Sen. Rand Paul Calls for Reduction in Foreign Aid to Israel

During his first trip to Israel, US Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) called for a reduction in foreign aid for Jerusalem, admitting that he was expressing a minority opinion but making a statement with high shock value nevertheless.

Receiving $3 billion for its military each year, Israel is one of America’s top foreign aid recipients and the largest cumulative recipient since World War II. The country receives about one-fifth of the US foreign aid budget. To date, the US has given Israel $115 billion in bilateral assistance, most of which went to the country’s military.

While Sen. Paul believes Congress is unlikely to cut foreign aid from Israel, he told the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies that the US is only hurting itself by doing so. By “borrowing from one country to give to another,” the Kentucky senator expects the US will only face dire economic consequences down the line and burden itself with greater debt.

“It will be harder to be a friend of Israel if we are out of money. It will be harder to defend Israel if we destroy our country in the process,” Paul told the think-tank. “I think there will be significant repercussions of running massive deficits . . . you destroy your currency by spending money you don’t have.”

Even though Paul called for cutting aid to Israel, one of America’s strongest allies, he did acknowledge that Washington should first cut aid to countries with tense relationships to the US, such as Pakistan and Egypt.

The senator added that providing so much foreign aid was helping create an arms race in the Middle East that could ultimately harm Israel instead of helping it.

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