In Israel, Paul advocates cuts in foreign aid
JERUSALEM — Sen. Rand Paul on Monday called for a gradual reduction of American foreign aid, delivering the message in an unlikely venue, because Israel is among the top recipients of American assistance.
Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, said the United States can't afford to keep borrowing money and then handing it out to others, even to allies like Israel.
“It will be harder to be a friend of Israel if we are out of money. It will be harder to defend Israel if we destroy our country in the process,” he told the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, an Israeli think tank. “I think there will be significant repercussions to running massive deficits ... you destroy your currency by spending money you don't have.”
Paul, a longtime opponent of foreign aid, acknowledged he was expressing a “minority opinion” and doubted Congress would end foreign aid in his lifetime.
“It's unlikely anything changes, but I think it is worth discussing,” he said during his first trip to Israel.
Israel gets about $3 billion a year in military aid from the United States.
Paul insisted Washington should first cut aid to countries with strained ties to America, such as Pakistan and Egypt, and only later wean Israel off aid.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had stated he was interested in doing that.
Paul said the aid, used in large part by Israel and Egypt to buy weapons, was creating an arms race in the Middle East that ultimately could harm Israel, not help it.
“I'm concerned that some of the weaponry that we are currently giving to Egypt may one day be used against Israel,” he said.
A member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Paul is scheduled to meet with Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and other Israeli leaders before heading off for meetings in Jordan and with the Palestinian Authority.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- U.S. evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes
- Israel agrees to extend Gaza war truce by 4 hours
- When crosses are toppled, Chinese Christians fight back
- Taiwan plane crash survivor crawls out of wreckage
- Gaza sides agree to lull, but truce efforts stall
- Experts probe Algerian crash
- U.S. drone strike kills 8 in Pakistani tribal region
- ISIS captures Syrian military base
- Iraqi Shiite cleric beseeches Prime Minister al-Maliki to exit post
- Taliban leader issues warning
- Wider Israeli attack threatened ; truce fails