Rand Paul on Senate Foreign Relations Committee

by JTA.org  |  published on January 5, 2013

Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who opposes foreign assistance including defense assistance to Israel, has joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Paul, one of four new Republicans on the committee whose appointments were first reported Thursday by Foreign Policy magazine, has recently reached out to the pro-Israel community and last month visited Israel accompanied by Christian Zionists.

Unlike his father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a perennial presidential contender who has laced his arguments against assistance for Israel with harsh criticisms of the Jewish state, the younger Paul casts his opposition to assistance as a matter of independence for Israel from undue American influence.

The National Jewish Democratic Council on Friday slammed the Senate GOP leadership for giving “a bigger microphone and a prominent platform to someone who has repeatedly called for an end to U.S. aid to Israel.”

The Foreign Relations Committee sets the Senate’s foreign policy agenda, although the primary voice on foreign assistance remains the Senate’s Appropriiations Committee.

Both Pauls have in the past drawn persistent criticism from the Republican Jewish Coalition for their postures on assistance to Israel.

Rand Paul is believed to be considering a presidential run in 2016.

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