After Paul returned from Israel, he proved to be very useful. When [neocon] Jeffrey Goldberg published an article in the run-up to the Israeli election saying that Obama had "said privately and repeatedly, 'Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are,'” the Israeli press had a field day. And Paul, fresh off the plane from Tel Aviv, was perfectly placed to provide the pushback. He delivered in spades. He held a conference call with a gaggle of journos chastising Obama and spewing a number of thread worn neocon talking points. Naturally neoconservative Jennifer Rubin was in on the call:
“That’s an arrogant and presumptuous point of view and doesn’t further progress on anything,” the senator said, and he returned to that view throughout the call as he discussed the location of Israel’s capital and Israeli settlements. Paul decried U.S. politicians who display “this flippant and arrogant” attitude about internal Israeli affairs, saying that “no one can really know as much as people in the region” about such matters. “It is not up to the U.S. to dictate” to mayors and West Bank officials where housing goes, Paul added.
Robbins also reported on RP's grilling of John Kerry (my highlight):
Rand Paul's taking a leading role as Israel's protector lately. The other day the Republican Senator from Kentucky went head to head with John Kerry during Kerry's Secretary of State confirmation hearing, grilling him and lecturing him about the Middle East:Notice RP's clever wording. He wants to stop sales of weapons to "Israel's enemies," but does not comment as to what should be done with sales to Israel. Why shouldn't the US simply stop weapons sales to everyone? Maybe Rand should stop his visits to foreign lands and read what George Washington said about foreign entanglements.
Kerry: As you know Senator in any of the arms sales the United States has ever engaged in in that part of the world, there is always a measure, a test which is applied with respect to a qualitative difference in any of those weapons with respect to Israel's defense and security. And we do not sell weapons and will not sell weapons that might upset that qualitative balance --
In his Farewell Address, Washington counseled against favoritism to some nations, a favoritism that RP now appears to have adopted with regard to Israel:
Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all [...] In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated
[...] a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.
As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.[...]
The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible.