On the Issues

Where the Republican Candidates Stand on Israel

The United States’ relationship with Israel burst to the forefront of the presidential campaign when Hamas attacked Israel in October. The Republican candidates all called for the U.S. to back Israel after the attack, but they differ in their long-term policies — including their support, or lack thereof, for a two-state solution.

Headshot of Donald J. Trump

He vowed to “fully support” Israel, but he has also criticized Israeli leadership.

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR After Hamas attacked Israel in October, former President Donald J. Trump first blamed what he described as weakness from President Biden — but, days later, he criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Israeli intelligence, saying they had not been prepared.

Headshot of Ron DeSantis

He has been a staunch supporter of Israel and is unsympathetic toward Palestinian residents of Gaza.

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR After the Hamas attack, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said Israel “not only has the right to defend itself against these attacks, it has a duty to respond with overwhelming force.” He added: “America must stand with Israel.” Like many Republicans, he claimed falsely that President Biden’s policies toward Iran had funded the attack.

Headshot of Tim Scott

He did not rule out sending troops to Israel.

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina described Hamas’s attack in October as “an assault on Western civilization” and, like many Republicans, claimed falsely that President Biden had “funded” the attacks.

Headshot of Vivek Ramaswamy

He calls for prioritizing American interests, and he has suggested a path to phasing out U.S. aid to Israel.

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR After the Hamas attack in October, Vivek Ramaswamy said on X that other Republicans were reacting with “hysteria rather than rationality.” The United States “should provide Israel with diplomatic support, intelligence-sharing and necessary munitions to defend its own homeland, while taking special care to avoid a broader regional war in the Middle East that would not advance U.S. interests,” he wrote.

Headshot of Nikki Haley

She wants the U.S. to give Israel “whatever” support it needs in responding to Hamas.

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR “I would tell Israel, whatever it is you need to not just get your country back, to eliminate the terrorists, we should do,” Nikki Haley said at a campaign event in Iowa after Hamas’s attack in October.

Headshot of Mike Pence

He sees Israel as the fulfillment of a prophecy and has called other Republicans insufficiently supportive.

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR After the Hamas attack in October, former Vice President Mike Pence told CNN, “Israel has got to be given the support from the United States and countries around the world to crush Hamas.”

Headshot of Chris Christie

He called for “whatever it takes” to support Israel.

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR After the Hamas attack in October, former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey claimed falsely, as many Republicans did, that President Biden had “funded” the attack by releasing frozen Iranian money.

Headshot of Asa Hutchinson

He called support for Israel “a fundamental part of American culture” and signed a bill against boycotts.

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR Former Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas called the Hamas attack on Israel “symbolic of the times we find ourselves in with weak leadership in the White House.” He added: “We must stand with Israel. We must stand for freedom and democracy. We must stand to face evil head-on.”

Headshot of Doug Burgum

He wants “maximum political and military support” for Israel and signed a bill against boycotts.

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota said on the campaign trail in New Hampshire that he would be willing to send U.S. troops to Israel to free hostages. He called the conflict in Israel a “proxy war” between the United States and Iran and, without evidence, linked Hamas’s attack to the Biden administration’s Iran policies.

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