Rep. Ron Paul is being banned from a major GOP debate on Jewish issues in Washington this week, according to the NY Sun, because of his “extreme views” on Israel and the Mideast.
Paul has stood out at GOP debates by advocating liberatarian foreign policy positions that would put him, in some cases, to the left of the Democratic Party. He has called for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, Afghanistan other countries, has suggested that an Iranian nuclear bomb would not be a threat, and has questions the billions of dollars in foreign aid given to Israel.
The gathering, sponsored by the Republican Jewish Coalition, will not include Paul because of of his “misguided and extreme views,” the group’s executive director, Matt Brooks, told the Washington Jewish Week.
Writing in The New York Sun, Seth Lipsky
questioned the wisdom of banning a stalwart conservative because his views differ with the party’s mainstream.
“Whatever errors Dr. Paul may have made about bin Laden’s motives, it can’t be said that he would go easy on al Qaeda or has any sympathy with its crimes,” wrote Lipsky. “He would no doubt say — as he did at an editorial dinner of The New York Sun in 2009 — that one thing he wanted as to avoid a trillion dollar expedition when there was a simpler, constitutional approach of bringing the war to our enemy.
“That may be outside the mainstream, but the whole idea of an organization of Jewish Republicans worrying about the mainstream strikes me as a bit contradictory. Wouldn’t the debate, both within the Jewish community and without, be richer were these kinds of views at least brought up for discussion? There are today scores of Jewish leaders prepared to meet with, say, the leaders of the Palestinian Authority. What is the logic of excluding a libertarian who is, at least for the moment, polling as one of the most popular figures in the Republican Party?”
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