Rand Paul: 'Counterproductive' to back Saudi arms deal if supporting Israel

Rand Paul: 'Counterproductive' to back Saudi arms deal if supporting Israel
© Greg Nash

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTurkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate Trump-Graham relationship tested by week of public sparring Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said that supporting a nearly $110 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia is “counterproductive” to United States support for Israel, an argument that comes as the Senate prepares to vote on a resolution of disapproval against part of President Trump’s weapons sale.

In an op-ed for FoxNews.com, Paul said lawmakers and their constituents should have a say in the arms deal, arguing that weapons could someday be used against Israel. 

“The United States must also take into full consideration whether providing more arms to Saudi Arabia is beneficial to our ally in the region — Israel,” Paul wrote.

“It would seem counterproductive to provide weapons that might someday be used against Israel.”

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The senator also cited Saudi Arabia’s continued military campaign in Yemen as a reason to oppose the arms sale.

“Already, U.S. military assistance through intelligence, refueling missions, and the sale of major U.S. defense equipment has not abated the humanitarian crisis in Yemen,” Paul said. 

“If anything, it has exacerbated it, and it has associated our name with Saudi Arabia’s tactics in Yemenis’ minds.”

Paul, along with Sens. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyPelosi, Schumer hit 'flailing' Trump over 'sham ceasefire' deal Romney slams ceasefire deal, calls Trump's Syria move 'a bloodstain' in US history Backlash erupts at video depicting Trump killing media, critics MORE (D-Conn.) and Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenTake Trump literally and seriously in Minnesota Ninth woman accuses Al Franken of inappropriate contact Al Franken to host SiriusXM radio show MORE (D-Minn.), on Tuesday afternoon will bring a resolution of disapproval to a vote. The resolution opposed the sale of certain defense services, including technical data.

“Will our assistance bring an end to Saudi Arabia’s history of promoting hatred of America and Israel throughout the world?” Paul asked in the op-ed.