JERUSALEM — On the seventh day of his Holy Land tour, Sen. Rand Paul continued to walk a fine line between expressing support for Israel while avoiding the impression that his support for the Jewish state is uncritical and self-serving.
The Kentucky senator shares his father’s limited government principles but says his eight days in Israel — one of which included a meeting on the West Bank with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and, in Amman, with Jordan’s King Abdullah II — are designed to show he is not anti-Israel. Some Jewish Americans and born-again Christians often accused former Texas Rep. Ron Paul of indifference to Israel’s security.
“I’ve been accused of that, too, and part of the reason I’m here is to show I am not anti-Israel,” he said in a speech to the 53 people traveling wit him — most of them Christian conservatives but including some prominent Jewish Americans.
Many American evangelicals are as firmly pro-Israel as most Jewish Americans. He would need the support of both to make a successful run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 — a run that some of those accompanying him here say he is launching with this trip.
Mr. Paul will also need the allegiance of many of his father’s libertarian-minded supporters, and they will look askance at any indication that the Kentucky Republican is putting Israel’s interests ahead of America’s in order to cultivate the evangelical and conservative Jewish vote.
Read more at The Washington Times. By Ralph Z. Hallow.