WASHINGTON, DC- Texas Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) has spent a significant portion of his career in the House of Representatives working against the U.S.-Israel relationship and supporting positions that are out of step with the vast majority of American Jews. Today, Paul announced his candidacy for the 2012 presidential election. National Jewish Democratic Council President and CEO David A. Harris said in response:
“The National Jewish Democratic Council is deeply troubled by Representative Ron Paul’s candidacy for president in 2012. Paul has never missed an opportunity to vote against the U.S.-Israel relationship and has consistently grandstanded against U.S. financial and diplomatic support for Israel. American Jews should be deeply alarmed that someone with such a deliberately miserable record on Israel would be a major candidate in today’s Republican Party.”
Paul’s record on Israel is atrocious. So much so that even the Republican Jewish Coalition preemptively expressed concern about Paul’s candidacy the day before he declared. [RJC Press Release, May 12, 2011]
Most recently, Paul advanced an amendment that would have specifically cut funding to Israel out of the 2012 budget [Politico, February 16, 2011] and advocated for the United States to abandon support for Israel at the negotiating table with the Palestinians. [NewsRealBlog, February 28, 2011] Paul has also “likened Israel’s defensive blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza to ‘a concentration camp’” and voted against sanctioning Iran for its nuclear weapons program. [RJC Press Release, May 12, 2011]
Paul has ever-increasing grassroots support and he consistently places well in conservative straw polls, including his first place finish in both the 2011 and 2010 CPAC straw polls. Further, he has accumulated significant amounts of money to finance his campaign in addition to his energized supporters.
There is no doubt that Paul will be a force to be dealt with during the Republican primary season. With each success that he has, the questions that already exist about the GOP’s ability to represent American Jews will become much more serious.