Among the Republican candidates for President whom you likely had not heard of until the recent debate in Milwaukee is the Indian-American Vivek Ramaswamy, a near-billionaire biotech entrepreneur and investor who has never held elective office. He has strong positions on domestic policy, but in foreign policy he has focused almost entirely on reducing American dependence on China. He has expressed a desire to learn “the truth about 9/11,” which could indicate that he thinks there has been a cover-up, leading some to fear he is a conspiracy theorist. Though a Hindu, he has never shown the slightest interest in the history and present condition of Hindus in southeast Asia, including the mass murder of 80 million Hindus by Muslims, nor in the continued aggression by Muslims against Hindus, both in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and in India itself. He has had no comment, for example, on the Muslims who attacked and drove out 350,000 Hindus from Kashmir — the “Kashmiri pandits” — in recent decades.
Ramaswamy considers himself to be “pro-Israel.” He supports former President Trump’s moving of the American Embassy to Jerusalem. At Yale Law School, Ramaswamy belonged to Shabtai, which he has described as a “Jewish intellectual group.” On the other hand, he drew attention for criticizing a bill signed by Florida governor Ron DeSantis that penalizes antisemitic harassment.
Ramaswamy has been in the news for proposing that American military aid to Israel be cut off within five years. He is not anti-Israel, he reminds his critics, but thinks that by then Israel will no longer need such aid because it will have integrated into the region. “6 Jewish facts about GOP hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy, who proposes cut to Israel funding,” by Andrew Lapin, Times of Israel, August 23, 2023:
In June, while campaigning in New Hampshire, Ramaswamy suggested that he would be open to ending aid to Israel as “part of a broader disengagement with the Middle East.” He later walked back those comments. But last week, he told actor and podcaster Russell Brand that he does, in fact, want to end US aid to Israel in 2028, the year when the current US commitment to provide $3.8 billion annually to Israel expires.
Ramaswamy said that decision would come as Israel receives recognition from more countries in the Middle East. Israel has signed normalization deals with several states in the region in recent years, a framework called the Abraham Accords, and is now pursuing a treaty with Saudi Arabia. Ramaswamy told the Jewish News Syndicate that he’d also like to spearhead Israeli accords with Indonesia and Oman.
“Come 2028, that additional aid won’t be necessary in order to still have the kind of stability that we’d actually have in the Middle East by having Israel more integrated in with its partners,” he said on a show Brand hosts on the video platform Rumble.
More of his thoughts on ending aid to Israel by 2028 can be found here: “Republican Jewish Group Pushes Back on Ramaswamy’s Stance Against Israel Aid,” by Alana Goodman, Washington Free Beacon, August 22, 2023:
Republican Jewish leaders pushed back on Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s proposal to cut off military aid to Israel within five years, arguing that “such a move would very decidedly not be in America’s best interest.”
Matthew Brooks, the CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition, in a letter on Monday praised Ramaswamy as a “strong and passionate supporter of Israel” but urged him to rethink his stance against U.S. military aid to the Jewish state.
“In light of your overall support for a strong U.S.-Israel alliance, I believe that a closer look at the issue of U.S. aid will convince you that now is not the time to end an aid program that provides so much benefit to our nation, strengthens our key strategic ally Israel, and contributes to the stability of the Middle East,” Brooks wrote.
The letter comes as Ramaswamy has climbed in the polls, prompting new scrutiny on his foreign policy positions….Ramaswamy reiterated his position to the Washington Free Beacon, arguing that the aid will be unnecessary after he successfully negotiates new peace treaties between Israel and its Arab neighbors during the first year of his presidency.
Ramaswamy’s success as a businessman has gone to his head. Now he is putting himself forward as a wonderworker, able to “successfully negotiate new peace treaties between Israel and its Arab neighbors.” Presumably he also means bringing about a permanent “peace” between Israel and the Palestinians. How does he propose to end the Palestinian jihad against the Jewish state? And when he talks about how he will negotiate “new peace treaties between Israel and its Arab neighbors,” what does he mean? Israel already has peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. But there is no chance that Syria will ever sign a peace treaty with Israel, a country that it has been at war with since 1948, especially since the Golan Heights have been annexed as part of Israel in 1981. And if in 2028, Lebanon is still under the control of the Iran-backed Hezbollah, it will not agree to a peace treaty with the Jewish state. Nor will Iraq, where Iran-backed militias now dominate the country, be willing to “normalize ties” with Israel and sign a peace treaty. Ramaswamy, a self-made billionaire, has convinced himself that he is uniquely qualified to achieve an Israel-Arab peace, thereby obviating the need for American military aid to Israel.
EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.