Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a skeptic of assistance to Israel who also is considering a 2016 presidential run, will travel to Israel.
The strong presence of Ron Paul, the Republican congressman from Texas, in the GOP campaign — and his respectable third-place finish in Iowa — is bringing attention to the often-ignored libertarian strain in American politics. It is an outlook that challenges the dogmas of both left and right, and taps into an essential part of the national psyche.
Even as Paul makes headway in some circles, organized Jewish support for his Republican presidential bid is nearly nonexistent, thanks to the candidate's longstanding stance against providing foreign aid, including U.S. assistance to Israel. Still, Paul commands a loyal, albeit small, Jewish following. This Jewish support has followed the same pattern as Paul's backing from other groups -- coming from out-of-the way places on the Internet and taking mainstream media and political organizations by surprise.
One of the signal contributions of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) over the many years has been its stream of publications reporting on and analyzing our community.
Combative and fiesty, Larry Sternberg relishes the impact of his Libertarian views. When running in a congressional primary for Rep. Robert Badham's vacated District 47 seat, Sternberg advocated decriminalizing illegal drugs. Despite a lack of campaign resources, he stood out in a crowded field ultimately won by Christopher Cox. "It was fun; it was a crazy fling," said the semi-retired Tustin accountant.