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 PaulWe're all on the tarmac, waiting for an Iran policy This week: Congress set for clash on Trump's border request Washington braces for Trump's next move on Iran 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 MurphyOvernight Defense: Officials brief Congress after Iran shoots down drone | Lawmakers fear 'grave situation' | Trump warns Iran | Senate votes to block Saudi arms sales | Bombshell confession at Navy SEAL's murder trial Senate votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale Trump faces skepticism about Iran war authority from both parties 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.