WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul had a reconciliatory meeting with the Republican Jewish Coalition in his latest bid to forge ties with the pro-Israel community.
“There were some pleasant surprises,” Matthew Brooks, the Republican Jewish Coalition’s director, told The Washington Post’s June 20 edition, speaking of the recent meeting between Paul (R-Ky.) and the RJC board.
“While there may be areas of disagreement, he is very, very different — and certainly different with regard to his father,” Brooks said.
The RJC has sharply criticized Paul since his successful 2010 run for the Senate, particularly because of his opposition to defense assistance for Israel.
Since then Paul, who is eyeing a 2016 presidential run, has visited Israel and taken pains to distinguish himself from his father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a perennial presidential candidate who has cast his own opposition to aid for Israel in stinging criticism of the Jewish state.
The younger Paul has instead said such aid harms Israel and has embraced other initiatives favored by the right-wing pro-Israel community, including cuts in assistance to Egypt and the Palestinian Authority.