Our friend Jennifer Rubin is sounding the alarm against Rand Paul’s “neo-isolationist foreign policy.” This is because Paul told Wolf Blitzer he would cut $3 billion in foreign aid to Israel. Now, there is a case for keeping this aid. But this comes in the context of Paul’s $500 billion spending cuts bill that zeroes out foreign aid entirely, some of it aid that flows to Israel’s enemies. So when the House Republicans tried to cut foreign aid 30 percent across the board in the 1990s, but exempted Israel, was that still neo-isolationism?
By the way, J Street’s position on aid to Israel really isn’t that inscrutable. That aid is a considerable part of American leverage over the Israeli government, pressure J Street wants to use to exact Israeli concessions. So even the question of whether supporting the aid is pro-Israel isn’t really quite so cut and dry.