The terror group Hamas that is now fighting Israel is not the same as the equally bloodthirsty al-Qaida and ISIS, the latter currently storming through Iraq, former Rep. Ron Paul told Newsmax TV
"No, I don't think they are the same. They're two different countries, two different motivations, and people in Palestine are putting up with different things,'' Paul, a Texas Republican, said on "The Steve Malzberg Show."
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"Yes, they're both using violence, but that's a natural tendency when people feel oppressed. Most of the things that have happened have been very predictable,'' he said.
Paul, a onetime GOP presidential candidate and the founder of Campaign for Liberty, said Israel "absolutely" has the right to defend itself against the rocket attacks launched by Hamas.
But he added that it is a two-way street.
"Everybody has the right to defend themselves, but why isn't it ever mentioned about the plight of the Palestinians having a right to maybe defend itself against [Israeli] bulldozers coming in, knocking down houses and marching on,'' he said.
"They can't go anywhere. They can't go to Israel, nor to Egypt, and they're not allowed to have ships come in.'' He was referring to the bulldozing of Palestinian homes by the Israeli Defense Forces in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.
Paul is also critical of ongoing U.S. military operations in the Middle East.
"The idea that we go 6,000 miles around the world or more and get involved, I mean right now everybody's arguing 'well, we need to do something, but no more boots on the ground,''' Paul said.
"Everybody knows if you don't have boots on the ground, you don't have success. We put boots on the ground and didn't succeed.''
Paul said a Middle East alliance should have been formed long ago in a bid to finally wipe out Islamic terror groups — without the participation of the United States.
"Saudi Arabia and maybe Israel could've formed a pact, and some others getting together, but there was no reason for us to commit ourselves to such sacrifice and the killing of Americans,'' Paul said.
He criticized Europe for not making enough of a commitment in the fight for world peace, particularly in Ukraine.
"Europeans are pretty relaxed. Don't you think they should be doing a lot more if there is indeed a real threat in Ukraine?'' he said.
"It should be the Europeans, but I see the Europeans are really rebelling right now about sanctions.''
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