A bill that could potentially cut off foreign aid to Palestinians has some surprising opposition: the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful pro-Israel lobby, says Sen. Rand Paul, who is sponsoring the legislation.
“Ironically, the group AIPAC is pushing back this bill and this is to me very troubling,” Paul told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.
“If I were to speak to the 10,000 folks who come up here [to Capitol Hill] in support of AIPAC, the vast majority of them would support my bill.
“And yet the political establishment up here thinks, ‘oh we’re going to stop this because we’ve always given foreign aid to the Palestinians and we frankly don’t care what their behavior is.'”
Paul believes the opposition is bound to roil the nation as news of it emerges.
“The American people, if they knew that, would be very, very upset and think, ‘you know what, those people are no longer lobbying in favor of America and Israel if they’re not willing to put restrictions on aid to Palestinians,'” Paul said.
AIPAC, which says its mission is to “strengthen, protect and promote the U.S.-Israel relationship in ways that enhance the security of Israel and the United States,” had no immediate response.
But an AIPAC source told Newsmax:
“We are not supporting the Paul bill. We believe the law currently on the books is strong and ensures that aid is contingent on key conditions that help maintain America’s influence, keep Israel secure and advance the peace process.
“AIPAC supports a cut off of aid to any Palestinian government that includes an unreformed Hamas, and this is what is provided for in current law.”
Paul said his bill, which he introduced before the Senate on Thursday, would make aid to the Palestinian authority contingent on it recognizing Israel and cut off aid if it does not.
“If we’re going to send money to people in the Middle East who hate our ally of Israel, the money ought to be contingent upon behavior and I can’t see sending it to Hamas,” he said, referring to the terrorist organization whose aim is to establish an Islamic state in Palestine.
“Hamas has in their original charter the destruction of Israel as one of their goals. So how would we ever conceive of American money going to a government that has Hamas as part of it without Hamas agreeing to end hostility and to recognize Israel?
“I just can’t see how we can conceive of sending American money to a group like that.”
Read more at NEWSMAX.