POLITICS

Rand Paul's Zionist non-interventionism

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Philip Klein

Ever since he announced his bid for Senate, one of the biggest questions facing Rand Paul was how closely his foreign policy views would conform to those of his father Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., a vocal non-interventionist and critic of Israel. Sen. Paul finds an interesting way to thread the needle in a statement criticizing President Obama's Middle East address. Paul makes a number of non-interveintonist arguments, but he frames them in support of Israel. You could call it Zionist non-interventionism.

Sen. Paul's statement reads:

"Our mistakes in foreign policy have always been from hubris. We somehow believe that we can dictate the policies of the world, and enforce them with our military and economic strength. While this might sound like a good idea to many, it has its limits and its consequences.

"For example, instead of seeking proper authority from Congress and the Constitution to go to war with Libya, President Obama empowered the United Nations and the Arab League, two bodies that together endanger the security and sovereignty of our ally Israel.

"It is the United Nations who is threatening to impose a Palestinian state without a guarantee of safety for Israel. It is members of the Arab League who foment hostilities or refuse to recognize the right to safety and security of Israel.

"But far worse than that, today it was an American President who stood before the world and once again demanded Israel act against her own strategic interest in the name of a false peace.

"Peace from weakness or peace from outside coercion of Israel is a fool's errand. Unfortunately, the President today proved himself willing to play that fool.

"Israel and her enemies have fought wars for the better part of the past 60 years. And terror-supporting countries in the region have spent the better part of those years feigning interest in peace while lobbing rockets across borders.

"For President Obama to stand up today and insist that Israel should once again give up land, security and sovereignty for the possibility of peace shows an arrogance that is unmatched even in our rich history of foreign policy

"If we could learn just one thing from our failures to impose policies on the Middle East over the years, it should be this: We aren't very good at it.

It should be interesting to see whether he expands on this over time, if it's a political calculation to sell his non-interventionism to his constituents, or if he's just trying to tweak those who support a pro-Israel and interventionist foreign policy.

UPDATE: Ron Paul attempted a similar approach.

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