Rand Paul Takes on AIPAC for Opposing Palestinian Aid Cut

Thursday, 01 May 2014 07:07 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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A bill that could potentially cut off foreign aid to Palestinians has some surprising opposition: the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful pro-Israel lobby, says Sen. Rand Paul, who is sponsoring the legislation.

"Ironically, the group AIPAC is pushing back this bill and this is to me very troubling," Paul told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"If I were to speak to the 10,000 folks who come up here [to Capitol Hill] in support of AIPAC, the vast majority of them would support my bill.

"And yet the political establishment up here thinks, 'oh we're going to stop this because we've always given foreign aid to the Palestinians and we frankly don't care what their behavior is.'"

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Paul believes the opposition is bound to roil the nation as news of it emerges.

"The American people, if they knew that, would be very, very upset and think, 'you know what, those people are no longer lobbying in favor of America and Israel if they're not willing to put restrictions on aid to Palestinians,'" Paul said.

Story continues below video.

AIPAC, which says its mission is to "strengthen, protect and promote the U.S.-Israel relationship in ways that enhance the security of Israel and the United States," had no immediate response.

But an AIPAC source told Newsmax:

"We are not supporting the Paul bill. We believe the law currently on the books is strong and ensures that aid is contingent on key conditions that help maintain America’s influence, keep Israel secure and advance the peace process.

"AIPAC supports a cut off of aid to any Palestinian government that includes an unreformed Hamas, and this is what is provided for in current law.”

Paul said his bill, which he introduced before the Senate on Thursday, would make aid to the Palestinian authority contingent on it recognizing Israel and cut off aid if it does not.

"If we’re going to send money to people in the Middle East who hate our ally of Israel, the money ought to be contingent upon behavior and I can't see sending it to Hamas," he said, referring to the terrorist organization whose aim is to establish an Islamic state in Palestine.

"Hamas has in their original charter the destruction of Israel as one of their goals. So how would we ever conceive of American money going to a government that has Hamas as part of it without Hamas agreeing to end hostility and to recognize Israel?

"I just can't see how we can conceive of sending American money to a group like that."

On the subject of Benghazi, Paul dismissed White House Press Secretary Jay Carney's claim that the uproar over an email linking the Obama administration to a cover-up in the deadly attack in which four Americans died is an example of the GOP politicizing the tragedy.

"It's actually completely the opposite. The Democrats have been politicizing Benghazi because they tried to make it about some kind of talking points," Paul said.

An email obtained by the watchdog group Judicial Watch revealed that a White House adviser prepped then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to link the attack to protests against an anti-Islamic video — an explanation later discounted.

"They tried to make it about a movie or a protest [and] really no one on the ground in Benghazi said that that was true," Paul said.

"There were no signs of a protest, no signs of activity related to a movie.... This was a coordinated terrorist attack on the compound so really from the very beginning they have not been telling the truth.

"They've been advising their people, the White House political people advising their spokesman, to really fabricate a story and try to divert attention from the terrorism involved."

Paul urged the House to compel all those potentially involved in the prepping of Rice to testify about what they know.

"The questions need to rise all the way to the top though.... I'd like to know whether Hillary Clinton was part of the process. Was she in the discussions? The only way we get to the truth of the matter is to have her come back and testify," he said.

"This is people purposely distorting and telling untruths. This is someone saying … to Ambassador Rice when she goes on television, make sure you emphasize that this is about the movie.

"And yet … not one scintilla of intelligence came out from Benghazi associating this with a movie. People in Washington were doing this, but it … appears as if during an election that campaign concerns seem to have more concern than the truth did."

See "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

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