Nikki Haley Tackles Ramaswamy, Defends Strong Bond With Israel

Former U.N. Ambassador and a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, Nikki Haley, rebuked her fellow GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s stance on U.S. aid to Israel. Ramaswamy, who voiced intentions to curtail aid to Israel by 2028 if elected president, faced Haley’s firm opposition.

Haley sharply disagreed with this perspective, arguing that the enduring bond between the U.S. and Israel is grounded in moral and strategic principles, resulting in the empowerment and safety of both nations.

“Vivek Ramaswamy is completely wrong to call for ending America’s special bond with Israel. Support for Israel is both the morally right and strategically smart thing to do,” she said, maintaining that the “iron-clad friendship” between the two countries makes them safer.

The debate revolves around the significant military aid that Israel receives from the U.S., amounting to nearly $4 billion annually. It is worth noting that the majority of this aid is utilized for credits sent directly from the Department of Defense to U.S. weapons manufacturers, making it a strategic partnership that ultimately bolsters American industry. 

Moreover, Israel’s intelligence collaboration extends beyond the Middle East to encompass regions like Russia, Central Asia, and other foreign countries, underscoring the mutually beneficial nature of the relationship.

Ramaswamy, speaking on the Russell Brand podcast, articulated his intention to enhance the Abraham Accords — an agreement solidifying relations between Israel and nations like the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan. 

While Ramaswamy aimed to broker peace between Israel and countries such as Qatar, Oman, and Indonesia, he also proposed a reduction in U.S. aid to Israel. For him, Israel should not get special treatment from the U.S. even though the country’s relationship with Israel has often boded well for American interests. 

The anti-woke businessman contended that if the Abraham Accords could be fortified, the need for substantial military aid to Israel might diminish. He opined that integrating Israel more closely with its regional partners could potentially contribute to stability in the Middle East.  

Haley also highlighted Ramaswamy’s views on Taiwan, emphasizing that he hinted at altering America’s commitment to the island if semiconductor independence were achieved.

“I’m being very clear: Xi Jinping should not mess with Taiwan until we have achieved semiconductor independence, until the end of my first term when I will lead us there. And after that, our commitments to Taiwan, our commitments to be willing to go to military conflict, will change after that, because that’s rationally in our self-interest.” Ramaswamy said last week.

These foreign policy positions, according to Haley, share a common thread of jeopardizing American security.

“This is part of a concerning pattern with Vivek. Between abandoning Israel, abolishing the FBI, and giving China to Taiwan, his foreign policy proposals have a common theme: they make America less safe,” she said.

The difference in opinion comes as the first GOP debate scheduled for August 23 comes closer. Both Haley and Ramaswamy, having met all requirements for participation, are to take the stage along with other candidates including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Tim Scott, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

A no-show is expected from Former President Donald Trump who, despite being a frontrunner for the nomination, has said that he will not be participating.

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