Kentucky Senator Rand Paul — son of the presidential candidate — engaged Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol this morning in Des Moines with a question about Israel’s spy agency, according to an Italian reporter who was sitting with Kristol during the conversation.
Il Sole’s Christian Rocca writes that he was interviewing Kristol over breakfast at the Des Moines Embassy Suites when Paul — who shares his father’s doubts about American support for Israel — sat down beside Kristol, who also sits on the board of the hard-line Emergency Committee for Israel.
Paul’s first words were to ask Kristol whether the head of the Mossad is a member of the Israeli cabinet, Rocca reports.
Kristol replied, according to Rocca’s account, that wasn’t sure.
Paul explained that he’d heard somewhere that the head of Mossad didn’t consider a nuclear-armed Iran an existential threat to Israel.
Paul was right: Mossad chief Tamir Pardo reportedly said this week that a nuclear Iran isn’t necessarily an existential threat.
Kristol declined to discuss the conversation with his own publication, but the Standard seems to have confirmed the account by linking Rocca’s story approvingly.