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 PaulFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election Hillicon Valley: Senate report finds major cyber shortcomings in federal agencies | Gig firms seek Mass. ballot question to classify workers as contractors | Blizzard's president steps down after workplace protests 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 MurphyGraham's COVID-19 'breakthrough' case jolts Senate Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Democrats ramp up pressure for infrastructure deal amid time crunch MORE (D-Conn.) and Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenCould Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? Al Franken to launch 15-stop comedy tour Democrats, GOP face crowded primaries as party leaders lose control 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.