The vehemently anti-war group is organizing a slew of events this weekend in opposition to the United States' Israel
policy, to coincide with the annual conference of the American Israel
Public Affairs Committee. Ahead of the protests, a Code Pink activist
suggested the group -- at least when it comes to Israel -- is actually
on the same page as Paul, a libertarian and one of the first candidates
to enter the race for the GOP presidential nomination.
"The Ron Paul people are closer and closer
to our talking points with each election," Code Pink activist Liz
Hourican told FoxNews.com.
Hourican specifically was referring to
Paul's and Code Pink's respective positions on U.S. aid to Israel --
both have called for eliminating it. Code Pink, known for staging noisy
disruptions at hearings and speeches where their topics of interest are
being discussed, shares other common ground with Paul, like opposition
to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. But the Israel issue added a new layer.
Paul spokeswoman Rachel Mills, asked about
the Code Pink comment, suggested Code Pink might be gravitating toward
the congressman's view, rather than the other way around.
"He certainly doesn't take any talking
points from Code Pink," she said. "If they're getting closer to his view
that's one thing, but he's certainly not looking to them for policy
Asked whether Paul would consider linking up
with the anti-war group in the future, she said Paul is "in favor of
coalition building," noting that his views occasionally put him in the
same camp as Democrats like anti-war Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio. But she said any cooperation would have to be "issue-specific."
Paul has been out in front on the Israel aid
issue. Earlier this year, he offered an amendment to cut off $6 billion
in U.S. aid to Israel and three other countries, including Pakistan.
The amendment died, though Mills said the congressman would consider
reintroducing it if there's an opportunity. Paul's son, Kentucky GOP
Sen. Rand Paul, also tried pushing a plan to cut U.S. foreign aid, including the $3 billion slated for military assistance to Israel.
The elder Paul reiterated his concerns about
U.S. support for Israel during the first 2012 Republican primary
debate, hosted by Fox News and the South Carolina Republican Party. During the debate, Paul said Israel has "become too dependent on us."
He added: "But I don't want any of this
foreign aid -- Pakistan or anybody else -- because the principle is
wrong and because it doesn't achieve anything. ... It's not like 100
percent of the people in Israel or every Jew in this country believes
that we should have the foreign policy that we have."
The view on Israel aid is not widely held in
the Republican Party. U.S. administrations of both parties have long
backed U.S. support for Israel, and the military aid levels were most
recently pledged in an agreement between the two countries several years
Shortly before Paul officially announced his
candidacy last week, the Republican Jewish Coalition put out a
statement saying it was "deeply concerned" about Paul's Israel
"While Rep. Paul plans to run as a
Republican, his views and past record place him far outside of the
Republican mainstream," RJC Executive Director Matthew Brooks said.
"Throughout his public service, Paul has espoused a dangerous
isolationist vision for the U.S. and our role in the world. He has been a
virulent and harsh critic of Israel during his tenure in Congress."
Josh Block, a former American Israel Public
Affairs Committee spokesman, also noted that Americans are generally
pro-Israel because of the two countries’ common values and shared side
in the fight against terror.
“Folks calling to cut off our relationship
and security assistance to Israel are way out on the fringe of real
thought, and that includes Ron Paul,” Block said.
But Paul's position will certainly get an
airing this weekend, as Code Pink and dozens of other groups plan
demonstrations and summits in Washington, protesting Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit and the AIPAC conference, where President Obama is expected to speak.
Hourican said Obama has failed at trying to salvage a Mideast peace process.
"This foreign policy of the U.S., and I love this country, is just not working," she said.
She called for stripping aid to Israel, saying: "We need our money here."
|Liveleak on Facebook|