Rand Paul is trying to distinguish his own position on Israel from that of his father, Ron Paul. Apparently he believes this will help his presidential prospects one day.
Whatever the effect on American voters, I’m sure his Israeli hosts weren’t too thrilled by this gesture, reported in the Washington Times:
At a private dinner at the Jerusalem home of a London business and Jewish leader, Mr. Paul politely challenged a cabinet official in the Israeli government who contended it was impossible to with deal with Palestinian leaders because their only goal was the elimination of Israel as an independent state.
“Instead of nodding his head in agreement with his Israeli hosts at the dinner as most American politicians would do, Paul said he disagreed and suggested ways to improve trade with the Palestine Authority, Gaza and Israel to raise the living standard of the Palestinians and give them a bigger stake in peace,” Mr. Ross said.
That exchange, if accurately conveyed, betrays an ignorance of recent political and economic history, as well as of the actual goals of Palestinian leaders, that is rather tough to excuse.
His hosts were more likely amused than offended.