What’s Rand Paul’s Problem With Israel?
I have plenty of problems with Israel. But I find it curious that Paul, a Republican, is holding up funding for the Iron Dome missile defense system. I mean, on the surface, Rand’s fully on board with our continued accord with them and concerned with Hamas missile attacks. Why is Iron Dome such a sticking point?
It could be just some libertarian bullshit-after all, he’s happy to stop holding up the bill if a billion comes out of Afghanistan assistance to pay for it. But when we’re talking about defense funds, a billion is like a dime. What he’s looking to do is deny the Taliban funding, apparently. Democrats and Republicans insist the money will go to humanitarian causes.
He’s all alone out here on this-it’s got enormous bipartisan support. Why Rand?
Paul has a history of holding up foreign aid. He doesn’t like the concept. (He’s not much into domestic aid either, but that’s another story). In 2018, he introduced legislation to reduce aid to Israel. His rationale was the same as it is today; he insisted that funding come from foreign aid to United States “enemies”.
Now you would think that Israel would be jake with a reduction in aid to Israel’s antagonizers. But that’s bizarrely not the case. AIPAC took him to task for trying to cut funds to Pakistan and Palestine. Perhaps Paul’s understanding of the complexities of geopolitics is less than sophisticated.
In the end, it could just come down to Paul’s libertarian streak. Benjamin Netanyahu spoke once of the need for Israel’s gradual economic independence; and those are the types of words Rand Paul likes to hear.