[Update 12/21] Ron Paul poses with neo-Nazi leader Don Black. Photo via Ace of Spades.
Ron Paul has a Jewish problem.
Typical of his view, at an event on September 11 of this year at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies, Paul argued for withdrawing from the Middle East, telling his audience that “Israel is quite capable of taking care of itself” — though interestingly adding that US policy has “hurt Israel tremendously.” Paul also downplayed the threat Iran poses to Israel, saying that even if Iran does develop nuclear arms, that it would not be a serious danger to Israel, which, he added, possesses roughly 300 nuclear weapons of its own.
Paul’s position towards Israel is not innately anti-Jewish, nor is it necessarily even anti-Israel — particularly with such a caveat about America impeding Israel’s interests. Such a statement lends weight, for example, to Zionist extremists who wish to terminate Israel’s Herodian dependence on the US, such as the members of Zionists for Ron Paul, a group run by American expatriates now living as religious settlers in the West Bank.
Nor is it a particularly uncommon position, especially within paleoconservative circles. Pat Buchanan led the charge in March of 2003, writing in The American Conservative that neoconservatives participating in and advising the Bush administration were steering the United States into wars that were not in America’s interests, but rather Israel’s.
Now fed up with the neocon’s wars abroad and the diminishing of civil liberties at home, many conservatives are rallying behind Paul, whom they view as the only Republican candidate who isn’t in the pocket of the Israel lobby. They have helped him become an Internet sensation — the Republican Howard Dean, if you will — who in the last quarter raised over $5 million, outpacing more mainstream candidates like John McCain.
Even with his hardline
protectionist isolationist stance, Paul has managed to garner the support of Jewish Republicans and Libertarians alike, some of whom have banded together to form an ad hoc coalition called Jews for Ron Paul, which condemned the RJC’s decision to bar the Congressman from their Candidate’s Forum. [Update 12/18] Jews for Ron Paul has since been exposed as a fraud.
Yet, much to his Jewish supporters’ chagrin, Congressman Paul’s willingness to stand up to the neocons has also had the effect of making Paul a popular candidate among those from whom Presidential candidates would typically not desire support: Bona fide antisemites.
Indeed, Ron Paul has become the most popular candidate among right-wing extremists, including white separatists, neo-Nazis, and conspiracy theorists who believe that “the Zionists” were behind 9/11. This group includes Frank Weltner, creator of the antisemitic website JewWatch.com, who in a YouTube video, accuses the “Zionist-controlled media” of attacking Paul’s candidacy. Paul has also received favorable coverage from the Vanguard News Network, a White Nationalist news organ, members of Stormfront, an online neo-Nazi community, as well as the National Alliance, the “mainstream” White Nationalist group featured prominently in Marc Levin’s 2005 film Protocols of Zion. [Update 12/18] Read the comments on this entry for more examples of anti-Jewish hate by Paul’s supporters, as well as this lengthy round-up at The American Thinker.
Of course, Congressman Paul cannot be held accountable for the views of his extremist supporters, unless he publicly acquiesces to those views. Yet, when his extremist supporters begin providing a substantial amount of campaign funds, things get a bit dicier. And that’s Paul’s biggest problem.
According to the Lone Star Times, White Nationalists have become a noticeable source of financial contributions to the Paul campaign. Indeed, even Don Black, the founder of Stormfront, and one of the most notorious neo-Nazis in America, has personally contributed $500 to Paul’s campaign.
Though it’s true that Paul’s campaign has no control over who sends them money in advance, once it becomes apparent that a neo-Nazi leader is sending money, any sensible politician who does not wish to be identified with neo-Nazism should send the money back. Not so for Ron Paul, however, whose campaign is still making up its mind as to whether or not to return Black’s money.
Paul’s spokesman Jesse Benton told the Lone Star Times:
At this time, I cannot say that we will be rejecting Mr. Black’s contribution, but I will bring the matter to the attention of our campaign director again, and expect some sort of decision to be made in coming days.
Frankly, this is a no-brainer. Any other candidate would unequivocally reject that money as soon as its donor’s identity was known. That Paul’s campaign needs time to think about it is shocking.
Also of concern is the fact that Paul’s campaign has ignored my repeated attempts to interview the Congressman for JTA, the Jewish newswire service by which I am employed. I had intended to write a story about the Congressman, and to provide him with the opportunity to distance himself from his extremist supporters, to clarify his position on Israel, and to state his case to the Jewish community. Yet, after three weeks of repeated telephone calls, two chats with his Deputy Communications Director, and several left voicemail messages, I have yet to receive a callback to schedule an interview.
Which leads me to conclude the following about the Congressman from Texas: Ron Paul will take money from Nazis. But he won’t take telephone calls from Jews.
This should be a cause of great concern to those of us in the antifascist community, whereas, for me, it elicits echoes of Europe’s re-embracement of right-wing extremism, the attendant resurrection of ethnic nationalism, and the growing success of far-right parties, many of which have taken over large swaths of European parliaments.
They say such things could never happen in America, but guess what…Here it is.
The sad part is that, as a radical libertarian, I somewhat favored Paul as a candidate, though as a libertarian socialist, he is not my ideal choice. Now, I want him out of the running, and frankly, out of the Capitol. Those who pander to White Nationalists and neo-Nazis have no place serving in the United States government, which exists to serve the most ethnically and culturally diverse nation on Earth, which counts among its citizens Jews and Zionists alike.
[Update 11/1] Just to put a stop to this idiocy before the comments are flooded with it: I absolutely believe in the right to every American citizen, no matter what their beliefs, to political representation. However, no citizen has the right to deprive others of their rights due to their ethnic, cultural, or political identity.
White Nationalists seek to use the democratic process to alleviate Jews and other ethnic and political minorities of their civil and democratic rights. The democratic process is, in fact, the process by which the Nazi Party came into power in Germany. The Nuremberg Laws soon followed.
Therefore, while White Nationalists are certainly entitled to believe whatever they wish, and to vote for whomever they choose, it is my responsibility to insure the rights of myself and my fellow citizens, by insuring that the preferred candidate of those who seek to deprive us of our rights fails miserably on Election Day.
I’d also like to add that I made no criticism of Paul’s position towards reducing aid to Israel, because I share his position. So the accusation that I am attacking Paul on that basis is without merit.
Furthermore, this has nothing to do with me feeling snubbed. As I made explicitly clear to his Communications Director and Deputy Communications Director, JTA’s news is syndicated to over 100 Jewish newspapers nationally and is read daily by the tens of thousands of American Jews, including the leadership of every major Jewish organization in America. I was trying to do Paul a favor by giving him an opportunity to reach the Jewish community. He clearly wasn’t interested.
[Update 11/13] After this blog entry began getting attention, Ron Paul’s campaign finally got in touch with JTA, and we now have the story up on our site, albeit written by another staff member.
[Update 12/18] Since the writing of this entry, Ron Paul has gone on PBS’s program NOW and denounced his neo-Nazi supporters’ racism, saying that he would prefer not to have their support. Nonetheless, Paul will still happily take their money, which he claims he will put to better use than they. The problem: Paul’s idea of “better use” means promoting economic policies that, by their very nature, discriminate against people of color, who tend to fall on the lower end of the economic spectrum. Watch the entire PBS special for more information.
[Update 12/21] Paul appeared on Neil Cavuto’s program on Fox News earlier this week and adamantly refused to return Don Black’s money, arguing that taking money from Nazis is less evil than the actions of the federal government.
To learn why I continue to believe that Paul is capitalizing on anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiment in order to bolster his campaign, view my blog entry here.
[Update 12/26] American Nazi Party chief Bill White tells VNN readers that Ron Paul is one of them.