Republican presidential candidates Ron Paul and Rudy Giuliani argued over Israel during a debate.
During the debate on Thursday night, sponsored by Fox News and held in South Carolina, Paul argued that the United States should keep out of the Israeli-Arab conflict and the Middle East in general. At one point he argued that one problem with America’s support for Israel is that it ends up robbing Jerusalem of its sovereignty.
“In many ways, we treat Israel as a stepchild. We do not give them the responsibility that they deserve. We undermine their national sovereignty. We don’t let them design their own peace,” Paul said. He added: “And I just don’t see any purpose in not treating Israel in an adult fashion. I think they would be a lot better off. I think they, one time in the ’80s, took care of a nuclear reactor in Iraq. I stood up and defended Israel for this. Nobody else did at that time.”
Giuliani quickly rejected Paul’s argument as “absurd.”
“The reality is that Israel is a close and strong ally of the United States,” Giuliani said. “America has only a few extremely reliable allies, special relationships. The defense of Israel is a – critical importance to the United States of America, and it goes much deeper than just tactical things.”