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December 5, 2012 6:38 pm

Christian Zionists Cautious Over Rand Paul’s Israel Policies

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United States Senator Rand Paul speaking at the Night of the Rising Stars in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo: Gage Skidmore.

Following on Sen. Rand Paul’s recent announcement that he will visit Israel next month, pro-Israel Christian groups say they are taking a wait-and-see attitude towards the senator’s evolving Israel policies, according to Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post.

The director of America’s largest Christian Zionist group told Rubin he hopes Paul will drop his opposition to U.S. military aid for the Jewish State.

The Kentucky Republican has confirmed that he is eyeing a 2016 run for the presidency, and has been working hard to engage pro-Israel Christians and Jews. Rubin wrote this morning that Paul told her “the one impression about him that is particularly wrong” is that he is unfriendly to the Jewish State.

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Paul is a leader of Tea Party fiscal conservatives, but diverges from most Tea Partiers in his isolationist foreign policy views. In the past Paul has opposed both foreign aid to Israel and U.S. economic sanctions against Iran. But Paul also insisted to Rubin that “‘Israel shouldn’t be dictated to by the U.S. They are a sovereign country,’ Paul said — whether the issue is the peace process or Gaza.”

Rubin also spoke with David Brog, who directs the 1.2 million-member Christians United for Israel (CUFI). “Brog makes the case that support for Israel actually meshes with Paul’s desire to conduct foreign policy with limited revenues. By providing military aid to Israel, Brog argued, we enable an ally to fight our common enemies.”

Brog was hopeful that Paul’s Israel trip might “expose him to the facts,” and change his mind. “We’ve seen such trips work complete transformations in the past, most notably when Senator Jesse Helms flew to Israel in 1984 as a vocal critic of the Jewish state and returned home to be among Israel’s staunchest supporters.”

Paul said his wife and their three teen-age boys will accompany him to Israel to see “our Judeo-Christian roots,” and that he plans to meet with political leaders “from all sides.”

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  • Paul Ringo

    One thing is important to keep in mind about Ron Paul and Rand. At least Ron is consistent in his outlook. He’s not particularly anti-semitic or ‘against’ Israel from what I can tell. I’ll readily confess I haven’t looked closely into the policies of either lately. When Ron talked about cutting off U.S. funding for Israel, he also (in the same breath) wanted to cut off funding for all countries in the Middle East (Egypt, “Palestinian”) as a blanket (albeit blind) approach to fiscal responsibility and political isolation.

    Rand will probably have to make concessions in order to have any kind of influence on the national level in the States. He’s already come to that conclusion. It’s just a matter of which concessions he’s willing to make.

    My view is that he’s a Christian who would be open to a straightforward scriptural standpoint based on ‘what is right’. Worth considering during his visit.

  • Joy

    I’ve always supported Sen. Rand Paul’s excellent libertarian/conservative fiscal policies; but if he goes anywhere near his absolutist father’s isolationism – and, IMHO, BLINDNESS toward the Iranian threat – then whatever he decides to do in 2016 is a non-issue for me. Personally, I have yet to see or hear a GOP candidate or politician with the honesty and straightforward, sensible politics (to say nothing of political acumen!) of Sarah Palin. If she decides to run in 2016 – no matter how long a shot – she has my support and, I’m certain, that of the majority of GOP & conservative-leaning Independent voters! The rest can just pound sand!

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