US Senator Rand Paul (Rep. - Ky.) prepares for a television interview.
(photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
GOP presidential hopeful Rand Paul’s proposal to slash US funds to the Palestinian Authority was voted down by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, according to the online news magazine Politico.
The libertarian senator’s gambit is an apparent effort to curry favor with sections of the Republican base who are wary that he is not sufficiently pro-Israel.
The measure would have conditioned future aid to the Palestinians on their recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and a renunciation of violence.
According to Politico
, the amendment was soundly defeated by a vote of 14-5. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle said that the Israeli government was opposed to slashing aid for fear that it would contribute to a collapse of the Ramallah administration.
Paul said he was “deeply disappointed with the vote,” though he vowed that he would “continue pushing” to reduce aid to the PA.
“My support [for Israel] has not and will not waiver,” the Kentucky Republican said.
Paul’s libertarian roots and previous statements suggesting a pro-isolationist stance have made pro-Israel forces in the US suspicious of him, though the senator has since renounced comments advocating a slashing of foreign aid to Israel, according to Politico.