An effort by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican candidate for president, to improve his image with supporters of Israel hit a snag on Tuesday.
Paul put together an amendment to a bill tied to the State Department that would have stopped the flow of U.S. taxpayer money to the Palestinian Authority. But the motion ended in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reports Politico.
The proposal, according to the report, would have required Palestinians to cease their violent behavior, formally recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and cut ties with terrorist groups.
Paul's proposal never got off the ground, however, and lost in a 14-5 committee vote.
In a statement,
Paul expressed his disappointment.
"I am deeply disappointed with the vote against my Stand with Israel amendment today," Paul said. "American tax dollars continue to flow to governments that openly seek the destruction of one of our nation's biggest allies, Israel. My support has not and will not waiver; I will continue pushing to cut off all U.S. foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority until they recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, renounce terrorism, and purge terrorists from their ranks."
Paul announced his candidacy for president in April and has been criticized
by many — including members of his own party
— for his foreign policy views.
Last year, Paul said he supports
sending U.S. funds and other forms of aid to help Israel, but that it would be better if the nation was "completely independent."
"I've always said that my position is similar to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu's position," Paul said. "It ultimately for Israel would be even better if they were completely independent. But I haven't proposed targeting, or eliminating, any aid to Israel."
Paul has come under fire in the past for allegedly proposing to end all foreign aid to other countries, including Israel, but he denies
ever proposing that.
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