Vivek Ramaswamy
Vivek RamaswamyREUTERS/Brian Snyder

Vivek Ramaswamy, one of the leading candidates for the Republican Party's presidential nomination, pushed back against accusations he would harm the US-Israel relationship and Israel's security by cutting military aid to the Jewish State.

Speaking to Israel's Channel 12 News following last week's Republican presidential debate, Ramaswamy claimed that other politicians with more experience than himself put words in his mouth. “What I actually said was that if our relationship with Israel ever gets Israel to the point of being so strong that Israel doesn’t even need our aid anymore, that will actually be a mark of success of a true friendship. I want this to be clear – we will never cut off aid to Israel until Israel tells us that they are ready for it."

"I believe that the US-Israel relationship will be stronger by the end of my first term than it has ever been in US history and ever will be under any other administration. This is because I view this relationship as a friendship. This is not a client-transactional relationship. A friendship. And true friends help each other stand strong, on their feet with fortitude. I want to lead Israel into Abraham Accords 2.0 in whatever way the US can contribute to that diplomatically. Get Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Indonesia, into that pact. I think that the most antisemitic element of foreign policy is to hold Israel hostage over the Palestine question and stop Israel integrating itself into the security of its economic infrastructure in the Middle East and elsewhere. I will diplomatically lead the way to end this," he said.

He added, “On a personal level I have a great relationship with Israel. Some of my best business partners are in Israel, I’ve been there countless times, I was invited to join the Jewish Society of Yale. But the personal side does not affect my policy, because I am running for the President of the United States and one of the reasons I want a strong Israel is because that is in the interest of the United States. Our aid to Israel goes to investment in the United States; industrial capacity here. This is a clear win-win situation, and it would be senseless to cut that off unnecessarily.”

Ramaswamy believes that one of the critical elements in the US-Israel relationship is making sure that Iran never becomes a nuclear power. “We will never allow that to happen on our watch. That is the source of a true partnership and friendship, rather than just “check the box” on our aid list. I talk authentically and they can distort what I say, but I will keep on speaking the truth. We will not cut aid to Israel until Israel says that they do not need aid anymore.”

Ramaswamy believes unequivocally that he is going to win the next US presidential election. He has even considered the option of Donald Trump being an advisor to him as the President. “I can unite the country. I can speak to the next generation. I can build a strong moral mandate; Reagan 1981 style.”

Speaking of his performance during his first appearance in a public political debate last week, Ramaswamy said that he was “honored to come out as the winner of this debate. This was my first political debate ever, unlike the others who have been in many political debates in their lifetime. I am an outsider to politics. Ultimately, that was my biggest advantage. I was able to speak freely, from the heart, without prewritten slogans. That proved our success on stage. I was having a ton of fun. Two hours passed really quickly. I was just getting warmed up. So, I’m really looking forward to the next debate.”

Ultimately, Ramaswamy believes that the fact that he lacks any political experience can actually help him in the long run as President. “We are dealing with many current problems, and I don’t think that we want to hand the keys once again to the generation that got us into this mess. I think it is going to take someone coming from the outside, who speaks the truth, to actually re-unite this country and lead us forward. We can show the world what America is when it is strong. I have experience outside of politics that brings a fresh perspective to politics. Everything I’ve taken on; I’ve taken on with seriousness. The issues that I need to deal with are too serious to take on lightly, but I do like having fun on the debate stage, but don’t mistake that for the seriousness about my vision for this country.”