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There has been curiously little coverage of Senator Rand Paul’s recent comments regarding foreign aid. Appearing with Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday night, he called for an end to foreign aid and, when challenged by Blitzer, twice confirmed that he would include Israel. That a United States Senator would call for eliminating aid to Israel is astonishing given the general consensus prevailing in Congress that the assistance is sacrosanct. And considering that Israel is one of the wealthiest countries in the world (with a per capita income at the same level as Great Britain) and is alleged to be going through an economic boom, there is little justification for continuing the largesse, which is largely driven by domestic politics in any event. The argument that Israel needs the money to maintain its military edge is also a red herring as Tel Aviv currently enjoys complete military superiority in all areas over all of its potential opponents. It also has the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal.

For his audacity, Senator Paul has been attacked by the Israel Lobby and by both Democrats and Republicans.

Now that the Obama Administration is considering withholding the \$2 billion that Egypt receives annually, a sum granted in 1979 when Sadat abandoned the Palestinians and signed a peace treaty with Israel, it would perhaps be a good opportunity to reexamine all US aid to the region. The US economy’s sorry condition should be demanding such a reappraisal in any event if the Republicans are sincere about budget cutting. It would be nice to see some prominent Republicans and conservatives lining up in support of Rand Paul.

(Republished from The American Conservative by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Rand Paul 
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  1. Jack Ross says:

    On the contrary, I actually was rather surprised to see it got a rather prominently featured AP article. The optimist in me wonders if Rand Paul is being used as a trial balloon.

  2. Jim Evans says:

    Senator Rand Paul has political courage.

    I back him 100%.

    It’s time to bring up foreign aid and that includes the state of Israel.

    It’s time to go out and defend Rand Paul and make the case to Tea Party’ers that financial aid to Israel end.

  3. Royden says:

    Maybe Rand is “for real” after all. Let’s hope so.

  4. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I’m glad that Rand Paul has had the “courage” to speak the obvious, but it comes very late. Maybe too late.

    Because the Lobby has been permitted to masquerade as American opinion and control relevant US policy we’re fairly tarred with the “Zionist” brush in the eyes of the world, always a chief neocon goal.

    Undoing that will be a big job, much bigger than unhooking Israel’s teeth from the American teat.

  5. Actually I think the Tea Party has started to co-o program already in of the new members of the Senate like I had a feeling they would. This is why the Tea Party never had Senator Paul at real events instead of ones they staged throughout Kentucky because they were afraid he would meet real voters.

    Yes I like some of my Senator’s view, but I dislike the Tea Party trying to brainwashing him.

  6. Aaron says: • Website

    I am not sure whether this is Rand Paul showing courage, or demonstrating once again that he’s not yet ready for prime time. If he capitulates under pressure, we’ll know it’s again the latter.

  7. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    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!

  8. eep says:

    He is right. We don’t have money to give other countries. I think his focus on our economic situation is the best angle to use against his opponents. It is his shield. I’m curious to see how well it will hold up, especially regarding the Armageddon Lobby.

    He talks as if Israel is just one nation that will lose financial aid. He is going to receive one bad thumping if he plays into the Israel Lobby’s race politics and ends up being defined by it.

  9. Brandon says:

    Israel needs to pony up for its OWN security for a damn change. I’m TIRED of one of the world’s most powerful nations free-riding off us. Why?? They can handle themselves, for christ sake. If they can’t, they’re seriously screwed from the get go. But I don’t wanna pay for it, nor any other nation’s military or counterterrorism crap. Why can’t many developed and semi-developed nations afford this crap ON THEIR OWN?? Are their economies REALLY that weak that they can’t produce enough tax revenue? I mean, Hosni Mubarak is pretty much the main guy running things in Egypt. Couldn’t he EASILY shift a lot more resources to counterterrorism on a whim if he really wanted to? Why does he need American aid?

    Same with Pakistan and so many others.

  10. TomB says:

    Helen Wallace wrote:

    “In the United States nearly everything is controlled by the Jews today.”

    Yeah Helen, including if I’m not mistaken your ability to voice this thuggish kind of incitement and be heard here. And yet, here you are, by courtesy really of a great guy who if I’m not mistaken is jewish and who goes by the name of Unz.

    Discriminate, Helen, and not on the level you’ve done here. I suggest you start by discriminating by political persuasion rather than by ethnicity or etc., even if there are some correlations sometime. And while that’s okay to mention, it is only *some* correlations, *sometimes,* and its never perfect and only fools or the ill-hearted make blanket statements to the contrary.

  11. The critical thing will be for at least one or two other public officials to stand beside Paul. If this happens it will be harder for the lobby and the MSM to single Paul out for abuse.

    In response to Paul,Congresswoman Nita Lowy seemed to be talking to her Jewish constituents more than to the American public. She said Israel is an “Ally we must not abandon.” Notice here that she can find no rational, material reason to back Israel, just an emotional one that will resonate far more with her coreligionists than with the broader public.

    If Paul and hopefully others, keep the pressure on, Lowy Cantor and other lobby tools will be forced to expose themselves as the dual loyalists they are. But the debate must be kept up for this to happen.

  12. Raashid says:

    Thomas do the American people really care if Americans have dual/more loyalty when it comes to Israel? I get the impression that The Lobby has so successfully sold Israel’s interests to the American people that it’s not seen as a problem. Certainly, the Christian Right who form the mainstay of The Republican Party nowadays would consider loyalty to Israel as a duty, rather then a problem.

  13. Not much coverage, but not much backtracking or apology either. He’s youngish, a new senator, and probably hard to shut up. He doesn’t need the lobby for fundraising, and as Kentucky Republican can probably win forever. It’s a little terrifying for them. Would be nice if his actual statement was more informed, instead of: we’re funding “an arms race” between Israel and Islamists (Mubarak’s Egypt).

  14. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Israel is both our greatest ally and the prophesied Kingdom for the final confrontation of good and evil. To abandon Israel would be to abandon the will God, and His punishment would be swift and unrelenting.

  15. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    There will be no final confrontation between good and evil. I guarantee it.

    In any case, as a major hub of the international sex slavery and drug trades, a country whose last President is a convicted rapist, whose principal politicians are regularly prosecuted for corruption, who sells US military secrets to China and Russia, a country currently killing dispossessing Christians and running a massive concentration camp in the Gaza Strip, Israel is not a very obvious candidate for Champion of the Good.

  16. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Raashid , It is true. The American people are propagandized into just taking it for granted, of course we support them! Phrases heard over and over- “our only ally in the middle east” “tiny Israel” “defensive war”. “Palestinian Terrorists” For a hint at how this can work even better, see SavedbyGrace below your comment.

  17. Hey SavedbyGrace, I go to church and I don’t hear the rap about “prophecied Kingdom of God” and “final confrontation”. It sounds like a reverse side of some kind of wierdo Islamic extremism. Do I go to the wrong church?

  18. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I will crush all that oppose me. None who have met me on the open battlefield have lived to talk about it.

  19. “Curiously little coverage”? Is that what you call 350+ news article results for |rand paul israel| on Google News about a short, almost off-hand, comment in a TV interview?

    The Israeli newspapers have certainly taken notice.

  20. Chris Moore says: • Website

    I wonder how many people would object if Helen’s comment (above) had indicted “the Muslims” instead of “the Jews.”

    When people speak of “the Jews,” we need to start thinking about it in terms of people generalizing about “the Muslims” or “the Christians” instead of immediately thinking “Conspiracy theory!”

    Different ethnicities/religions have different interests and agendas. This is a fact of life. It’s well past time to grow up and abandon the indoctrinated, politically correct mindset that has trained us to cringe every time someone speaks frankly and honestly.

    “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” — Saint Paul

  21. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Saved – you realize that today’s Israel is a creation of the UN – completely different from the Biblical one – right? I wish them all the best and have been impressed by them occasionally, but I don’t see why AMERICAN taxpayers should be forced to subsidize them or any other country when families can barely make end’s meet in the US. Also, we have a debt greater than any in the history of the world, and are dependent on money borrowed from China to fund our entitlements, not to mention our national defense! Why are we giving money away, exactly?

    I’m proud Rand is my senator! We worked hard for his election, and couldn’t have been more satisfied with what’s he’s done so far.

  22. Robert says:

    Perhaps I’m naive, but I doubt the young Paul’s statement is near as groundbreaking and brave as some here are making it out to be. Rather, I think he knows who put him in office, and like any politician, he’s going to use his public appearances as an opportunity to mouth soundbites he knows will appeal to his base.

    I suppose I would have been more impressed if he had said: “Well we should consider ending foreign aid, but you know it really only accounts for about one percent of the total budget. Now defense, there’s a place we could really save some money.”

    He’s playing to the people who in survery after survey say foreign aid accounts for twenty five or thirty percent of the budget, and all we have to do to balance the budget is end all foreign aid.”

  23. Stephen says:

    He may say what he likes. The caravan will roll on and, sooner or later, he will be dealt with. These people brook no disagreement.

  24. Alison Weir says: • Website

    A few corrections to some of the comments above:

    Kalim: Google search results from specific search terms do not reflect real coverage. These are often automatic feeds that are actually buried on a website and that almost no one sees. The real point is how few of these articles were prominent on websites and published in the print editions.

    Raashid: While media coverage is extremely Israeli-centric, as I and others have documented, the reality is that the American public is not. In survey after survey about three-quarters of Americans say they “do not want to take sides on Israel-Palestine,” an amazing reaction given the pro-Israel media coverage they consistently receive. Indications are that the majority of Americans would quickly agree with a proposal that we keep our massive amount of tax money to Israel – and to Egypt – home.

    Robert: While direct foreign is a relatively small percentage of the overall federal budget, when one considers the related expenditures and costs, the quantity becomes far larger. Economist Thomas R. Stauffer, analyzing the cost of Israel to the American economy, found that a nation of a few million people had cost Americans \$3 trillion. And that didn’t even include the gargantuan economic and human costs of the Iraq war, largely a result of Israel partisans in the government and media pushing for a US attack.

  25. Ron Paul has been arguing for an end to foreign aid for many years. Rand is simply following in his footsteps.

    Rand Paul does indeed need to be supported on this issue. We need to make it crystal clear that the days when Israel lobby oppostion to a candidate meant certain political death are over

  26. Good news is rare these days so I’ll take it where I can get it.
    Tom B, while I do agree that Helen was generalizing she was also telling some hard truths and even some Jews, like my wife, agree with much of what she wrote.
    There was nothing “thuggish” about Helen’s comments but they reek more of exasperation at what self-appointed leaders
    of the so-called “Jewish Community” do in their name. Many
    more Jews need to take ADL, AIPAC, AJC, et al, on.
    Ron Unz’s ethnicity or religion, whatever the case may be, has nothing to do with this discussion.
    You need to tone down your own nastiness if you want your
    constructive criticism to be heard. Otherwise you are simply reinforcing people in their views which you object to.

  27. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It’s hard to think of a better object lesson in the stupidity and incompetence of our political class, of its arrogant failure to follow the wise advice of George Washington respecting “entangling alliances”, than the chaos unfolding in the Middle East.

    The Tea Party needs to focus, raise its voice, and redouble its efforts to dislodge the collection of imperialists, foreign agents, lobbyists and globalists that are destroying us economically and strategically.

  28. Another regrettable thing about the Jews in this country is they are getting to be almost the only folks with whom one can have intelligent conversations anymore, about just about anything. Case in point, some of the comments posted here. It is always amazing to me what the reaction is to the mere mention of Israel, in almost any context.

  29. TomB says:

    Steve Hansen wrote:

    “Ron Unz’s ethnicity or religion, whatever the case may be, has nothing to do with this discussion.”

    Really? Helen writes that the jews control everything, and even taking that as hyperbole it certainly would include this space which Mr. Unz almost certainly has a lot of say over, if not an absolute say over. And yet there’s Helen, being effectively invited by him probably to speak and be heard here—just as all the rest of us are so invited—saying that no, all jews which would include Mr. Unz essentially are in on manipulating the media so as to stifle us in what we say about them.

    Seems to me to have a rather *precise* relevance to Helen’s “discussion.”

    “You need to tone down your own nastiness….”

    Interesting: Someone posts, in an absolutely classic anti-semitic form, a screed of the sort that has in history led to terrible retributions against the jewish people and has then just in recent history led to one of its truly monstrous horrors, and *I* am the one being nasty.

    I’m no race/ethnic warrior, Steve (and Helen, and Chris), and indeed think that political correctness about same has worked enormous damage to our country, and then particularly that the promiscuous charge of anti-semitism has greatly contributed to our present terrible situation in the Mideast due to our inability to talk about what our proper relationship with Israel should be. But if people who share that view want to be dismissed, then let ’em keep talking like Helen, and not calling the Helens there are out to simply think a bit more clearly and carefully about what they are thinking and saying.

    Nothing wrong with talking about the Israeli lobby, or even the socio-cultural idea that many jewish Americans do support Israel more than one thinks is good for America or etc. But unless you just want to have the satisfaction of venting and then feeling that you and your views are victims of wrongful repression, well then I think it’s not too much to ask that one use a responsible tongue. And then again and even more importantly there is the regard that an intelligent person ought to have to at least some degree to history too in terms of being aware of what Nazism sounded like and resulted in, and not wanting to have anything to do with that either.

    Drawing firm proper lines isn’t nasty, it’s intellectually responsible I think.

  30. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    helen is close to the truth.

    just because someone was given a grain of rice to eat doesnt mean their appetite is sated.

    israel and its lobby need to disappear from history.

  31. Bill says:

    So Helen’s original argument is “In the United States nearly everything is controlled by the Jews today”.

    TomB’s counterargument appears to be “Ron Unz is Jewish and he controls the American Conservative.”

    If we are to take this counterargument at face value, it seems only to confirm the original premiss: Jews control nearly everything.” Unless a better counterargument can be provided.

    It looks like the disconnect is a difference in the definition of control. In Helen’s argument, it seems, the definition of control is ownership and the ability to actually exert one’s will over an object. In TomB’s definition, control seems more or less separate from who actually runs the company and more like the policies said governing body has already agreed upon.

    I’m more or less neutral on this topic, but using this exchange as the argument, I’m inclined to agree with Helen’s original argument.

  32. beejeez says:

    Wow, a Kentucky senator throwing prosperous Jews under the bus to shore up his anti-foreigner bona-fides. Truly a profile in courage.

  33. Downsize DC says: • Website

    SavedByGrace: there might be tens of millions of people who agree with you. Let’s say 30 million. Each one of them should be free to write a check of \$100 (or more) to Israel’s government. But there is no reason to force the taxpayers to support Israel.

  34. Tom B, you are a bad writer who takes up too much space to say nothing.
    Ron Unz’s ethnicity is irrelevant here. Helen never claimed ALL Jews practiced censorship. I have seen some stupid censorship here but I understand that it was not being done by Unz.
    Now you invoke the inane “holocaust” analogy is if every pereceived anti-Jewish comment lead to mass murder.
    Get a life ! Many of us actually question the standard Shoah
    story, which even if true, pales in regard to Mao’s 110 million victims, the USSR’s 70 million victims, Pol Pot’s three million
    victims, the five million killed in the Congo over the last decade
    and the US caused death toll in Vietnam, just to name a few.
    The basis for the Stalinist Hate Speech laws is precisely the
    non-reasoning you exemplify that any comment critical of a group leads to genocide.
    You are nasty and I’m calling you on it AND we don’t your
    approval for criticism of the Israel Lobby.

  35. IanH says:

    “Wow, a Kentucky senator throwing prosperous Jews under the bus to shore up his anti-foreigner bona-fides. Truly a profile in courage.”

    Your comment doesn’t make sense. If those Jews are prosperous, then why do they need aid?

  36. TomB says:

    Steve Hansen wrote:

    “Tom B, you are a bad writer….”

    I know.

    “Many of us actually question the standard Shoah

    Yeah I know that too, which is why I sometimes feel like taking a shower after finding myself saying or believing other entirely unrelated “conservative”-sounding things that you folks do.

  37. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Referred here from Andrew Sullivan’s blog. There are arguments to be made for and against aid to Israel, but I was mainly curious about your contention that Israel’s per capita income is at the same level as the UK’s. The figures I see show that the UK ranks #9 in the world with per capita GNP of \$24,486; Israel ranks #23 with \$17,046, between Italy and Spain. A wealthy country by comparison to most countries, but I wouldn’t say it was one of the wealthiest.

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