US/World News

Rand Paul talks with rabbis about Israel, U.S. foreign aid

( Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) answered questions about his views on Israel and the Middle East from a group of rabbis and Jewish community leaders at the National Society for Hebrew Day School Headquarters in Brooklyn, N.Y. “I think Israel is one of our best allies and best friends around the world,” Paul said. “They’re the only democracy in the Middle East. And I’m very supportive.” But Paul reiterated his position on ending American foreign aid, including to Israel. He said his stance is “the same as it’s always been: one day Israel should be independent.” Paul added, “I’m also not saying that [aid to Israel] has to end now.”

Paul also said that he has been learning about Jewish traditions from one of his prominent Jewish supporters, Dr. Richard Roberts, and that he has watched the film “Schindler’s List.” Pinchos Lipschutz – the publisher of the New York-based Jewish newspaper Yated, who participated in the conversation and questioned Paul about past accusations that the senator has negative views about Jews – told The Associated Press after the event that Paul needs to “come up with a soundbite that really convinces Jewish people that he doesn’t bear any animus toward them.”

“He’s going to have to do better,” said Lipschutz.

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