Israel has shown remarkable restraint in the face of violence and threats from Palestinian neighbors, but Hamas terrorists' kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers should prompt the Obama administration to declare "enough is enough," Sen. Rand Paul says.
In a column for National Review
, Paul, a Kentucky Republican who is considering a presidential bid and has been criticized for being an "isolationist," sounds a stern call for action in the wake of the brutal slayings.
"[T]he Obama administration did not respond to these murders by calling for Palestinian/Hamas aid to be cut off," he writes. "Instead, they called for 'restraint.' The Obama administration chose to lecture Israel instead of punish the perpetrators.
"I call for all aid to the Palestinian Authority — every penny — to be cut off. Not one more U.S. taxpayer dollar should flow to Hamas or to the Palestinian Authority as long as it is allied with Hamas," he writes.
Paul notes that his proposed bill, the Stand With Israel Act
, is intended to do just that.
"U.S. taxpayer money may soon be going to an entity kidnapping and murdering Israeli and U.S. children." he writes. One of the killed boys, 16-year-old Naftali Frenkel, was a dual U.S.–Israeli citizen.
"That is unconscionable, and it must end. There are those who have said my bill is unnecessary, that current law will allow the Obama administration to cut off the aid money. I don't believe that, and no supporter of Israel should believe that."
Paul appeared on Fox News Channel's "Hannity"
on Wednesday night and said, "I think most Americans would be appalled if they knew that American tax dollars could soon be going to Hamas."
He said he recently stood on the Senate floor and asked that the current law be changed to defund the Palestinian Authority, but was "shouted down" by Democrats. He said he would make his plea again when Congress returns to session next week.
Hamas, he said, admitted joining the Palestinian unity government because it was broke. He said the group intends to get access to U.S. funding so it can launch terror attacks against Israel.
Paul also told host Sean Hannity that he disagreed with President Barack Obama's calling on Israel to show restraint after the killings.
"Would he be saying the same if it were three Americans attacked by terrorists?" he said.
Paul vowed in his column to keep pressing for passage of his bill in the Senate, including a call for unanimous consent to pass the measure next week.
"Whoever wants to come down to object will need to explain to the parents of these teenagers why the United States of America is funding their murderers," he said.
Though Paul praised the Obama administration in his column for responding to the latest outrage in Israel with condolences to the teenagers' families and to the state of Israel, "it also called, as it always does in situations like this, for restraint on the part of Israel."
"How many times must Israel hear this call?" he asked. "Children are murdered — please show restraint. Cafés and buses are bombed — please show restraint. Towns are victimized by hundreds of rockets — please show restraint while you bury your dead once again.
"I think it is clear by now: Israel has shown remarkable restraint . . . But sometimes restraint can work against you. Sometimes you just have to say enough is enough."
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