Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy called claims that he is anti-Israel “dead wrong” in Saturday comments.
“Many of you have heard my policy views described by the press as ‘unfriendly to Israel,’” Ramaswamy said at the Republican Jewish Coalition Conference in Las Vegas. “Some have even described me and my views as ‘anti-Israel.’ That’s dead wrong.”
Ramaswamy said Israel has “a right to defend itself” in the wake of the attack on Israel by Palestinian militant group Hamas earlier this month. However, he also noted that aid to Israel from the U.S., as proposed by President Biden recently, needs to be contingent on Israel’s plan of action in Gaza.
“Israel is barreling toward a potentially catastrophic ground invasion of Gaza without clear objectives,” Ramaswamy said in a statement shared with The Hill last week. “‘Destroy Hamas’ is not on its own a viable or coherent strategy.”
He has also criticized Biden’s tying of the conflicts in Ukraine and Israel and Gaza, calling it a “mistake to bundle the Israel discussion with the Ukraine discussion.”
“It is a gambit to avoid debate on the merits on either one,” Ramaswamy said in an interview with Jesse Watters on Fox News last week.
Israel launched an expanded ground operation into Gaza on Saturday. Communications were knocked out in the territory by Israel and the situation experienced by civilians has been described as dire by advocates.
The U.N. Secretary-General, António Guterres, reiterated calls for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas conflict Saturday as Israel launched the expanded invasion.
“Regrettably, instead I was surprised by an unprecedent escalation of bombardments, undermining humanitarian objectives,” Guterres posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “This situation must be reversed.”
Source: The Hill