Earlier in the week, a former aide to Ron Paul accused the Republican presidential hopeful of being anti-Israel and even wishing for the demise of the Jewish state.
Now, Leon Hadar, an Israeli-born former foreign policy adviser to Paul, tells Haaretz that the Texas congressman is getting a bad rap:
Speaking with Haaretz on Tuesday, Hadar discounted Paul’s characterization as anti-Israel, saying: "He is against Israel as I am against January. He is just against foreign aid, and does not see any reason to grant an aid to the country that is a member of OECD."
"He will be glad to see the conflict resolved and he said it’s the right of Israel to attack Iran if it thinks that is necessary — but it shouldn’t expect the U.S. to clean the mess," he said, adding that Paul is "very familiar with Israel’s history. I didn’t hear his conversations with his former aide, but I personally have never heard him say anything against Israel or the Jews."
Referring to claims according to which Paul was in favor of "handing Israel back" to the Arabs, Hadar said it was "absurd to say he is more supportive of Arabs or Iran than Israel — he just thinks the U.S. shouldn’t meddle in other countries issues."
"I think it’s quite pro-Israeli, because the U.S. won’t stay in the Middle East forever, and Israel should figure out how to deal with its challenges," Hadar said, adding that there "is little doubt the current campaign against him and the attempts to paint him as anti-Israeli might cause him harm among the Evangelicals, whose support is more significant during the primaries than the Republican Jewish support."
Hadar, who advised Paul during his 2008 run for the presidency, is himself an interesting figure. A former United Nations bureau chief for The Jerusalem Post, Hadar is currently a research fellow at the Libertarian Cato Institute and a contributing editor to The American Conservative, the magazine co-founded by Pat Buchanan.
Hadar offered a pretty succinct summation of his own views toward the American-Israeli relationship here.