Last week Rand Paul, a new Republican senator recently elected on the Tea Party’s coattails, said to Wolf Blitzer on CNN that the US should end its foreign aid policy entirely, including any that goes to Israel and to Egypt.

He said,

“You have to ask yourself, are we funding an arms race on both sides? I have a lot of sympathy and respect for Israel as a democratic nation, as, you know, a fountain of peace and a fountain of democracy within the Middle East. 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. The debt is all- consuming and it threatens our well-being as a country.”

This is not an unreasonable statement, although it certainly deserves to be debated. As expected, this caused a significant outcry on the part of many politicians, especially among some happy Democrats who could finally beat up on a Republican politician on the issue of Israel after the Republicans have run roughshod over the Dems since Obama first hosted Netanyahu at the White House and did it late in the evening, through a side door and didn’t permit release of any official photos of the visit.

Not surprisingly, J Street, the lobby group that supports Israel by advocating for the Palestinians, criticized Paul for his statement.

J Street is alarmed by Senator Rand Paul’s suggestion that the United States should end all foreign aid, including to Israel.

The foreign operations bill is a pillar of the US-Israel relationship and advances American diplomatic objectives by providing aid not just to Israel but to key partners in the Middle East and elsewhere across the globe.

Senator Paul’s proposal would undermine the decades-long bipartisan consensus on U.S. support for Israel. Any erosion of support should concern Israel’s friends on both sides of the political aisle, and we call in particular on leaders and donors in Senator Paul’s party to repudiate his comments and ensure that American leadership around the world is not threatened by this irresponsible proposal.

Did you get that? J Street is worried that Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians (“key partners in the Middle East”) won’t receive any more US aid. Fair enough, they want to ensure that the US maintain a position of influence, and foreign aid has an impact in this regard.

However, J Street hilariously continues to explain their concern about Rand’s statement explaining that his statement could undermine the “decades-long bipartisan consensus on US support for Israel.”

Talk about hypocrisy. It was just a few days ago that we discussed J Street’s attack on a Republican politician who often sides with Israel, but who criticized the hanging of a Palestinian flag on the Palestinian DC mission’s building.

Apparently, J Street is fine attacking a Republican politician who opposes unilateral steps that benefit Palestinians, just as they are fine attacking a Republican politician who suggests cutting off aid to Israel, Egypt, Jordan and, of course, the Palestinians. What are the two items that we have in common here? In both cases J Street attacks Republicans and in both cases they oppose initiatives that might do damage to the Palestinians.

The hypocrisy is mind-boggling.

Sure, some J Streeter might come on here and try to explain that the complaint about Rand’s statement reflects concern for Israel’s funding, but if that’s the case, why mention the other parties who receive aid in the press statement? And why attack a Republican senator on the basis of creating a schism in bipartisan support of Israel when one week earlier, in a matter of utmost importance to the Palestinians but that actually hurt Israel, J Street had no problem attacking a different Republican?

J Street’s actions indicate that it is partisan. It sides with the Democrats while attacking Republicans. To them it is immaterial whether the individual in question supports Israel or not. Rather, they focus on their party affiliation. Then they have the chutzpah to complain that somebody else is seeking to undermine the bipartisan support for Israel in American politics.

This is the same J Street that announced their support of the Palestinian initiative to pass a resolution in the UN Security Council criticizing Israeli “settlements.” Of course, the Palestinians consider the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem a settlement as well. Apparently, so does J Street. Otherwise, they would not support such a resolution which openly seeks to harm Israel and establish facts that circumvent UNSCR 242 and the Oslo Accords.

The J Street agenda is transparent. It is not Israel-friendly and it is partisan in support of American Democrats.

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  • This article is unfair and unsupported on so many levels, “themiddle”. First, to use two examples of JStreet coming out against Republican statements as proof of bias is pretty unconvincing given the limited data pool. Moreover, it does injustice to Republicans by suggesting they are one amorphous group, incapable of differentiated opinion. In fact, JStreet was responding to two very different issues–in the latter case, criticizing an idea because of its anticipated harm to Israel. The fact that it would be upsetting to any [progressively tenuous] balance in the region and would hurt our neighbors does not, in fact, contradict the initial point but only underscores it. I encourage you to go back and read a good smattering of JStreet’s press releases. You’ll find criticism and support of both parties, relative to their alignment with JStreet’s stated mission. Indeed, it recently criticized Gary Ackerman, ((D-L.I./Queens) for his vitriolic condemnation of JStreet on the proposed UN resolution.

  • Oh. So if J Street criticizes their critics, despite party affiliation, then they are bipartisan and adhere to the idea of bipartisan support for Israel?

    I ask because generally when you criticize your critics regardless of party affiliation, it’s because you’re covering your tuches, not because you’re bipartisan.

    But you know what, Betty, instead of debating, why don’t you look at J Street’s own list of endorsed 2010 election candidates for office. Can you tell me how many of these are Republicans?

    I couldn’t find any, but maybe I’m getting old.

  • I agree with the broad strokes if not completely the details.

    JStreet is trying introduce partisan politics into support for Israel. It is the flip side of what that Jewish Republican organization (name escapes me) was doing targeting Democrats by trying to tie support for Israel into voting Republican. This is wrong at every level no matter who is doing it.

    I would add further that JStreet while claiming to be pro Israel is much better described as being pro Israeli Left (you know the one who fly the Palestine Flag at their demonstrations). The Left has no voter support in Israel so uses overseas supporters to try and force their positions on Israel.

    Partisan Israeli politics should stop at the borders of Israel (no matter where you define them.) This is one of the Lefts truly great sins.

  • What Rand Paul doesn’t realize is that most of the foreign aid to Egypt and Israel is to assist them to buy arms that keeps the American defense industry going. No arms sales will lead to enormous unemployment in this industry. It’s as crass as all that.

  • Lorenzo, that is accurate. It’s funny that people continue to complain about the “Israel Lobby” when it’s actually the Arms Industry that pushes harder than anyone for these subsidies.