Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who is leading the polls in advance of next Tuesday’s Republican caucuses in Iowa, denies allegations that he has promoted anti-Semitism, saying that this would be “a betrayal of my own intellectual heritage.”
“Any kind of racism or anti-Semitism is incompatible with my philosophy,” Paul said in an interview with Haaretz, conducted by email. “Ludwig von Mises, the great economist whose writing helped inspire my political career, was a Jew who was forced to leave his native Austria to escape the Nazis. Mises wrote about the folly of seeing people as part of groups rather than as individuals,” Paul said.
Paul said that he has “a terrific chance of doing very well in the Iowa caucuses”, but appeared to be dismissing speculation – though not unequivocally - that he would consider running as a third party candidate. “I have no intention or interest in running as a third party candidate. My staff and I are doing our best to win the GOP nomination,” he said.
Responding to questions submitted before the most recent flap about anti-Semitic and racist content in his newsletters, Paul reiterated his controversial positions that American support for Israel was one of the reasons for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and stuck by his opposition to any and all foreign aid. But he said that he viewed Israel as “one of our most important friends in the world” and that he supports Israel right to attack Iran in self-defense.
“I do not believe we should be Israel’s master but, rather, her friend. We should not be dictating her policies and announcing her negotiating positions before talks with her neighbors have even begun.”
Paul also said that he was “surprised and disappointed” at being left out from the debate sponsored by the Republican Jewish Coalition, but that he had not asked nor expected the other candidates to insist on his inclusion.
For more, go to Haaretz.com