He has confirmed meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Shimon Peres, as well as with several government ministers and members of the Knesset, according to the senator’s office. Paul also is arranging meetings with Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian National Authority, Jordan’s King Abdullah and others.
Paul said some critics have depicted him as anti-Israel because he favors cutting foreign aid, but he called that depiction a “misrepresentation.”“It is not my position to be against Israel,” the senator said. “I’m appreciative of the fact that Israel is a democracy, one of the few true democracies in the Middle East, and I’m also appreciative that they’ve been a close friend and ally.”
Paul said that foreign aid cuts “should start with countries who have not been good allies. … I wouldn’t start with Israel.
“Whether or not we can afford to continue aid to Israel over time? There needs to be discussion with Israel over them being more independent over time.”
The senator said he and his family will be part of a group of 50 to 100 evangelical Christians going to Israel and Jordan.They include Brad Sherman, an Iowa pastor who headed up a group of pastors for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2008 in the first-in-the-nation caucus state; Tamara Scott, Iowa chairwoman of Concerned Women for America, a religiously oriented conservative organization, and former Iowa co-chairwoman for Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s presidential bid this year; conservative Christian activist David Lane, based in California, who backed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for president this year; and Chad Connelly, South Carolina GOP chairman.