• May 29, 2024

Schumer Attempts to Meddle in Israel’s Democratic Elections

(Headline USA) Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday waged an unprecedented attack on one of America’s closest allies by attempting to meddle in its democratic elections.

”Israeli people are being stifled right now by a governing vision that is stuck in the past,” he said.

The bombastic senator—who previously fueled controversy for threatening physical violence against Supreme Court judges—called on Israel to hold new elections, saying he believed Israel’s conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had “lost his way.”

The rhetoric followed not long after Israeli officials publicly condemned the Biden administration, accusing them of a suspected coup attempt.

Using Schumer, who is Jewish, likely helped to mitigate some of the political liability that Biden otherwise would have faced from Jewish voters at home, even as polls indicate that his support among the once reliably Democrat voting bloc has fast eroded.

A recent poll of Jews in deep-blue New York indicated that a majority supported Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump, whose support for Israel was unwavering as president.

Biden, meanwhile, has attempted to hedge his bets while balancing the demands of radical Muslims, on whose support he also remains dependent in key swing states including Michigan and Minnesota, where large populations have recently signaled there displeasure during the primaries by voting “uncommitted” in protest.

Attempting to scapegoat Netanyahu as an obstacle to peace in the region may be the only way that Biden and other feckless Democrats can remain noncommittal even while it is the terrorist organization Hamas that remains the true obstacle to peace.

Schumer accused the prime minister—a legendary war hero—of putting himself in a coalition of far-right extremists.

“[A]s a result, he has been too willing to tolerate the civilian toll in Gaza, which is pushing support for Israel worldwide to historic lows,” Schumer claimed. “Israel cannot survive if it becomes a pariah.”

Schumer says Netanyahu, was one of several obstacles in the way of the two-state solution pushed by Democrats.

Netanyahu “has lost his way by allowing his political survival to take precedence over the best interests of Israel,” Schumer claimed.

Israelis argue that following the Oct. 7 massacre that killed some 1,200 innocent citizens and took hostage another 200, many of whom remain in captivity, the country’s national security depended on Hamas no longer existing as the government in control of the Gaza region. The Netanyahu government has said it has no intention of occupying the territory once its mission of capturing the terrorists and freeing the hostages is achieved.

The Democrat leader in his speech also blamed right-wing Israelis, Hamas and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Until they are all removed from the equation, Schumer said, “there will never be peace in Israel and Gaza and the West Bank.”

However, he appeared to offer no solutions for achieving that outcome.

The United States cannot dictate the results of an election in Israel, Schumer said, but “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.”

At the White House, national security spokesman John Kirby declined to weigh in on Schumer’s remarks, saying the White House is most focused on getting a temporary cease-fire in place.

“We know Leader Schumer feels strongly about this and we’ll certainly let him speak to it and to his comments,” Kirby said. “We’re going to stay focused on making sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself while doing everything that they can to avoid civilian casualties.”

Israeli ambassador Michael Herzog called the speech “counterproductive to our common goals.”

“Israel is a sovereign democracy,” Herzog tweeted. “It is unhelpful, all the more so as Israel is at war against the genocidal terror organization Hamas, to comment on the domestic political scene of a democratic ally.”

The speech also drew a swift reprisal from Republicans. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor immediately after Schumer’s speech that “Israel deserves an ally that acts like one” and that foreign observers “ought to refrain from weighing in.”

The Democratic Party has an anti-Israel problem, McConnell said. “Either we respect their decisions or we disrespect their democracy,” he said.

And at a House GOP retreat in West Virginia, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., called Schumer’s speech “inappropriate.”

“It’s just plain wrong for an American leader to play such a divisive role in Israeli politics while our closest ally in the region is in an existential battle for its very survival,” the Republican speaker said.

Netanyahu has long had a cozy relationship with Republicans in the United States, most notably speaking at a joint session of Congress in 2015 at the invitation of GOP lawmakers while then-President Barack Obama directly undermined Israeli security by engaging in nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Obama notably snubbed Netanyahu and offered him an historically chilly reception, the first president to signal a major public rift in the alliance that had existed since Israel’s 1948 founding.

Just this week, Netanyahu was invited to speak to Republican senators at a party retreat. But Herzog took his place due to last minute scheduling issues, according to a person familiar with the closed-door meeting.

It is unclear how Schumer’s unusually direct call will be received in Israel, where the next parliamentary elections are scheduled for October 2026. Prior to the Oct. 7 massacre, there already were suspicious of U.S. interference and efforts to foment a color revolution by stirring up leftist dissent following a similar model to the attacks waged on former President Donald Trump during his time in office.

Without overtly attacking him, the Biden administration has made clear where it stands through strategic passive-aggression

In a tone-deaf hot-mic moment while speaking to lawmakers after his State of the Union address, Biden promised a “come to Jesus” moment with the Jewish leader.

And Vice President Kamala Harris, Schumer and other lawmakers met last week in Washington with Benny Gantz, a member of Israel’s War Cabinet and rival of Netanyahu—a visit that drew a rebuke from the Israeli prime minister.

Gantz joined Netanyahu’s government in the War Cabinet soon after the Hamas attacks. But he is expected to leave the government once the heaviest fighting subsides, signaling the period of national unity has ended.

Schumer claimed that as the highest ranking Jewish elected official in the United States, he felt an obligation to speak out. He said his last name derived from the Hebrew word Shomer, or “guardian.”

“I also feel very keenly my responsibility as Shomer Yisroel—a guardian of the People of Israel,” he insufferably postured.

Schumer said that if Israel tightens its control over Gaza and the West Bank and creates a “de facto single state,” then there should be no reasonable expectation that Hamas and their allies will lay down arms. It could mean constant war, he said.

“As a democracy, Israel has the right to choose its own leaders, and we should let the chips fall where they may,” Schumer said. “But the important thing is that Israelis are given a choice.”

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press


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