Rand Paul vs. the Chosen People

By | September 23, 2013 | 0 Comments

  SS St. Louis, turned back by the U.S. in
1939, sending 532 refugees back to Hitler,
of whom about half died

I think some within the Christian community are such great defenders of the Promised Land and the Chosen People that they think war is always the answer, maybe even preemptive war. And I think it’s hard to square the idea of a preemptive war and, to me, that over-eagerness [to go to] war, with Christianity.
Sen. Rand Paul

Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.
Exodus 19:5, NIV

Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations – as it is today.
Deuteronomy 10:15, NIV

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Genesis 12:1-3, NIV

Most people have holy texts, whether they admit it or not. For religious Jews and Christians, it is the Bible – in whatever version they prefer. For Leftists, it is the works of Marx and his successors. For Americans – at least many of them – it is the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. For libertarians – at least many of them – it is the works of Ayn Rand, for whom the senator was named.
If we wish to understand why many believing Christians, especially Evangelicals, have such a strong devotion to the state of Israel, we would do well to study the Bible, particularly the citations noted above. And if we wish to dig deeper, we should study the publications of Christians United for Israel and its leader, Pastor John Hagee. The organization has over one million members, yet some profess to be unaware of it.
Instead, some claim that support for Israel comes mainly from Jews. I wish that this were true. Many American Jews are liberals first and Jews second. They may view Israel with indifference, or even as an embarrassment. On the contrary, the strongest supporters of Israel are often Evangelical Christians.
Of course, this does not stop opponents of Israel from blaming it for whatever goes wrong in the Middle East – or the world. Former Nixon speechwriter Pat Buchanan is called a paleo-conservative – that is, not a neo-conservative. But what is a neo-conservative? Someone, preferably with a Jewish name, who used to be a leftist but now talks like a conservative. But paleo-conservatives claim to have always been staunchly anti-communist.
Oh wait, I almost forgot. Buchanan just praised the New York Times, that bastion of leftism, for publishing the opinion piece by Vladimir Putin. Buchanan went even further, praising Putin’s article as an “outstanding piece” and “statesmanlike.” It is one thing to be reluctant to go to war over Syrian chemical weapons. I feel that way myself. But it is quite another to praise as “statesmanlike” a propaganda piece by a former KGB lieutenant colonel, which is what Putin was – and probably still is in his heart.
Is Buchanan a true paleo-conservative? His antipathy toward Israel overcame his antipathy toward communism. An obnoxious strongman like Putin supports and arms a hateful dictator like Assad, and Buchanan stands on the sidelines and cheers. Why? What do the so-called conservative Buchanan, the former communist operative Putin, and the Muslim dictator Assad share? Dislike for Israel in particular, and for Jews in general.
Recall that Buchanan went so far as to claim that it was a myth that Nazis murdered Jews in killing vans, in which the diesel exhaust was piped back into the van. He claimed that diesel exhaust cannot be lethal. Of course, he would never spend a day in a closed garage with an elderly diesel engine running. His statement was…well, theoretical.
But what has all this to do with Rand Paul and his advice to Christians? (1) Consider the source. (2) What is the dominant principle?
Buchanan has a long history of poorly camouflaged anti-Semitism, so his recent remarks blaming the agitation against Syria on the “Jewish lobby” come as no surprise. What might be surprising was his adulation of Putin, a former communist secret-police officer. But if we assume that his anti-Semitism trumps his anti-communism, it isn’t surprising at all.
Applying this analysis to Rand Paul, we recall the anti-Semitic and racist rants in his father’s newsletter, which Ron Paul later disavowed. That’s the source. And the dominant principle? No one would go so far as to claim that Rand Paul is an anti-Semite. Nevertheless, it does seem that his antipathy for foreign involvements is particularly strong when Israel is involved – or even might be involved.
Why does Israel even exist? It’s because of isolationists like Rand Paul. Britain, France, and the United States could have stopped Hitler easily, when he was still weak. Instead, it cost at least 40 million dead before he was stopped. Nations including the United States could have taken in the Jewish refugees, when Hitler was still willing to let them go “for all I care, on luxury liners.” But the nations took a pitiful few.
To put it plainly, if people like Rand Paul hadn’t been in charge early, we would have stopped Hitler, and there would have been no war and no refugees in the first place. And if people like Rand Paul hadn’t been in charge later, the refugees would have settled in the United States and many other nations, and there would have been neither the numbers of people nor the impetus of the Holocaust to reestablish Israel in 1948.
It ill behooves isolationists like Rand Paul to attempt to put the blame for the Syria crisis on Israel, or to lecture Evangelical Christians on what to believe or how to act regarding Israel. If it wasn’t for isolationists like them, Israel wouldn’t exist. Then they would have to find another scapegoat for the world’s troubles.
If libertarianism means pressing for a smaller government that lets people live their own lives, then I’m a libertarian. But if it means turning our backs on our responsibilities overseas, then I’m not. I believe in “…nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor’s life is at stake.” You may wish that we had not befriended Israel since its restoration in 1948. But we did. If we abandon a friend after 65 years, inevitably our other friends will be disheartened, and our enemies will be emboldened. Is that what we want?
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.” That would give me pause. If it’s Rand Paul vs. the Chosen People, I’ll bet heavily on the Chosen People. As any sports fan will tell you, look at the record.
Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.

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