"Recognize Israel as a Jewish State" or No Aid Says Senator

Republican Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky said unless Palestine recognizes Israel as a Jewish state he plans to introduce legislation for cutting aid to the country.

Republican Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky said unless Palestine recognizes Israel as a Jewish state he plans to introduce legislation for cutting aid to the country. Israel suspended talks with the Palestinian Authority over their unity deal with Hamas in April.

"The recent announcement of a Fatah-Hamas unity agreement brings both danger and opportunity to the peace process, and the next five weeks may prove critical,” said Paul who could run for presidential office in 2016.

“Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with an entity [Hamas] that does not believe it should exist and that has used terrorist tactics to seek its end.”

Paul didn’t believe that Congress would end foreign aid, but said the subject is worth exploring.

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“It will be harder to be a friend of Israel if we are out of money. It will be harder to defend Israel if we destroy our country in the process,” he told the press in Jerusalem last summer.

Hamas is considered by the U.S. a terrorist organization with a law stating that aid would cease if the alliance is permanent.

“I would start a little more quickly with those who are enemies of Israel and enemies of the United States, and I’d like to see their aid ended much quicker. With regard to Israel, it could be gradual phenomenon. It doesn’t mean we disengage from Israel.”

Israel is the largest benefactor of foreign aid from the U.S. with an estimated at $115 billon since World War II used mostly for military assistance. Paul faced criticism on slashing funding to Israel and gradually ending foreign aid when visiting the country in 2013. Last year the U.S. gave Palestinians $440 million for infrastructure.

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