Magazine article Tablet Magazine

Tea Party Senator Endorses End of Israeli Aid

Magazine article Tablet Magazine

Tea Party Senator Endorses End of Israeli Aid

Article excerpt

Sen. Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky and among the most prominent elected officials clearly associated with the Tea Party, yesterday argued for ending U.S. foreign aid to all countries, including Israel. "When you send foreign aid, you actually [send] quite a bit to Israel's enemies. Islamic nations around Israel get quite a bit of foreign aid, too," Paul, a renowned deficit and spending hawk (and son of renowned deficit hawk and isolationist Ron), told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "You have to ask yourself, are we funding an arms race on both sides? I have a lot of sympathy and respect for Israel as a democratic nation, as a a fountain of peace and a fountain of democracy within the Middle East." But, Blitzer confirmed, Paul does believe U.S. aid should cease to Israel.

J Street and the National Jewish Democratic Council of course pounced, but more interesting was the Republican Jewish Coalition's response: "We share Senator Paul's commitment to restraining the growth of federal spending, but we reject his misguided proposal to end U.S. assistance to our ally, Israel." Trouble in paradise! (No but they're totally right about the proposal.)

We've been here before. Right before the 2010 midterms, Rep. Eric Cantora Jewish Republican who is the Majority Leaderfloated the notion of separating Israeli foreign aid from the rest of aid in order that Congress could more easily squash the other aid. Many pro-Israel groups, including AIPAC, condemned the proposal for encouraging isolationist sentiment, which is bad for Israel, and Cantor quickly backtracked. …

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