Schumer’s Anti-Netanyahu Speech Stuns Washington and Israel

New York Senator Chuck Schumer gave a speech that has shocked observers in both Washington and Israel. 

Schumer said he felt an “immense obligation” to speak out as a Jewish American. He thinks Israelis know “better than anybody that Israel cannot hope to succeed as a pariah opposed by the rest of the world.”

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 “I believe that holding a new election once the war starts to wind down would give Israelis an opportunity to express their vision for the postwar future,” Schumer said Thursday in a speech on the Senate floor.

It’s very hard to paint Schumer as an antisemite or anti-Israel. And that’s what makes his speech so surprising and concerning. 

In 2015, when Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to a joint session of Congress, Schumer was one of the only Democrats who didn’t criticize Netanyahu for his understandably harsh words against the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal. And when the time came to vote on the agreement, Schumer was one of the only Senate Democrats to vote against it.

He has been front and center for two decades supporting Israel against those who want to destroy her. Until now.

Axios:

U.S. officials and Senate Democrats say Schumer’s comments reflect the change in public sentiment toward Netanyahu’s government — especially inside the Democratic Party and the mostly liberal Jewish American community.

One Democratic senator said that in 2015, Schumer wouldn’t have been able to set foot in many New York synagogues if he voted in favor of the Iran deal; after this speech, he’ll be welcomed there with praise.

The senator added that Schumer’s speech reflects what the majority of Jews in America feel — they support Israel and want to destroy Hamas, but are fed up with Netanyahu and his radical right-wing government.

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In Israel, Netanyahu and his Likud Party lashed out at Schumer. “Israel is not a banana republic but an independent and proud democracy that elected Prime Minister Netanyahu.” That may be true, But Schumer can also read the polls in Israel and see broad support for early elections—elections where Netanyahu would be favored to lose against his rival Benny Gantz.

And let’s not forget who Israel is fighting.

Schumer’s diatribe against Netanyahu was meant to give other Democrats room to also hit Israel for the civilian body count, thus assuaging the feelings of Muslims and radical-left Democrats who had been threatening to sit out the 2024 election. 

The fact that many far-left Jewish Democrats agree with Schumer makes it easier to interfere in Israel’s internal affairs. What they and other Democrats who are cheering Schumer on forget is that there are still 100 Israelis being held hostage by those “genocidal terrorists” in Hamas, whom Schumer’s politically convenient speech has just strengthened. 

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Naturally, Republicans pounced.

“Make no mistake, the Democratic party doesn’t have an anti-Bibi problem, it has an anti-Israel problem,” said Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. He added: “Israel is not a colony of America whose leaders serve at the pleasure of the party in power in Washington. Only Israel’s citizens should have a say in who runs their government.”

Schumer will take it because he has put a bandaid on the open wound of Gaza. The next step will be for Democrats to deny aid to Israel when it comes up for a vote in the next couple of weeks.

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