Sen. Rand Paul has a new an op-ed in the National Review calling for increased U.S. support for Israel, and giving grist to the idea that he is an inevitable 2016 candidate.
If he is indeed planning to run for president in 2016, the column gives us a good preview of the rhetoric he'll use to try to win over conservatives.
Paul's National Review piece is centered on the three Israeli teenagers who were found dead on Monday after disappearing on June 12. The Israeli government has held the terrorist group Hamas accountable for the kidnappings and murders, but Hamas has denied responsibility.
In his column, the senator known for having an isolationist streak strengthened his rhetoric on Israel:
I think it is clear by now: Israel has shown remarkable restraint. It possesses a military with clear superiority over that of its Palestinian neighbors, yet it does not respond to threat after threat, provocation after provocation, with the type of force that would decisively end their conflict.
As Lucia Graves at National Journal presciently wrote in May, Paul has visibly "evolved" on Israel — or at least his rhetoric has — since he became a senator. In 2011, shortly after being sworn in, Paul called for the U.S. to cut off aid to Israel entirely.