I’d be open to cutting — or even eliminating — U.S. aid to Israel within the broader context of eliminating all foreign aid, and so I thought it was a bit unfair that Sen. Rand Paul was being condemned for getting rid of aid to Israel when it was part of $500 billion in budget cuts that got rid of all foreign aid. That said, I think there’s a constructive way for Paul to make his point, and to fight the perception that he’s as anti-Israel as his father is, and a really clumsy and awful way to make the point.
This (via Politico) is a contstructive way to speak about it:
Paul also defended his calls to end aid to Israel, saying they’re just part of his bigger efforts at fiscal responsibility. “I’m not singling out Israel. I support Israel. I want to be known as a friend of Israel, but not with money you don’t have,” he said. “We can’t just borrow from our kids’ future and give it to countries, even if they are our friends.”
“I think they’re an important ally, but I also think that their per capita income is greater than probably three-fourths of the rest of the world,” he said. “Should we be giving free money or welfare to a wealthy nation? I don’t think so.”
The first statement is one that I — as both a supporter of Israel and a spending hawk — can sympathize with. Yet the use of the word “welfare” to describe military aid to a key strategic ally is one that makes me worry that, deep down, he shares his father’s hostility toward the Jewish state.