justifies it on moral grounds, saying, oh, they have a right to do this, without ever mentioning the tragedy of Gaza. You know, the real problems that are there. To me, I look at it like a concentration camp. And people are making homemade bombs, like they’re the aggressors?
HAFIZ: Dr. Paul noted, despite silence from the Obama camp, the U.S. is heavily involved in the ongoing assault on the 1.5 million Palestinians trapped in Gaza.
PAUL: I think if we weren’t in the Middle East there would be a much greater motivation for Israel to deal with all the people and maybe the Arab League. Maybe they would be talking to the Arab League every single day to work out problems. But they don’t do that. They don’t have the motivation because they know we’ll back them up. No matter what happens over there, Israel knows and our government knows, Republican or Democrat, that we’ll do whatever is necessary to bail out Israel.
HAFIZ: Congressman Paul also said the best solution for the United States would be to end its special relationship with Israel because, so far, Israel’s influence in U.S. foreign policy has only pushed the United States further in debt and increased anti-American sentiments around the world.
PAUL: Of course, I want a cease-fire before they start. I want to change the policy, which would prevent these problems. Of course, a cease-fire. They both ought to quit. But neither side right now are really ready to talk and deal with the major problems. So being on the side and just saying, well, my position is I’m calling for a cease-fire, that means you’re involved in directing people on what to do. You know, if Israel has a problem, they have to deal with it. I don’t think it should be any of our business. It’s just that it’s our business and we will be blamed because we support Israel blindly, so. And we give them the money and we give them the weapons. That should be the contention that we approach here and Congress should know about it and the American people should know about.
And then, if I personally favor one side or the other side, it’s really pretty academic because, politically, I don’t want to be involved. I want to say, well, you know, I think the Palestinians have been ripped off and, therefore, all the blame is on Israel, I’ve sort of stepped in a little bit more than I want to. I can have a personal opinion but, politically, my position is that America would be much better off if we just minded our own business.
And, of course, I always tie this into the financial calamity that our foreign policy creates. We’re spending way too much money and that helped bring about this economic crisis.
Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.