RJC Letter to Vivek Ramaswamy on US Aid to Israel

Washington, DC – Today, Republican Jewish Coalition CEO Matt Brooks released the following letter that he sent to presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy regarding continued support for aid to Israel:

Dear Vivek,

I enjoyed speaking with you recently. In light of your comments on cutting US aid to Israel, I want to share some additional thoughts and open the conversation to a wider audience. 

It is clear to me from speaking with you and from your public comments that you are indeed a strong and passionate supporter of Israel. I appreciate the energetic backing you have shown for the Abraham Accords 2.0 and your support for Saudi-Israel normalization. I applaud your understanding that Iran must never obtain nuclear weapons capability. I think we also agree that support for Israel’s security, including Israel’s qualitative military advantage and deterrence, is very much in America’s national interest.

With that in mind, I would like to call three points to your attention regarding US military aid to Israel. 

First, there have been suggestions that Israel has the funds itself to “go shopping” in the world’s arms markets and therefore doesn’t need American monetary assistance. The fact is that Israel spends 85% (and as of Fiscal Year 2028 will spend all) of the aid it receives from the US in the US; that is a boost for us. And, with so many American allies eager to buy American military products (with foreign aid or without) it makes much more sense to keep Israel in the family of countries with an interest in buying and using American capabilities. 

Second, because Israel spends the money in the US, the two countries have developed a deep connection at every level: development and production of weapons, strategy and tactics, testing and training, and intelligence sharing. In addition, Israel has battle-tested a number of important systems, testing that has benefitted US forces. It is in America’s interest to continue the close cooperation that currently contributes significantly to our own expertise. In addition, now that Israel is part of CENTCOM, we should want to have the closest possible relationship with Israel, our most valuable ally against Iran, which is the chief threat to US interests in that part of the globe.

Finally, this is not the time for the US to take an action that would be universally perceived by Israel’s enemies as a weakening of the US-Israel relationship. Iran already controls Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and the Gaza Strip. The Iranian regime has Jordan and the West Bank in its sights. Israel may soon be surrounded by Iranian client states. The appearance of abandoning Israel would seriously harm Israel in military, diplomatic, and economic terms. In this dangerous time, such a move would very decidedly not be in America’s best interest.

In light of your overall support for a strong US-Israel alliance, I believe that a closer look at the issue of US aid will convince you that now is not the time to end an aid program that provides so much benefit to our nation, strengthens our key strategic ally Israel, and contributes to the stability of the Middle East. 

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this and other important issues with you in the future. And I look forward to greeting you at the Republican Jewish Coalition Leadership Summit in Las Vegas in October, where a large audience of Jewish Republicans from around the country will be gathered for our annual conference.

All the best,

Matthew Brooks