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.