Rabbi Shmuley Boteach confronted Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy on Wednesday about his position on funding for Israel in the spin room after the fourth Republican presidential primary debate in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Ramaswamy repeated his position from October, which is that Israel should be allowed to respond to Hamas terrorism without constraint, but he said that it was “irresponsible” for rivals to describe the October 7 attack as an attack on America. (Florida Gov. Ron Desantis responded by noting that American citizens had been murdered by Hamas; Ramaswamy then agreed.)
Ramaswamy also opposed Israel invading Gaza to fight Hamas, saying that it could become a quagmire and draw the U.S. into the conflict.
On Wednesday, Ramaswamy also drew laughter from the audience by describing his own position as the “most pro-Israel” of all the candidates onstage.
In October, Ramaswamy also stated that he would not support giving more financial aid to Israel for the war, but he stated in August that he would not cut existing annual aid to Israel, as Axios noted at the time.
Boteach confronted Ramaswamy over his opposition to providing additional aid for Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza:Courtesy Shmuley Boteach
Ramaswamy responded to Boteach’s criticism by noting, correctly, that he had opposed cutting annual aid to Israel.
Boteach later said that Ramaswamy’s opposition to further aid would result in the Israeli military being forced to fight with “pea-shooters.”
A $14 billion Israel aid package is currently stalled in Congress, after President Joe Biden linked it to Ukraine funding; after Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) linked it to cuts in IRS funding; and after Senate Democrats refused to pass a bill that included Republican border enforcement provisions.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.