In Venomous Rant, Scarborough Supports Schumer’s Call For Israeli Regime Change

Mika Brzezinski Joe Scarborough Willie Geist MSNBC Morning Joe 3-15-24 For my sins, over the years I’ve suffered through countless Joe Scarborough rants. In recent times, Donald Trump has, of course, been Scarborough’s favorite target.

But for sheer anger and vitriol, it would be hard to match Scarborough’s tirade against Benjamin Netanyahu at the opening of today’s Morning Joe.

Scarborough attacked Netanyahu for purposes of defending Chuck Schumer’s shocking speech on the Senate floor yesterday, calling for regime change in Israel and the ejection of Netanyahu as Israeli Prime Minister.

Scarborough had the chutzpah to depict himself as the virtual True Defender of Israel, a veritable modern-day Judah Maccabee. He bragged about being “somebody who supported Israel my entire life. A guy who’s spoken before AIPAC my entire life. My God.”

After the massacres of October 7, Scarborough claimed “Benjamin Netanyahu should have resigned the day after…There’s no doubt. Netanyahu has damaged Israel in a way no prime minister has damaged Israel since 1948!” He decried a “sad dynamic, because there’s some people in America on the far right who are more interested in helping Benjamin Netanyahu than Israel….this is a disastrous path that Netanyahu’s on. And they know! The far-right extremists who are defending Netanyahu right now know. He’s doing everything he can do to stay in office.”

So, while Joe was bravely chowing down on Glatt kosher chicken at AIPAC dinners, what has Netanyahu ever done to put himself on the line for Israel? What has his family ever sacrificed?

Well, as an 18-year-old living in a comfortable Philly suburb, Netanyahu chose to return to Israel to enlist in the IDF. He became a combat soldier, and served for five years in the Sayeret Matkal, the famed special forces unit. He was wounded in combat on multiple occasions, and participated in many missions, including the rescue of hijacked Sabena flight 571. Oh, and Netanyahu’s brother Yonatan was killed leading Sayeret Matkal during the 1976 Entebbe Raid, the rescue of hostages in Idi Amin’s Uganda.

So, what explains Scarborough’s unusually venomous attack on Netanyahu, and his defense of Schumer’s despicable speech? Take it is a sign of the desperation of the Biden campaign, and lackeys like Scarborough. They see the 2024 election slipping away, as key elements of the Biden base — Muslim/Arab-Americans and young voters — move away in reaction to what they see as Biden’s excessive support of Israel in its war with Hamas.

Biden is in a bind. He knows he must do something to cater to those groups’ anti-Israel animus. But cutting off military aid to Israel would be a disaster. Since deserting Israel is off the table, Biden has settled for second choice: attacking Netanyahu. He’s a convenient punching bag, offering Biden the opportunity to make a symbolic attack on Israel that he is prevented from making directly. 

Biden’s message to Muslim and Arab-Americans and to young voters is clear: “See? The real problem here isn’t Israel. It’s Netanyahu. And I detest him! Want him gone! Just like you do!”

And Scarborough utterly failed to address the trenchant point that Mitch McConnell made in response to Schumer’s speech:

“It is grotesque and hypocritical for Americans who hyperventilate about foreign interference in our own democracy to call for the removal of a democratically elected leader of Israel.”

Grotesque and hypocritical. If the shoe fits, wear it, Scarborough!

As for Schumer, why did he agree to act as Biden’s dupe? He has made a reputation as Israel’s strongest defender in the Senate. At this stage of his career, what does the 73-year-old Schumer have to gain by debasing himself in this way? He’s already Senate Majority Leader. 

And as Commentary editor John Podhoretz has pointed out, in a column entitled, “The Shame of Chuck Schumer,” Netanyahu’s defenestration wouldn’t change war policy:

“Israel’s populace and its politicians are in alignment. Its government is a unity government in which the prime minister’s most formidable rival is sitting alongside the majority coalition. defene

“The current Israeli government, the one Schumer says he wants to see replaced, unquestionably represents a consensus view of the Israeli electorate on the most important issues, and that view is shared by something like 75 percent of Israeli voters.

“Moreover, when it comes to the war in Gaza, Netanyahu is not the decision-maker; he is one of three. Bibi, opposition leader Benny Gantz, and defense minister Yoav Gallant make up a “war cabinet” troika, and all policy moves are the result of a majority vote among them.”

Schumer and Scarborough surely know this. All of which demonstrates that their impassioned condemnation of Netanyahu and call for his removal have nothing to do with changing the course of Israel’s war with Hamas.

Schumer and Scarborough are simply Biden flunkeys, hoping to help Ol’ Joe feed a sop to some key voter blocs.

Here’s the transcript.

Morning Joe
6:01 am ET

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: And the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in the United States is calling for changes in Israel, now five months into its war with hamas. We’ll play for you what Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It’s something.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: And, my gosh, if you heard the reaction from the far right, from the Trump right, you would have forgotten for a second that Benjamin Netanyahu was the guy that let Israel’s defenses down, was the guy that knew in 2018 where all of the illicit funding was for the Hamas terror organization, was the guy who gave Hamas money through Qatar with a couple of weeks left to go, and had the attack plans a year before, from Hamas, did absolutely nothing. Actually had evidence that morning —

MIKA: Yeah.

SCARBOROUGH:  – what was happening. Again, did absolutely nothing. But, my God. Benjamin Netanyahu, you’d think he was, think he was George Washington. The attacks just absolutely unbelievable.

Benjamin Netanyahu should have resigned the day after, when it took five, six, seven, ten hours to bring aid to children who had seen their parents shot to death in front of their eyes, or babies shot — I could go on and on, but seriously, the, the outrage, the faux outrage is such garbage. It’s why Americans hate politics. It really is. There’s no doubt. Netanyahu has damaged Israel in a way no prime minister has damaged Israel since 1948!

And they know it! So — Willie, really, I mean, God, reading some of the editorials, reading some of the tweets, some of the garbage from the far right really is nauseating, as somebody who supported Israel my entire life. A guy who’s spoken before AIPAC my entire life. My God. 

I mean how much do they want to politicize this? Some of us, I know this is radical. Some of us actually want what’s best for Israel, and not what’s best for Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump. Some of us actually give a damn about the safety and security of Israel, not just now, but fiv eyears from now, 50 years from now.

WILLIE GEIST: Yeah. All of that is true, but no less an extraordinary moment to hear Chuck Schumer, Democrat, who represents the largest Jewish population in the world outside of Israel, in the state of New York, to say explicitly it’s time for a change of leadership. Something a lot of people have been thinking, as you said, but something we’re not accustomed to hearing from a leader, such a high-ranking leader in American politics, that it’s time for a change.

Leader Schumer did put out a statement later, saying this is up to the people of Israel, this is how I view this. The people of Israel need t odecide that.

But you’re right. There was a huge reaction from the right. A huge reaction from inside Israel, from the Netanyahu government as well. 

Just a fascinating dynamic here as we see our own president, President Biden, not just Chuck Schumer, stepping up his criticism of Netanyahu and the way he’s conducted this war as well.

SCARBOROUGH: Well you know, it’s a sad dynamic. A sad dynamic, because there’s some people in America on the far right who are more interested in helping Benjamin Netanyahu than Israel. I mean, I guess that’s just the sad reality.

I mean, there are a lot of us that are a lot more concerned about the Israeli people, and Israel’s security, and Israel’s —

MIKA: The hostages.

SCARBOROUGH: The hostages. Israel’s long-term support.

MIKA: 135 days.

SCARBOROUGH: The support, which just continues to erode in the United States, and across the globe.

So some of us that have always supported Israel, but yeah. We’re concerned about what’s going on. More than a little concerned about what’s going on in Israel. What went on October 7th. What’s been going on on college campuses across this country. The antisemitism that’s been sweeping the world now for –oh, I don’t know, 2000 years or so.

So, but again, this is a disastrous path that Netanyahu’s on. And they know! The far-right extremists who are defending Netanyahu right now know. He’s doing everything he can do to stay in office. It’s not for the best interests of —

MIKA: For him.

SCARBOROUGH: — the Israeli people. It’s in the best interests of Benjamin Netanyahu. They. Know. That. And yet they spew lies.

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