Vivek Ramaswamy defended his proposed Israel policies, which include cutting aid to Israel and conditioning funding to the Jewish state’s war against Hamas, in a speech to Jewish Republicans on Saturday.
Ramaswamy told the Republican Jewish Coalition that the United States should “mind our own affairs to avoid foreign military entanglements that do not relate directly to our homeland.”
The comment drew a few scattered boos from the audience, leading Ramaswamy to defend himself as a “George Washington America-First conservative”—explaining to the Jewish American crowd that “[Israeli founder David] Ben Gurion is to Israel as George Washington is to this country.”
The speech comes as the candidate has faced criticism for his positions on Israel. The Republican presidential candidate, who is polling at around 4.5 percent, has taken shifting positions on military aid to Israel throughout the primary, but said he supports ending it by 2028.
“Many of you have heard my policy views described by the press as unfriendly to Israel,” said Ramaswamy. “Some have even described me and my views as anti-Israel.”
“We have enough anti-Semitism in this country that we don’t need to artificially manufacture more of it,” he added. “My message to you this morning will be, I believe, the most pro-Israel vision that you will hear today.”
Ramaswamy went on to say he would support bringing the “Abraham Accords to new heights” and would give Israel full American diplomatic support at the United Nations and other international venues.
Ramaswamy said last week that he opposes additional U.S. military funding to Israel, saying the Jewish state has yet to come up with a clear “objective” in Gaza. Israel has said its objective is to destroy the political and military infrastructure of Hamas.
But he told the RJC that Israel should pursue its own goals in Gaza without restrictions from the United States.
“If Israel wants to destroy Hamas, Israel should go ahead and destroy Hamas,” he said. “If Israel wants to destroy Hezbollah, Israel should go ahead and destroy Hezbollah … If Israel wants to at long last abandon the myth of the two-state solution, Israel should go ahead and abandon the two-state solution.”
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