Ahead of first visit to Israel, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul raises ire of Jewish DemocratsSubmitted by legalizeliberty on Sat, 01/05/2013 - 19:06
NEW YORK — Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s new assignment to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has left Jewish Democrats angered and warning about the Republican senator’s “singular obsession with slashing aid to the Jewish state.”
In a statement Friday, National Jewish Democratic Council head David Harris charged that Paul’s appointment to “the Senate’s primary diplomatic committee” should be “raising red flags and provoking severe concern across the pro-Israel community.”
“The decision by Republican Senate leaders to give a bigger microphone and a prominent platform to someone who has repeatedly called for an end to US aid to Israel and used his leadership PAC to push an anti-foreign aid agenda is simply outrageous,” Harris continued. “As we’ve said for months, Senator Paul and his father’s acolytes are becoming legitimate forces in today’s Republican Party — and pro-Israel Republicans have repeatedly and epically failed to address this growing issue within the GOP ranks. Now this failure has very real consequences.”
Paul has called several times for lowering US foreign aid, including aid to Israel. But his views on the US-Israel relationship have been “evolving,” suggested one knowledgeable Washington source.
On Sunday, Paul will be flying to Israel with an Evangelical Christian group on his first visit to the Jewish state, “to start to immerse himself in the issues over there,” said the source. “I think that’s an encouraging step.” He is slated to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, together with Palestinian and Jordanian leaders during his visit.