Rand Paul and the Tea Party: A toxic mix for Israel aid?
01/27/2011 - 16:55
James Besser

 So Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky), a leading light of the Tea Party movement, wants to end all foreign aid – including Israel’s. Does that mean a crisis for Israel aid looms?

Probably not, although I'm sure the folks at AIPAC aren't taking that for granted.

What we do know: support for Israel aid remains strong in both parties because some members genuinely thing it serves U.S. interests and because others fear the wrath of the pro-Israel lobby if they even think of voting to cut it.

We know the Obama administration supports it, and probably doesn't want to get into a big tussle by suggesting it should be included in its budget cutting efforts.

What we don't know: how much of a role will the handful of new, Tea Party-endorsed lawmakers play in the new Congress, especially on budget issues? How will the GOP leadership react to the anti-government, anti-spending surge that played such a role in last November's elections?

And will the anti-foreign aid mantra become a major Tea Party theme? Right now it isn't, and Paul's views do not necessarily represent the sprawling, disorganized movement, but eventually that could change. 

I see no likelihood Israel's aid will be eliminated anytime in the foreseeable future; the political stars are too firmly aligned against that.

I do see the possibility of across-the-board aid reductions that would include Israel as lawmakers confront a $1.5 trillion budget deficit this year – although with both parties courting pro-Israel campaign givers in advance of the 2012 elections, I'm guessing the likelihood of any big reduction this year or next isn't high.

As for Rand Paul, there are a lot of question marks.

Will he become a major player in GOP politics, or just a gadfly, firing potshots from outside the mainstream? We just don't know. His father – Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), described in today's JTA story as “among the least Israel-friendly members of Congress,” is well outside the GOP mainstream despite a fervent national following.  Will he emerge as primary Tea Party leader on Capitol Hill?  We don't know that, either.

The younger Paul is someone to watch – and I'm sure Israel's friends on Capitol are watching very, very closely.

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Thank you Rand Paul for speaking the truth. In the United States nearly everything is controlled by the Jews today. If you don't believe it, just look how tiny Israel is able to sway American politics and international policies! The Jewish/Israeli lobby is the most powerful lobby in America, and indeed the entire world! The politicians know that the Jews know how to manipulate the media, the newspapers, the movies, the votes. So any politician who has to face the Jewish lobby practically shakes in his boots because he knows that they're going to have their way and he'd better do what they say or he's OUT!
We all know Rand Paul and the tea baggers are nothing but a bunch of White Supremacists Just as they passed laws in the 1920s, that prevented Jews from coming to America, and fought hard to prevent Jews from coming when things were getting bad for them in the 40s They would like nothing more then to see Israel cut off If anything "Bad" ever happens to the Jews and Israel again, I hope Rand Paul and his followers are held accountable
This is nothing but slander. One of Rand's biggest problems is that he didn't have good rebuttal for how the Civil Rights Act should have been implemented. I would have been more impressed to hear how Affirmative Action favored foreign black people who had better job skills.
I lean towards democrat on many issues and candidates but Rand Paul has some interesting suggestions. ~3 billion dollars is the expected United States contribution to Israel for 2011. I support Israel. Is that tasteful for the US to be borrowing money(from China) to fund a country that doesn't have financial problems?
Though there appears to be more anti-Israel sentiment today on the political left, there has long been this anti-Israel / anti-Semitic strain on the right; within the conservative movement. Dr. Ron Paul and his son Rand and their tea party supporters exemplify it. Notwithstanding Paul's motives, I believe it would be healthy for Israel to wean herself from American aid and dependency. It would be good for Israel and good for the United States. Israel's dependency on US largess has been counterproductive and costly in terms of Israel's independence, security and welfare.
Mr. Besser, I found your opinion article quite insightful and refreshingly objective relative to what I typically find on websites or in print. I think I understand your choice of title, given this website, but I wonder if you also considered entitling your piece "Rand Paul and the Tea Party: A toxic mix for all foreign aid?". Again, thank you for the excellent article. Regards, Charles
I'm sure AIPAC isn't taking it for granted. They certainly don't want Israel's welfare money cut off. All socialist experiments fail.