Vivek Ramaswamy, a candidate for the Republican Party presidential nomination, is a newcomer who was not widely known outside the biotech industry just a few months ago. He is now ranked in second place in many polls and his views on Israel thus carry weight.
Ramaswamy’s recent statements about Israel generated headlines and he has been receiving tremendous backlash for these ideas. He promised to cut aid to Israel and this stunned the world as he is one of the first major American politicians on the right to make such a promise since Pat Buchanan in the 1990s.
But there’s much more to what he said and this is what sets Ramaswamy apart from true critics of Israel who reacted gleefully and answers those supporters of Israel who reacted with shock. Ramaswamy promised to cut aid to Israel because he claimed that during his presidency he will create such prosperity for Israel that aid to it will not be beneficial to America, let alone Israel.
But surely you did not hear about this aspect of his remarks, because Ramaswamy’s ideas don’t fit the narrative. His fellow candidate Nikki Hailey certainly didn’t tell you this, because she wants to beat Vivek and cares more about her own aspirations than having an honest discussion about aid.
Ramaswamy promises to create what he has called the “Abraham Accords 2.0.” He has referred to the Abraham Accords as one of history's greatest diplomatic accomplishments by an American president and a large step towards a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
His “Abraham Accords 2.0” plan is focused on expanding peaceful relations for Israel with other Middle Eastern countries, so in essence it is simply a continuation of the Abraham Accords.
However, the very idea that all Arab nations will ever want to live peacefully with Israel is a very large leap, especially for those like Ramaswamy that know very little about the Middle East and Islamic antisemitism.
Nevertheless, if anyone can actually pull off a sea change in the nature of Israel's relationships with its neighbors, it could be Ramaswamy. He is not a critic of Israel, if anything he is one of its greatest supporters running for president, albeit perhaps unwittingly.
It should be obvious to all supporters of Israel that the goal for every U.S. president should be to support Israel to the point it does not need any American aid whatsoever. Throwing American money at Israel is not a long-term answer for either nation.
America can do more for Israel through fostering better relations with Israel and other nations ---inside of, and outside of, the Middle East--- than just supporting it with billions, although that sum is more than covered by Israel's aid to America.. Still, too many American politicians have used this aid as a leverage to force Israel into making diplomatic, territorial, security, and other concessions that the Jewish State should have never made. Removing this leverage is what is best for Israel.
Joe Ben Malin is a dedicated yeshiva student from America learning in Jerusalem