Jewish Democrats slam Paul addition to key panel

National Jewish Democratic Council lashes out at appointment of Senator Rand Paul to Senate's Foreign Relations Committee.

US Senator Rand Paul 370 (photo credit: Mike Segar / Reuters)
US Senator Rand Paul 370
(photo credit: Mike Segar / Reuters)
The National Jewish Democratic Council lashed out Friday over the recent appointment of Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky to the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, citing his "deeply disturbing record when it comes to the US-Israel relationship."
In a statement released Friday by the NJDC, its president David Harris said that Paul's "membership in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee should be raising red flags and provoking severe concern across the pro-Israel community." Harris also hit out at the GOP, calling its decision to place Paul on the panel "simply outrageous."
"The overwhelmingly pro-Israel American public deserves much better than a radical ideologue on the Senate's primary diplomatic committee who has demonstrated a singular obsession with slashing aid to the Jewish state," the NJDC chief added.
Paul, one of four new Republicans on the committee whose appointments were first reported Thursday by Foreign Policy magazine, has recently reached out to the pro-Israel community and is slated this month to visit Israel accompanied by Christian Zionists.
Unlike his father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a perennial presidential contender who has laced his arguments against assistance for Israel with harsh criticisms of the Jewish state, the younger Paul casts his opposition to assistance as a matter of independence for Israel from undue American influence.
Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, a fierce opponent of US foreign aid who is being touted already as a likely 2016 presidential candidate, is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Sunday for his first-ever visit.
Paul is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres on Monday, the senator’s 50th birthday. He is an adherent to the libertarian views of his father, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who is viewed by some as holding anti-Israel positions and has twice launched unsuccessful presidential bids.
An article last month in the Lousiville, Kentucky, Courier- Journal said the senator’s trip was fueling presidential speculation, and that the visit was another sign he may be considering a presidential bid. He will be accompanied by his family.