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Rand Paul to Israel

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a skeptic of assistance to Israel who also is considering a 2016 presidential run, will travel to Israel.

Paul will be accompanied by Christian and Jewish leaders, a report Friday on the Christian Broadcasting Network website, and will also visit Jordan.

He will meet with leaders in both countries, as well as Palestinian leaders.

The trip is organized by David Lane, a "prominent evangelical activist," according to CBN, and will include Republicans from Iowa, the critical first caucus state in the primaries.

Paul has backed eliminating foreign aid, including to Israel, but unlike his father, rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who has run for the presidency in the past, he has refrained from using Israel-critical rhetoric, instead framing his opposition to aid as bolstering his policy that Israel should act with a hand free of outside influence.

Paul has attracted conservative grassroots attention because of his budget-slashing rhetoric, but his opposition to Israel assistance has been as an impediment to winning over the party base.

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