But if Paul went over to Israel “to learn more about what it would take to help to solve” the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, yet doesn’t think American pols should be commenting on the sovereign decisions of Israelis, what exactly does he believe America’s role should be in the conflict?
“While I don’t think we should dictate the terms of peace, America is a major player on the world stage and a major world power,” he said.
“So, if for example, both parties say they would like the U.S. to be involved in mediation and part of peace talks, then I think it’s reasonable. So I’m not against U.S. participation. But what I am against is, I guess sort of this flippant arrogance where U.S. politicians stroll through Jerusalem and in an off hand way tell them what to do with their own local government and I think that’s a mistake.”
At the very least, Paul is signaling that he wants to take Israel off the able as an issue of concern for his potential presidential candidacy; that he has no desire to alter the strong U.S.-Israel relationship during his time in the Senate or, should he run and be elected, the White House.
This is good. But conservatives need to know what his views are more broadly on America’s role in the world.
One of the reasons Paul says he opposes foreign aid is because we are going broke. He has said he favors cutting the defense budget for the same reason.
“Adm. Michael Mullen stated earlier this year that the biggest threat to our national security is our debt,” Paul wrote in a column on CNN last year.
“If debt is our gravest threat, adding to the debt by expanding military spending further threatens our national security.”
But as Paul surely knows, it is entitlement spending that is the main threat to our long-term fiscal health. Defense spending and especially foreign aid are far less significant by comparison. And besides, is he really saying that if we were in better financial shape he would support foreign aid and increased defense spending? I don’t think so.