Rand Paul On Israel-Palestine: "I'm Not Really For Funding Either Side"

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Oct 15, 2023 - 10:05 PM

As the death toll soars on both sides of the Israel-Palestine chaos, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul told ZeroHedge that he’s not too keen on involving the U.S. in the Middle Eastern conflict.

“I’m not really for funding either side,” the senator said.

“Israel is a rich country. I think they can afford to do most things.”

If the Speaker situation in the House is resolved next week, Paul is concerned Congress will exploit the nascent war to goad lawmakers into funding Washington’s other proxies.

“The rumor is they’re going to put Ukraine aid with Israel aid with Taiwan aid, and so God knows how big this thing will be,” he said.

“It’s like a $50 billion-dollar bill, all outside the spending caps they passed two months ago and makes a mockery that we really have any rules or fiscal restraint over here.”

“I will oppose it,” Paul said but added that he could support some foreign aid as long as it is paid for through other funding cuts.

The hands-off approach to foreign policy - one that allows other nations to work out disputes for themselves - is reminiscent of the senator’s father, former Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex.), who in 2009 said Gaza resembled a “concentration camp” and that U.S. policy exacerbated tensions by establishing a power imbalance in favor of Israel, which removes their incentive to “work out problems”:

“Israel knows… that we [United States] will do whatever is necessary to bail out Israel.”

“I think there is an argument for when you have unlimited support for one side,” Rand Paul said, responding to his father’s 2009 interview.

“It does give people a disincentive to negotiate.”

Drawing parallels to the war in Ukraine, Sen. Paul highlighted that U.S. support for the country, which is purported to help the Ukrainian people, actually achieves the opposite.

“Particularly with Ukraine, I think it goes on forever if we keep supplying it,” Paul said.

“Ultimately if you cared anything about the Ukrainian economy, the people, and the industry over there, you shouldn’t want a war that goes on forever.”

“That just becomes Afghanistan, so I have advocated for negotiation over there.”

However, back in Israel, the Senator cast doubt on the likelihood of diplomacy prevailing in this environment.

“There are times in which it’s easier to talk about negotiation and times in which it’s harder,” he said.

“Frankly, right now if you talk about negotiating with Hamas, it’s surreal in a sense because they just mowed down 260 people at a music concert.”

Paul said Hamas is too radical to trust as a good-faith negotiator, pointing to the competing Gazan faction, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), as the “more reasonable voice” because it recognizes Israel’s right to statehood.