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Which Republican Would Be Best for Israel?

Republican contenders for the 2012 presidential election.

In a November 12th interview with The Algemeiner, ADL National Chairman Abraham Foxman declared that when it comes to positions on Israel, “with the exception of Ron Paul, there is not much difference between the parties.” I cannot imagine how he arrived at this conclusion, as in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

It is correct, that in the United States, due to overwhelming popularity among the general populace, Israel as a political issue stands alone. Candidates take sides on every issue, from abortion to gay rights, to the size of government and deficit reduction. However when it comes to Israel, a mainstream American politician that openly champions an anti-Israel stance, more than likely renders himself unelectable.

In order to bypass this inconvenience, many politicians with divergent views on sticky Israeli issues have attempted to redefine what it means to be pro-Israel by formulating their own definitions on what is in Israel’s best interests. If Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wanted to run for Congress, he would first proclaim his great love for the Jewish State and then go on to explain that in his well-considered opinion it is in Israel’s best interest to be nuked.

This is precisely the collective point of Republican divergence from Obama Administration positions on Israel. Every single candidate, including Ron Paul (with the exception of his opinion on aid) would look to Israeli government positions as the guide to its interests and for use as a barometer by which to gauge support.

While this is the case, for the sake of clarity and definitive evaluation, I set out to rank the Republican candidates purely in order of ‘how good they would be for Israel.’ Some of their positions on various intricacies have yet to be clarified, and not all relevant information was available to me at the time of publication. As the primary process progresses I suspect that this list will need to be tweaked, but for now, here is my assessment from worst to best:

8. Ron Paul
Paul’s positions on Israel have been almost uniformly derided. Whilst claiming to be non-interventionist on the issue, he has routinely adopted Arab talking points on Israel, even comparing Gaza to ‘a concentration camp.’ His Isolationist mantra may appeal to fiscal conservatives, but in the real world its implementation would create a global power vacuum that would likely be filled by supporters of Israel’s enemies.

7. Jon Huntsman
Although highly critical of Obama administration policies toward Israel, in a recent National Review article, he explained the unilateral Palestinian bid for statehood, saying that “when Israel lost confidence in its ally (the United States), their position understandably hardened. This led to the Palestinian Authority also losing hope in the peace process.” While sympathetic, Huntsman blames PA actions on Israeli positions, representing a fundamental misunderstanding of Israel’s predicament.

6. Herman Cain
At a recent New York fundraiser I heard Herman Cain firmly proclaim “if you’re messing with Israel you’re messing with the U.S.A.” While his sentiments seem to be in the right place, his lack of experience and knowledge of the intricacies may mean that he will leave major decisions in the hands of others, which could prove more risky for Israel. This unfamiliarity was demonstrated when he was recently asked by Fox News host Chris Wallace about the Palestinian Arab ‘right of return’ claim, where he responded “Yes, they should have a right to come back if that is a decision that Israel wants to make.”

5. Rick Perry
At a press conference in New York and earlier Jerusalem Post column, Perry outlined his positions on Israel. He strongly opposed the Obama induced settlement freeze, and called on Palestinian Arab leaders to “publicly affirm Israel’s right to exist, and to exist as a Jewish state.” Like Romney, Perry favors ‘Negotiated Settlement,’ and in the absence of Arab compliance, would refrain from placing the onus of the blame on Israel.

4. Mitt Romney
Famously accusing President Obama of “throwing Israel under the bus,” in his book ‘No Apology’ Romney shows sympathy for and understanding of Israel’s challenges. While still favoring and pledging to support a negotiated two state settlement, based on a position paper posted on his website and his comments in a recent National Review Online article, he would allow Israel to take the lead on security issues and he would fight against unilateral Arab actions and anti-Semitic attacks on the State. At Tuesday’s televised foreign policy debate Romney was the first candidate to pledge that his first foreign trip as president would be to Israel. His policies would likely be most similar to those of George W. Bush.

3. Newt Gingrich
“No country can be expected to conduct peace negotiations with a terrorist organization, or with a Palestinian Governmental Authority that joins forces with such a terrorist organization,” declared Gingrich at a Republican Jewish Coalition event. Like many of the other candidates, he supports the status of Jerusalem as the “undivided capital of the Jewish state.” Widely viewed as the smartest candidate, his views translate into nuanced and comprehensive pro-Israel policy.

2. Michelle Bachmann
A video posted on Bachmann’s website demonstrates a notable understanding on Middle East issues. Her first trip to the Holy Land was in 1974, when, at age 17 she joined a group of Minnesota teens to spend a summer in Israel. At a recent dinner for the Zionist Organization of America she said “if I am President, not one inch of Israel will ever be on the chopping block,” uniquely expressing the view that any territorial concessions are dangerous for Israel.

1. Rick Santorum
In a recent off the cuff campaign trail interview, Santorum broke ranks when he schooled a reporter on Israeli history. Regarding development in the territories of Judea and Samaria, he said, “the bottom line is that that is legitimately Israeli country. And they have a right to do within their country just like we have a right to do within our country.” He also denied the existence of ‘Palestinians’ as a distinct people, thus dismissing calls for the establishment of another hostile Arab state on Israel’s border. He did not clarify what the legal status of West Bank Arabs should be.

The Author is the director of the Algemeiner Journal and the GJCF and can be e-mailed at Please visit for more information.


  • 2. But what are their chances? wrote:

    As of now, it seems that Newt Gingrich is the most comprehensive on Irael and on domestic issues, and most likely to be the candidate. Santorum may be good for Israel, but he’s not really that popular. As for Michelle Bachmann, she sounds wonderful on taped video, as did Sarah Palin, but when she’s interviewed or in a debate, she pretty much comes off as not very intelligent.

    These may be good points, but the bottom line is who has the best chances…

  • 3. shlomo as always with bad English wrote:

    why wait from goim help to israel. this country it simple mrida baHASH-M . nobody good for israel, only Mashiach

  • 4. Mendy Hecht wrote:

    As a staunch and vocal Ron Paul supporter, I find this article misleading, not to mention subtly bashing of Congressman Paul by curiously placing him at the bottom of the list.

    As a Republican myself, I used to toe the standard party line that Ron Paul is some kind of fringe meshugginer.

    Until I bothered to listen to him.

    When I did, as a still-growing wave of people, I discovered a politician who speaks plain English and who poshut makes sense on issue after issue after issue.

    The man speaks common sense.

    And he’ll grow on you, the same way he grew on me. You just have to listen a bit and you’ll realize, as I did, “Hey, wait a minute! I agree with that!”


    Romney? Slick-talking flip-flopper.
    Cain? Flash in the pan. Here today, gone tomorrow.
    Gingrich? Career corrupt politician.
    Perry? Former Democrat whose debate performances have doomed his campaign.
    Huntsman/Bachmann/Santorum? Too little support. And some very extreme views.

    That leaves us with only one remaining candidate–only one person who has been a consistent common-sense conservative his entire career (not to mention a career OB/GYN who delivered several thousand babies and a grandfather of 18, so family values right there): Dr. Ron Paul.

    The fact is, this economy needs a budget-cutter more than ever now–and that’s Ron Paul.

    As for his concentration camp comment, I highly doubt that’s true simply because I highly doubt he’d say something so stupid. Dr. Ron Paul is not an idiot. He’s a religious right-wing conservative who knows good and well that the Holy Land belongs to the Jews, and has said so on more than one occasion.

    As for his isolationism, two things: 1. We don’t need to solve all the problems of the world, as Dr. Paul says. He’s right! Think about it. 2. Where and when there is a problem that presents a moral imperative to solve, and America’s leadership, Dr. Paul has made it clear–even in the debates–that he would NOT apply an isolationist policy. If people were dying and the U.S. could save them, he would send in our military. He’s made that clear. So as to general isolationism, it’s the right idea at the right time. The U.S. is in deep debt and we can’t afford running all over the world giving out billions to people and countries who don’t really like us anyway.

    Now, the real issue: Israel. Is a Ron Paul presidency bad for the Jewish State? No!

    Firstly, Israel gets extremely little money from the U.S. today anyway. One article I read said it was only .5 percent of Israel’s budget. So is losing that such a terrible thing? No.

    Secondly, Israel will always have the moral and spiritual backing of the silent conservative majority that is the mainstream of the American people, regardless of who’s in the White House–and regardless of whether or not there is financial backing (which, again, doesn’t amount to much anyway).

    Thirdly, and this is key, one of the reasons Israel doesn’t go into Gaza and/or the West Bank and give her enemies a beating that leaves them in a figurative coma as she should is because Israel is afraid of offending what they perceive as Corporate Sponsor #1: Uncle Sam. What Israelis, politicians and ordinary citizens alike, have utterly failed to comprehend for decades now is that America–real Americans, not leftwing loudmouths or our media–wants Israel to make war, not peace, with her enemies, and to crush them once and for all. So, because of this misperception, Israel has been trying to make peace with the “Palestinians” because she thinks that that is what America wants. So: Take away the corporate sponsorship of Uncle Sam, and Israel will finally feel free to do what it’s always been afraid to do: smash terrorism into the ground for good.

    In that sense, cutting off American financial support for Israel will untie Israel’s hands and set her free to deal a death blow to her enemies once and for all, and for that reason alone, every Jew who cares about Israel–not to mention the fiscal and moral health of this country–should be supporting Ron Paul.

  • 5. RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT!!! wrote:

    Mendy Hecht for Ron Paul’s Sec. of State!

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Mendy!

  • 6. goooood wrote:

    all clowns and will be wiped out by Obama, whom BTW has done nothing but support isral his entire tenure, all the negativity is heresy and misquotes

  • 7. To #4 wrote:

    Very interesting points. Ron Paul won’t win, but I definitely agree Israel should act more freely, knowing that the conservatives/50 million evangelicals, are always on their side

  • 8. Andrea Schonberger wrote:

    Shouldn’t the question be which Republican would be best for the United States? After all they are seeking to be president of the United States not Israel.

  • 9. RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT!!! wrote:

    FINALLY! A Jewish author who understands why RON PAUL is the only real option we have!

    RON PAUL is the ONLY one who would give Israel a completely free-hand to (once and for all) deal with the Arab/Persian threats!

    When RON PAUL repeats the beef that the Arabs have with our presence and policies in the Middle East, he does so only to point out how impossible (and damaging) it is to continue wasting money on creating puppet regimes that will only pay lip-service to supporting the USA, whilst these so-called friendly regimes continue to funnel money and support to terrorists! It’s a no win situation! Cut their legs off once and for all! Stop buying their oil and let them go back to killing each other over their petty beliefs and agendas.

    RON PAUL is no fool! He knows that the US and Israeli military are working together IN ISRAEL and in space! He’s not going to ask Israel to give up their nukes and he can’t remove the US military from Israel and he won’t stand-by if US assets in Israel are threatened by Russia or anyone else. Besides, he knows we have weaponized platforms in space that make most US bases overseas virtually obsolete! The days of needing boots-on-the-ground are rapdily coming to an end.

    As for cutting off $ support to Israel, that’s the same thing Meir Kahane wanted and let’s not forget that RON PAUL would also cut off all support to the ARABS, which would include buying their oil! He’s the only one who would allow US companies to drill and undercut Arab oil. Besides, oil will virtually be a non-issue 50 years hence.

    The Secular Jewish block supported Obama and look where we are now! So, what’s the other option? Allow the X-tian Right to place another cookie-cutter Republican in office, who will only run up the National Debt to 30 Trillion and continue to pay lip-service to supporting Israel, even as he/she forces Israel to continue this idiotic “Land For Peace” (i.e., Road Map to Peace/Piece) policy, which, I believe, correct me if I’m wrong, the Rebbe himself opposed!?

    Everyone had better wake up and smell the coffee, because if Israel isn’t allowed to clean up the Middle East and secure the expanded Israeli borders before China finishes modernizing their military machine, then there will be little America can do to help Israel with Arab/Persian threats in the future, because the USA will be too busy fighting the Chinese, again!

    Slap huge import tariffs on China! Force the factories to return to the USA! Stop buying Chinese goods! Stop feeding the Red Dragon! We’re only cutting our own throat!



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