Ramaswamy Addresses Israel Policy Criticism at Jewish Forum in Las Vegas – On Saturday, Vivek Ramaswamy spoke to a Jewish audience in Las Vegas and responded to criticism of his stance on Israel. During his speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition Conference, he received both negative and positive reactions from the crowd in light of his policy positions while the conflict in Gaza intensified.
Ramaswamy embraced the controversy as the opening candidate to address the 2024 candidates and Jewish Republican donors in Nevada. “Let me relieve some of the tension in the room this morning by calling out the elephant in the room: Many of you have heard my policy views described by the press as unfriendly to Israel. Some have even called me anti-Israel. That’s dead wrong,” Ramaswamy told the crowd.
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“We have enough antisemitism in this country that we don’t need to artificially manufacture more of it. My message to you this morning will be, I believe, the most pro-Israel vision that you will hear today, but it’s not going to take the form of standard GOP-approved talking points,” he added. Following the Hamas attack in Israel on October 7th, Ramaswamy has faced growing controversy due to his statements regarding the U.S.’s role in the conflict.
He has suggested that the U.S. should withhold military aid to Israel until the Israeli government clearly outlines its post-invasion plans in Gaza. In an interview earlier this month with Tucker Carlson on X, Ramaswamy talked about the “selective nature of ignoring certain other conflicts” and U.S. interests, noting that he believes “there are, frankly, financial and corrupting influences that lead [politicians in both parties] to speak the way they do.”
Several Republicans have criticized Ramaswamy for what they viewed as the use of antisemitic stereotypes related to Jewish influence. This has further intensified the ongoing GOP reservations about Ramaswamy’s positions on Israel. The GOP candidate has gained significant media attention this month due to his confrontations with figures such as former U.N. ambassador and 2024 candidate Nikki Haley, Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst, and Fox News host Sean Hannity.
He frequently mentioned David Ben-Gurion, who is considered the principal founding figure of the state of Israel and its inaugural prime minister. Ramaswamy likened Ben-Gurion’s significance to Israel to that of George Washington’s role in the United States. ‘[George Washington] reminded us that our job here is to be strong at home, to mind our own affairs, to avoid foreign military entanglements that do not relate directly to our homeland here in the United States of America,” Ramaswamy said, with some in the audience then booing.
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“It’s OK. I’m sharing my honest view, and we have to have open debate to find a path forward.” “I am a George Washington, America-first conservative, and I believe the U.S.-Israel relationship is strongest when it is grounded in American self interest, as I believe it is and will be strongest when it is. Not in fleeting sympathy. That is better for America. That is better for Israel,” he added.