Sen. Paul Call to End “Welfare” to Israel Rejected by Senate Dems

— David Streeter and David A. Harris

A group of Senate Democrats has sent a letter to Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the House Budget Committee, rejecting Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) proposal to cut foreign aid to Israel. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Robert Casey (D-PA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) proclaimed in the letter that Paul’s “remarks are alarming and aim to weaken the decades-long bipartisan consensus on U.S. support for Israel.”

This is the second time in as many weeks that Paul has advocated this dangerous and irresponsible policy. This time though, Paul went further and ludicrously claimed that American assistance to Israel is nothing more than ‘welfare.’

American assistance to Israel is certainly not welfare. For decades, the U.S.-Israel relationship has paid significant dividends for America’s national security and has helped Israel to become America’s greatest democratic ally in a difficult and dangerous neighborhood. This is not welfare; helping our democratic ally Israel helps America on so many levels.

Some may claim that Paul speaks only for himself. But if that truly is the case, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and other Republican leaders must immediately speak out loudly and clearly to condemn the reversal in U.S. foreign policy that Senator Paul continues to advocate. They must do so before Paul’s disturbing and now weekly appeals for an end to American assistance to Israel become dogma among certain segments of the Republican Party’s base, threatening the bipartisan nature of the U.S.-Israel relationship.

The text of the letter from Senate Democrats follows the jump.
February 1, 2011

Dear Chairman Rogers and Chairman Ryan:

We write in light of recent statements that demonstrate the intent of certain Senators to eliminate foreign aid funding to the nation of Israel. Recently, Republican Senator Rand Paul suggested that the United States should “halt all foreign aid including its financial aid to Israel.” These remarks are alarming and aim to weaken the decades-long bipartisan consensus on U.S. support for Israel. Both Republicans and Democrats are committed to reining in the federal deficit, but assistance to Israel is not a matter of “pork barrel spending” – rather U.S. foreign aid to Israel demonstrates America’s rock-solid commitment to ensuring Israel’s right to exist.

Israel is the only democratic nation in the Middle East and one of our most trusted allies. A stable and secure Israel is strongly in our national security interest and has been a cornerstone of our foreign policy for over half-a-century. Using Congress’s bipartisan commitment to reining in government spending as a reason to abandon Israel is unacceptable and should be immediately rejected.

At a time when U.S. foreign aid is being utilized to strengthen our partnerships around the world, particularly in the Middle East where our relationships are more important than ever, we urge you to commit to maintain full foreign aid funding to Israel.  As members of the United States Senate, we will work aggressively to prevent any attempts to abandon one of our most trusted allies. We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Senator Stabenow

Senator Nelson

Senator Menendez

Senator Cardin

Senator Brown

Senator Casey

Senator Whitehouse

Holocaust Denier at Lincoln University


Professor Kaukab Siddique at Lincoln University has recently been writing and speaking about Israel, the Holocaust and the Jewish people in an extremely offensive way. Since Lincoln University is supported through our tax dollars as part of the Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth System of Higher Education, State Senator Daylin Leach has organized an effort to prevent students of history in our state from being taught a revisionist, anti-Semitic version of history.

Lincoln University is an outstanding institution of higher learning. Distinguished alumni include Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, writer Langston Hughes, as well as the founders of South Carolina State University, Livingstone University, Albany State University, Texas Southern University, Ibibio State College (Nigeria) and the Kwame Nkruma University of Science and Technology (Ghana). It is a shame for Prof. Siddique to sully the reputation of Lincoln University.

Sen. Daylin Leach and numerous other members of the State Assembly have sent the following letter to Lincoln University President Ivory Nelson. The letter quotes Prof. Siddique’s at length to make clear how unacceptable he is as a “teacher of history.”

If your State Senator and State Representative are not on this list, please contact them and encourage them to sign on. (Please post a comment below to indicate their response.)

President Ivory V. Nelson, Ph.D.
Lincoln University
1570 Baltimore Pike,
P.O. Box 179
Lincoln University, PA 19352

Dear President

        As members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly we, as I’m sure you know, not only support Lincoln University financially, we also have a high regard for the University’s excellent reputation and a large stake in its future success. Given this, we maintain a keen interest in what is happening at Lincoln, and how it affects the image of the school, and by extension, our image as a state.

        It has recently come to our attention that Lincoln employs a literature professor by the name of Kaukab Siddique. Mr. Siddique  has written an article and appeared in a video in which he denies that the Holocaust happened, calls for the destruction of Israel through the use of violence, and calls Jewish people a whole series of offensive names.

        With regards to the Holocaust, Mr. Siddique writes:

“Open up the DISCUSSION of the HOLOCAUST story. What did really happen in World War II? The Auschwitz “gas chambers” story has been meticulously analyzed, rebutted and destroyed by critics like Mark Weber, David Irving. Germar Rudolf and Wilhelm Staeglich. These are scholars following the highest levels of scholarship. Notice that the chain bookstores do not carry their books and the corporate media simply don’t mention them. Read even one of them and you’ll be rid of the holocaust myth forever. Don’t take the “holocaust” issue lightly. It is the main source of funds for international Jewry. It is Israel’s milk cow.”

       With regards to Israel, Mr. Siddique writes:

“Israel is an ILLEGITIMATE, TERRORIST entity…DO NOT ASSOCIATE WITH JEWS unless they clearly say that Israel is illegitimate. If you are careless, you might find that you have a doctor or a lawyer who supports Israel. You can pick and choose lawyers and doctors. Rabbis are the worst of the lot.”

       Regarding Jews, Mr. Siddique refers to them as “the hydra-headed monster” and “the devil who resides in Tel Aviv”. Further, he asserts:

“The Jews are a small minority in America, yet they have taken over this country by devious and immoral means. They control the government, the media, education, the libraries, the book chains, the banks, Hollywood, Wall Street, Madison Avenue.”

      For reasons which I am sure are obvious, this sort of rhetoric raises concerns.  We support academic freedom and certainly a professor has the right to criticize Israel, or any other entity or policy he wishes. However, we are all familiar with the adage “you are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts”. I think this applies in this case. The Holocaust is not a theory or opinion, it is historically documented fact, denied only by those with a hateful anti-Semitic agenda.

     We are hoping that you can provide some clarification on a number of issues begged by Mr. Siddique’s conduct.

  1. What level of awareness did Lincoln’s administration have of Mr. Siddique’s propensity to engage in the sort of speech described above when he was hired and awarded tenure?
  2. Are Mr. Siddique’s anti-Semitic diatribes any part of his class-room presentation, or other presentations outside oft he classroom but on campus?
  3. What steps are being taken to ensure that Mr. Siddique is not teaching students at Lincoln University that the Holocaust is a myth, and is not perpetrating false and derogatory information regarding people of the Jewish faith?

    We appreciate your prompt response and very much look forward to hearing from you. You may reply to me and I will pass along your reply to my caucus.

Very Truly Yours,

  • State Senator Daylin Leach, District 17
  • State Senator Jane Orie, District 40
  • State Senator Vincent Hughes, District 7
  • State Senator Anthony Williams, District 8
  • State Representative Bryan Cutler, District 100
  • State RepresentativeGordon Denlinger, District 99
  • State Representative Eugene DePasquale, District 95
  • State Representative Russ Fairchild, District 85
  • State Representative Florindo Fabrizio, District 2
  • State Representative Dan Frankel, District 23
  • State Representative Mike Fleck, District 81
  • State Representative Robert Freeman, District 136
  • State Representative Pat Harkins, District 1
  • State Representative Phyllis Mundy, District 120
  • State Representative Harry Readshaw, District 36
  • State Representative Ken Smith, District 112
  • State Representative Dick Stevenson, District 8
  • State Representative Rose-Marie Swanger, District 102
  • State Representative Katie True, District 41