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On January 9, Ron Paul addressed Congress to voice his opposition to a House resolution expressing strong support for Israel in its invasion of Gaza, and branding Hamas as a terrorist organization. Ron Paul called for American neutrality in conflicts that have nothing to do with the United States.
Statement of Congressman Ron Paul
United States House of Representatives
Statement on H Res 34, “Recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, Reaffirming the United States strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process”
January 9, 2008
Madame Speaker, I strongly oppose H. Res. 34, which was rushed to the floor with almost no prior notice and without consideration by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The resolution clearly takes one side in a conflict that has nothing to do with the United States or US interests. I am concerned that the weapons currently being used by Israel against the Palestinians in Gaza are made in America and paid for by American taxpayers. What will adopting this resolution do to the perception of the United States in the Muslim and Arab world? What kind of blowback might we see from this? What moral responsibility do we have for the violence in Israel and Gaza after having provided so much military support to one side?
As an opponent of all violence, I am appalled by the practice of lobbing homemade rockets into Israel from Gaza. I am only grateful that, because of the primitive nature of these weapons, there have been so few casualties among innocent Israelis. But I am also appalled by the longstanding Israeli blockade of Gaza — a cruel act of war — and the tremendous loss of life that has resulted from the latest Israeli attack that started last month.
There are now an estimated 700 dead Palestinians, most of whom are civilians. Many innocent children are among the dead. While the shooting of rockets into Israel is inexcusable, the violent actions of some people in Gaza does not justify killing Palestinians on this scale. Such collective punishment is immoral. At the very least, the US Congress should not be loudly proclaiming its support for the Israeli government’s actions in Gaza.
Madame Speaker, this resolution will do nothing to reduce the fighting and bloodshed in the Middle East. The resolution in fact will lead the US to become further involved in this conflict, promising “vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.” Is it really in the interest of the United States to guarantee the survival of any foreign country? I believe it would be better to focus on the security and survival of the United States, the Constitution of which my colleagues and I swore to defend just this week at the beginning of the 111th Congress. I urge my colleagues to reject this resolution.
Later, Ron Paul was interviewed by Press TV about the ongoing tragedy in Gaza:
Congressman Ron Paul condemns the violence in the Gaza Strip, saying the “collective punishment” against Palestinians is immoral.
“Many innocent children are among the dead. While the shooting of rockets into Israel is inexcusable, the violent actions of some people in Gaza does not justify killing Palestinians on this scale,” said the outspoken Republican. More…
Ron Paul was also interviewed by Russia Today on the same subject. He expressed his belief that Israel’s critics and enemies will see the United States as the side to be blamed for the ongoing violence in the Gaza Strip, and called for the US to review its unconditional support of the Jewish state.
Interviewer: [...]“Why do you think that so many US officials, Congress, Senate, show overwhelming support to involving the US over there?”
Ron Paul: [...] “It’s been going on for more than 50 years, because there has been a pretty strong case made for the Jewish people being treated quite badly, and emotionally there was an argument for having a place they can call their homeland, and people bought into this. But even then there was no justification for us to be using our money for doing that.
There’s one thing being friends, getting along with people and trading with people versus subsidizing them. So it’s been going on a long time, and even from the origination of the state of Israel, the American people generally have supported all of this, and it’s what they’ve read about and heard about and the way they’ve been taught, yet today there’s a growing number of Americans who are questioning it.
They don’t have anything against Jewish people, they don’t have anything against Israel per se, but there’s a lot of questioning whether or not it should be our money and our weapons, and a blank check, so to speak.
So if Israel would get into trouble, there’s not very many people in this country that don’t assume that we would come to their rescue.”