What a contrast with Joseph Biden.
On his 2010 trip to Israel, the vice president erupted in a bitter denunciation of the government in Jerusalem because of its settlement policies. But when Sen. Rand Paul, whom the Left likes to accuse of being the most anti-Israel figure in the Senate, was in Israel last week, there was nothing but sweetness and light on the settlements — not even much quarreling over foreign aid.
In Jerusalem last week, the senator met a broad range of leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, as well as Naftali Bennett, a rising right-wing leader aligned with the settler movement.
The Jerusalem Post quoted Paul addressing questions about what Israel should do about the settlements and Gaza. "Well," he replied, "America should and does have an opinion about these things, but ultimately these are decisions you have to make."
There hasn't been such a supportive comment on Israel's settlements in the West Bank and in Jerusalem since Sarah Palin last spoke on the subject. Her comments drove the left up the wall.
Paul also voiced support on Gaza: "I don't think you need to call me on the phone and get permission to stop missiles raining down from Gaza." He seems to want Israel to have a free hand in its own affairs, which dovetails with his wariness on foreign aid.
When he talked about foreign aid, he stood by his longtime contention that it would be a good thing to reduce such transfers. This view has been pressed by some pro-Israel voices in this country, in that aid has subsidized statist economic measures and retarded free-market development.
Indeed, Netanyahu himself, in a 1996 speech before Congress, vowed to work to reduce Israel's dependence on US aid — and then kept his word: It's now restricted mainly to military aid.
Paul cited that Netanyahu speech in Jerusalem as he talked in a straightforward way about America's own predicament: "The biggest threat to our nation right now is our debt."
"To me, it has always been about whether it makes sense for me to borrow money from China to give to Pakistan," he said at one point.
In The Jerusalem Post's account, he said the debt problem means "that we have to reassess who to give aid to, and when we do reassess that, I would begin with countries that are burning our flag and chanting 'Death to America.'"
Then, he added, "No one is accusing Israel of that."
He didn't want his visit to be about "touting and spouting" cutting aid to Israel, saying, "I came here to show that I am supportive of the relationship between Israel and America," The Jerusalem Post reported. He signaled the same in a recent letter to the managing editor of Commentary, Jonathan Tobin.
Meantime, the Obama administration is moving its foreign policy sharply to the left. Secretary of State-designate John Kerry would be the most left-wing figure ever to run State. And Defense Secretary-designate Chuck Hagel has a far more worrisome record on Israel than the most determined libertarian.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
NY Post: Rand Paul's Israeli Surprise
Looks like Rand Paul's trip to Israel was a success and people are seeing him as being a huge improvement over the current administration: