U.S. Sen. Rand Paul held a conciliatory meeting with the Republican Jewish Coalition in his latest bid to forge ties with the pro-Israel community and left the GOP Jews with some “pleasant surprises,” Matthew Brooks, the Republican Jewish Coalition’s director, told the Washington Post.
“While there may be areas of disagreement, he is very, very different — and certainly different with regard to his father,” Brooks said of last week’s meeting between Paul (R-Ky.) and the RJC board.
The RJC has sharply criticized Paul since his successful 2010 run for the Senate, particularly because of his opposition to defense assistance for Israel. Since then Paul, who is eyeing a 2016 presidential run, has visited Israel and taken pains to distinguish himself from his father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a perennial presidential candidate who has cast his own opposition to aid for Israel in stinging criticism of the Jewish state.
Brooks told the newspaper that Paul spoke of “putting Israel in a different category” than other nations. Paul earned a standing ovation last month at a meeting of the Zionist Organization of America on Capitol Hill.JTA