A Tidal Change or a Blemish in Blind US Support of Israel? | Republican Senator Rand Paul Joins Democrat Bernie Sanders in Demanding a Report on Israel’s Human Rights as Killed Gaza Children Exceed 10,000 and Civilians 24,0000.
Rand Paul was the only Republican senator to support a resolution by Sen. Bernie Sanders to direct the State Department to issue a report to Congress on Israel’s human rights record.
The resolution, which was overwhelmingly defeated in the Senate 72-11. It demonstrated the Kentuckian’s defiance of his party’s blind loyalty position towards Israel regardless of its decades of human rights abuses against Palestinians. Sanders and Paul’s patience seems to have run out as Israel’s war crimes and genocide on Gaza civilians in the last 3 months keep mounting.
Despite 100% support by the Biden administration and European nations for Israel to eradicate Hamas, Israel has failed to meet any of its goals set out on October 8th while killing more than 24,000 civilians, and more than 10,000 children with American weapons in this failed effort.
Sanders portrayed the Tuesday evening vote as one of accountability as calls for an Israeli ceasefire among the U.S. public grow louder.
“It does not alter aid to Israel in any way. It simply requests that the State Department report on how our aid is being used…I hope it is not controversial to ask how U.S. weapons are being used,” Sanders said ahead of the vote.
Under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, Congress can direct the State Department to provide information on the human rights record of any country receiving U.S. security aid.
GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, who holds a worldview diametrically opposite of Paul’s, lambasted the move as an attempt at “tying the hands of a close ally locked in a necessary battle against savage terrorists” and a gift to “left-wing, anti-Israel activists.”
In a statement Paul said he supported the Sanders resolution, “which acknowledges Israel’s right to defend themselves, because I believe all foreign aid should be conditioned and overseen as to how that aid is spent.”
Violence escalated in the Middle East Tuesday with Hamas reportedly firing at least 50 rockets at Israel and Israel striking an alleged terrorist leader in the West Bank.
Congressional leaders are currently in the midst of negotiating a spending package that would provide assistance to Israel, Ukraine and southern border security.
But cobbling together the three disparate issues has proven complicated and Paul is unlikely to support a bill that continues to provide aid to Ukraine.
“People like Senator McConnell care more about Ukraine than anything else,” Paul told Laura Ingraham on Fox News last week. “He wants to send $60 billion of your money to Ukraine.”
In the fall, Paul joined 11 GOP senators to force a vote on providing an additional $14 billion to Israel by reducing IRS Expenditures, but that approach was rejected by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer as a “total nonstarter.”
Assembling support for Israel may prove difficult among House Democrats, many of whom have lost faith in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and believe he’s created a humanitarian catastrophe.
Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, a California Democrat, said he supports aid to Israel, but has warned his backing is conditional on how it conducts its military campaign.
“There’s got to be conditions on it. I will not vote for something that gives Prime Minister Netanyahu free range to do whatever he wants because he’s lost my trust,” DeSaulnier said in an interview.