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 PaulTrump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand Lawyer: Flynn will keep cooperating after co-conspirator revelations Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act exposes Silicon Valley's hollow diversity slogans 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 MurphyLawmakers join Nats Park fundraiser for DC kids charity Democrats look to demonize GOP leader Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia MORE (D-Conn.) and Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Mexican officials scramble to avoid Trump tariffs The Hill's Morning Report - Tariff battle looms as Trump jabs 'foolish' Senate GOP Barbs start to fly ahead of first Democratic debate 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.