following is Congressman Paul's remarks against the pro-Israel resolution
passed overwhelmingly on Friday by Congress.
legislation could not have come at a worse time in the ongoing Middle
East crisis. Just when we have seen some positive signs that the two
sides may return to negotiations toward a peaceful settlement, Congress
has jumped into the fray on one side of the conflict. I do not believe
that this body wishes to de-rail the slight progress that seems to
have come from the Administrations more even-handed approach
over the past several days. So why is it that we are here today ready
to pass legislation that clearly and openly favors one side in the
are many troubling aspects to this legislation. The legislation says
that "the number of Israelis killed during that time [since September
2000] by suicide terrorist attacks alone, on a basis proportional
to the United States population, is approximately 9,000, three times
the number killed in the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington
on September 11, 2001." This kind of numbers game with the innocent
dead strikes me as terribly disrespectful and completely unhelpful.
when speaking of the dead, the one-sidedness of this bill that is
so unfortunate. How is it that the side that loses seven people to
every one on the other side is portrayed as the sole aggressor and
condemned as terrorist? This is only made worse by the fact that Palestinian
deaths are seen in the Arab world as being American-inspired, as it
is our weapons that are being used against them. This bill just reinforces
negative perceptions of the United States in that part of the world.
What might be the consequences of this? I think we need to stop and
think about that for a while. We in this body have a Constitutional
responsibility to protect the national security of the United States.
This one-sided intervention in a far-off war has the potential to
do great harm to our national security.
this is why the Administration views this legislation as "not
a very helpful approach" to the situation in the Middle East.
In my view, it is bad enough that we are intervening at all in this
conflict, but this legislation strips any lingering notion that the
United States intends to be an honest broker. It states clearly that
the leadership of one side - the Palestinians - is bad and supports
terrorism just at a time when this Administration negotiates with
both sides in an attempt to bring peace to the region. Talk about
undermining the difficult efforts of the president and the State Department.
What incentive does Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat or his organization
have to return to the negotiating table if we as "honest broker"
make it clear that in Congresss eyes, the Palestinians are illegitimate
terrorists? Must we become so involved in this far-off conflict that
we are forced to choose between Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon? The United States Congress should not, Constitutionally,
be in the business of choosing who gets to lead which foreign people.
people of various religious backgrounds seem determined to portray
what is happening in the Middle East as some kind of historic/religious
struggle, where one side is pre-ordained to triumph and destroy the
other. Even some in this body have embraced this notion. Surely the
religious component that some interject into the conflict rouses emotions
and adds fuel to the fire. But this is dangerous thinking. Far from
a great holy war, the Middle East conflict is largely about what most
wars are about: a struggle for land and resources in a part of the
world where both are scarce. We must think and act rationally, with
this fact clearly in mind.
as with our interventionism in other similar struggles around the
world, our meddling in the Middle East has unforeseen consequences.
Our favoritism of one side has led to the hatred of America and Americans
by the other side. We are placing our country in harms way with
this approach. It is time to step back and look at our policy in the
Middle East. After 24 years of the "peace process" and some
300 billion of our dollars, we are no closer to peace than when President
Carter concluded the Camp David talks.
Speaker, any other policy that had so utterly failed over such a long
period of time would likely come under close scrutiny here. Why is
it that when it comes to interventionism in the Middle East conflict
we continue down this unproductive and very expensive road?