United States Senator Rand Paul has introduced a Congressional bill that would cut off assistance to the Palestinian Authority so long as it seeks admission to the International Criminal Court.
The so-called “Defend Israel by Defunding Palestinian Foreign Aid Act of 2015” was the second anti-Palestinian bill introduced by Paul in as many years, according to the National Journal. Last year, he introduced the “Stand with Israel Act,” which would have terminated U.S. aid until the Palestinians agreed to a cease-fire and recognized the state of Israel.
The PA submitted the necessary documentation to become a member of the world’s permanent war crimes tribunal last week. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday its the member ship would become official on April 1.
As a member of the court, the PA will be able to pursue war crimes charges against Israel.
Hours before introducing the bill, Rand met with a group leading Jewish donors to the Republican Party, including casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, the Journal reported.
Paul’s bill would eliminate all U.S. foreign assistance, loan guarantees, and general aid to the Palestine Authority so long as it seeks to join the international court, according to an aide to the senator.
Interviewed by Fox News, Paul argued that it “hardly seems to me a good idea to give American taxpayer money to a country or an entity that is now saying that an ally of ours—that their soldiers need to be investigated for war crimes.”
The junior Republican senator from Kentucky is openly exploring a run for the White House in 2016. Observers see his bill as being part of a bid to win the support of Republican pro-Israel hawks, who tend to regard the libertarian Paul with skepticism, if not outright hostility.