November 16, 2007 | 1:14 am
Posted by Brad A. Greenberg
I do not understand why Ron Paul is so popular on the Internet, though I did once find him to be worth a good quote. Anyway, JTA has a story out about the few Jews backing the maverick Republican running for president. (That’s Ron Paul, not Crazy Rudy.)
Paul’s candidacy was dismissed early on due to his support from white supremacist, Libertarian and other fringe groups, but the campaign has begun to pick up steam on college campuses and on the Internet, in part due to his staunch anti-war stance.
A longtime Texas congressman, Paul raised $4.2 million on Nov. 5 from 37,000 individual donors who agreed to give as part of a “money bomb” on Guy Fawkes Day, the anniversary of the failed plot of a British mercenary to kill King James I in 1605. In September, he announced that he’d brought in $5.2 million in the previous three months, putting him ahead of John McCain in the Republican money race.
Even as Paul makes headway in some circles, organized Jewish support for his Republican presidential bid is nearly nonexistent, thanks to the candidate’s longstanding stance against providing foreign aid, including U.S. assistance to Israel.
And last month, The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) pointedly did not invite him to participate in its candidates’ forum. His reported support from extremist groups hasn’t helped win him favor among Jews.
Still, Paul commands a loyal, albeit small, Jewish following. This Jewish support has followed the same pattern as Paul’s backing from other groups—coming from out-of-the way places on the Internet and taking mainstream media and political organizations by surprise.
In addition to Perry’s Jews for Ron Paul, there is Zionists for Ron Paul—an outfit launched by Yehuda HaKohen, an American immigrant to Israel, and some of his friends back in the United States.
Some of Paul’s Jewish supporters believe that it would be best for Israel if the United States kept out of Jerusalem’s affairs. There are also those who believe that American aid to Israel is dangerous because it feeds the perception that Jews wield too much influence over U.S. foreign policy.
“Many of us believe the current relationship between the United States and Israel is a very unhealthy relationship, like that of a man and concubine, or a slave and master,” HaKohen said.
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