Here’s Rand Paul’s Response to That Whole Israel Funding Kerfuffle

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 5 2014 3:54 PM

Here’s Rand Paul’s Response to That Whole Israel Funding Kerfuffle

Let me explain...

Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images

A bit less than a day after I wrote about Rand Paul's insistence that he never had a "legislative position" in favor of cutting aid to Israel (as part of cutting all foreign aid), Paul's office sent me a two-part explainer. Part one: a long quote from Doug Stafford, Paul's former chief of staff and now key PAC adviser.

Senator Rand Paul has never proposed any legislation that targeted Israel's aid and just last week voted to continue and increase funding to the State of Israel. Sen. Paul is a strong supporter of the Jewish state of Israel. In 2011, Sen. Paul proposed a budget resolution that did not include certain foreign assistance programs in an effort to balance the budget in five years.  
Subsequent budget proposals made by Sen. Paul have included up to $5 billion for foreign assistance to account for U.S.-Israel security interests.
Sen. Paul's position was exactly what Prime Minister Netanyahu said to Congress on July 10, 1996 and May 24, 2011 - Israel will be better off when it does not have to count on anyone else for its protection.
Sen. Paul has attempted several times this year to pass the Stand with Israel Act. The bill would cut off the flow of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Palestinian Authority if it were allied with Hamas.  Last month, he issued a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee requesting committee action on the Stand with Israel Act.

In the first graf, the words "targeted" and "certain" do the heavy lifting. Paul never targeted foreign aid to Israel, because he proposed cutting certain foreign aid that happened to include military funds to American allies. The aid to Israel simply fell under the umbrella. The hair-splitting's fine, as hair-splitting goes, but it's not enough to alter yesterday's stories.

The final two grafs are are just confusing—they reiterate the argument Paul used to make, when critics were shocked that he would ax aid to Israel. And the second part of the new Paul explainer corroborates the Netanyahu quote and the Stand With Israel facts, which no one disputes, and which have generally been included in the relevant stories. Paul's office is reiterating the logic behind that position while arguing that Paul never held it.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.