Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said that whatever his misgivings about foreign aid, he has never moved to cut aid to Israel and voted last week to fund Israel's Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system, The Wall Street Journal
"You can misstate my position but then I'll answer the question, OK," Paul, a possible contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, told reporters, according to the Journal. "We have never introduced anything that phased out or gets rid of Israel aid. Israel has always been a strong ally of ours and I appreciate that."
Paul is seeking the backing of pro-Israel Republican Party donors. His support for a $225 million bill to bolster Iron Dome is intended to allay concerns about his support for Israel, the Journal reported. In the two weeks leading up to the Senate vote, Hamas launched nearly 2,000 rockets at Israel, according to The Baltimore Sun
In a 2011 interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer
, Paul said he would end foreign to the Middle East. "You have to ask yourself, are we funding an arms race [between U.S. aid recipients Israel and Egypt]? I have a lot of sympathy and respect for Israel as a democratic nation...But at the same time, I don't think funding both sides of the arm race, particularly when we have to borrow the money from China to send it to someone else. We just can't do it anymore."
Asked if he would "end all foreign aid including the foreign aid to Israel as well," Paul told Blitzer, "Yes," according to the Journal.
He told ABC News
in February 2011 that he was "not singling out Israel. I support Israel. I want to be known as a friend of Israel, but not with money you don't have. We can't just borrow from our kids' future and give it to countries even if they are our friends," the Journal reported.
Paul also told ABC that while Israel was "an important ally" its "per capita income is greater than probably three-fourths of the rest of the world."
He said, "Should we be giving free money or welfare to a wealthy nation? I don't think so."
Israel's Iron Dome technology is being shared with the United States, according to the Sun.
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