Rand Paul: Kicking Palestinians is a Freebie

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Rand Paul: Kicking Palestinians is a Freebie

People who are still sure that Rand Paul offers a meaningful alternative to Hillary as far as excessively zealous support for the Empire is concerned may need to install the latest version of the software.

This week, Senator Paul introduced legislation to cut off U.S. aid to the Palestinians unless the Palestinian application to join the International Criminal Court is withdrawn.

Senator, I knew Ron Paul. You are no Ron Paul.

Whatever one thinks of the ICC, or the Palestinian decision to join it, a "decent respect to the opinions of mankind" would suggest acknowledging the right of the Palestinians to join the ICC if they wish. Indeed, the right of the Palestinians to join the ICC has been recognized by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.

Existing U.S. law demands that the Administration cut funding to the Palestinian Authority if it initiates or actively supports an investigation into Israeli nationals at the ICC. But Senator Paul's bill would go further by trying to require a cut-off of aid to the Palestinians simply for joining the ICC.

Sadly, Senator Paul seems to have made a cynical political calculation that a good way to inoculate himself from neocon charges that he is soft in his so-called "support for Israel" is to be "more 'pro-Israel' than thou" in kicking Palestinians.

That is, Senator Paul appears to believe that kicking Palestinians even more than Netanyahu and AIPAC is a freebie - that nobody worth caring about will bother to complain.

A free and independent press is essential to the health of a functioning democracy

It would be a mitzvah to test whether Senator Paul's presumption is correct in this case. After all, the International Criminal Court has a lot of support among human rights groups. Some of these groups, like Amnesty International, have real troops. If you support the International Criminal Court, it follows logically that you support more countries joining it, and support the right of every country to join it.

What if a bunch of us tried to complain? Maybe, like with the "rebellious peers" in the Milgram experiment who refuse to crank up the voltage on the "learner", it would have a knock-on effect, and the rebellion would spread. Maybe Amnesty International would speak up. "Better to light one candle than curse the darkness." You can add your voice here.

Robert Naiman

Robert Naiman is Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy. Naiman has worked as a policy analyst and researcher at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. He has masters degrees in economics and mathematics from the University of Illinois and has studied and worked in the Middle East. You can contact him here.

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