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May 6, 2013 1:19 pm

Rand Paul Recounts His Israel Yeshiva Experience

avatar by Zach Pontz

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

Rand Paul’s trip to Israel in January left at least one lasting impression on him: a wild night at a yeshiva.

“I went to a Shabbat,” Rand Paul (R-KY) recounted to the National Review, adding “it was the first time I’ve ever done that, and I had a wonderful time. I went to the yeshiva, and all the young men were singing and dancing, they had me dancing around the table. I hope I was singing something that was fine — it was all in Hebrew, so I had no idea what I was singing.”

Paul’s January trip was ostensibly to “learn more about the Middle East,” but many took it as a sign that he was clearly cultivating ties among Jewish and Evangelical leaders whose support would be essential in a GOP primary battle.

Paul told the National Review observers shouldn’t look too much into the trip — “When you get to Washington, everyone asks you, ‘When do you want to go to Israel?'” — but acknowledges that he needs to strike out on his own, given his father Ron’s well-known foreign-policy views: “I guess I don’t look at it in really a calculated way. I am my own person and as I move forward I have to and want to present to the public . . . in my state and elsewhere, who I am and what I stand for, but it’s not so much that I want to say ‘Oh, I’m different on this, this, and this,’ it’s really getting beyond the comparison just to being who I am.”

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  • Typical politician. They’ll say whatever they think you want to say.

  • John Duncan

    Rand believes Israel should stand on its own two feet but he’s said if there’s a problem he will always stand with Israel.

    He opposes all foreign aid including to Israel and its enemies which actually get far more.

  • Shmuel Kessler

    Correction : his father is Ron

  • Marv Hershenson

    Senator Rand Paul is still an enigma for me. Based upon earlier interviews with the Senator, as well as written articles, his foreign policy position seems to mirror his father’s. If this is the case, I would be less likely to support his candidacy for POTUS. However, things could change. I shall wait and watch.

    • BlueShadowII

      I think Rand has a much more pragmatic world view than his father.