Commentary: The shame of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

by WorldTribune Staff, March 18, 2024

On March 14, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stood on the Senate floor and called for the collapse of the legitimately elected government of Israel.

“This is something new. This is something that has never happened before,” John Podhoretz wrote for

Schumer outright called for the ouster of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“As a lifelong supporter of Israel, it has become clear to me: The Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel after October 7. The world has changed, radically, since then, and the Israeli people are being stifled right now by a governing vision that is stuck in the past,” said Schumer, the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in America.

“Five months into this conflict, it is clear that Israelis need to take stock of the situation and ask: must we change course?” Schumer continued. “At this critical juncture, I believe a new election is the only way to allow for a healthy and open decision-making process about the future of Israel, at a time when so many Israelis have lost their confidence in the vision and direction of their government.”

Schumer is making this call “despite the fact that, were there to be such a change in government right now, it wouldn’t change policy at the most important level,” Podhoretz noted. “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.”

The government that Schumer wants to see replaced, Podhoretz added, “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.”

On the war in Gaza, Netanyahu is one of three decision makers. Opposition leader Benny Gantz, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant make up Israel’s “war cabinet.” All policy moves are the result of a majority vote among the three.

With this in mind, Schumer still “barreled on. He likened the coalition to Hamas, a terrorist group under the sway of the theocratic mullocracy in Iran,” Podhoretz noted.

Both Israel and Hamas, Schumer said, are “obstacles to peace.”

Podhoretz noted: “I will forbear from calling Schumer names for the moral equivalence he is drawing here, which trust me, is demanding a level of restraint Schumer himself should have shown by canceling the delivery of this speech.”

The “peace” Schumer is accusing the Israeli prime minister of obstructing is a new Palestinian nation. The “two-state solution” was rejected by Arabs 77 years ago when it was first formally proposed by the United Nations.

A Palestinian state, Podhoretz wrote, “now involves the creation of a polity whose citizenry has made it clear they would ardently and passionately support all continued efforts to destroy Israel by any means necessary. That’s what every poll of the Palestinians in Gaza and on the West Bank tells us.”

The vast majority of Israelis oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state by huge margins, recent polling shows.

“Only 30 years ago, the two-state solution was the policy of the government of Israel. Palestinians rejected every effort to put the policy into effect,” Podhoretz noted.

Bill Clinton told Yasser Arafat at Camp David: ”I am a failure, and you made me one.” As late as 2010, Netanyahu favored a demilitarized Palestinian state. In 2012, 65 percent of Israelis favored a Palestinian state in theory.

“But by 2023, after two wars with Gaza (a big one in 2014, a smaller one in 2021) were succeeded by the horror of October 7, 65 percent of Israelis said they did not. And it’s likely that since Gallup did that polling, the number has fallen still further,” Podhoretz wrote.

“Simply put, the deposition or removal of Bibi Netanyahu would neither further the ’cause’ of the two-state solution, which is dead for now and probably for a long time, nor change the approach to the war in Gaza one bit.”

Schumer has apparently decided “that he wants people to think he supports Israel but just despises that monstrous Bibi,” Podhoretz wrote. “Everything bad is Bibi. Everything wrong is Bibi. Biden is Bibi’s enemy.”

Kamala Harris said last week that the U.S. has to draw a distinction between the government of Israel and its people.

“This is ridiculous as a matter of fact,” Podhoretz wrote. “It’s even worse as a matter of political theory, since we do not draw such distinctions when we’re talking about a democratically elected government. But she’s a good soldier, and was playing her part, which is the demonization of Benjamin Netanyahu even as what Netanyahu does the Biden administration continues to support.”

In this sense, Podhoretz continued, “Schumer was being a good soldier too. But a bad Jew.

“For 25 years now, I’ve heard Schumer say at Jewish events that his name means ‘guard’ in Hebrew. Schumer = shomer. ‘My people,’ he would shout over a piece of rubber kosher chicken at the Marriott Marquis ballroom, ‘were the guardians at the gates of Jerusalem! And that is still the role that is most important to me!’ When I first heard this spiel, after he was newly elected to the Senate, I found it discomfiting — shouldn’t his most important role be to represent the people of New York? Was he deliberately trying to create a dual-loyalties narrative? What on earth was he doing?

“Well, if being a shomer for Israel was his supposed birthright, he just traded it for a mess of political pottage. The highest-ranking Jewish elected official in American history just used his status and his standing to provide cover to Biden for his ‘trash Bibi while supporting Israel’ plan. And in so doing, he has defamed the Jewish state, he has slandered its legitimately elected prime minister, he has made outrageous and unseemly demands of a democratic ally, and he has turned himself into Biden’s Luca Brasi—a designated political hit man in service of a disingenuous argument.”

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