Schumer Calls For New Election In Israel, Attacks Netanyahu

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration on Thursday and called for fresh elections.

During an off-the-rails speech on the Senate floor, Schumer spoke about the Israel-Hamas conflict and mentioned that he is the first majority leader of the Senate to be Jewish.

The New York Democrat said he is “working in every way I can to support the Biden administration as negotiations continue to free every last one of the hostages” and denounced the terror attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7.

Schumer said his “heart breaks at the loss of so many civilian lives in Gaza.”

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“On the Israeli side, the U.S. government should demand that Israel conduct itself with a future two-state solution in mind. We should not be forced into a position of unequivocally supporting the actions of an Israeli government that includes bigots who reject the idea of a Palestinian state. Israel is a democracy,” Schumer began in his tirade.

“Five months into this conflict, it is clear that Israelis need to take stock of the situation and ask, must we change course? 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 added.

Schumer declared: “I also believe a majority of the Israeli public will recognize the need for change. And 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 post-war future. Of course, the United States cannot dictate the outcome of — of an election. Nor should we try.”

“That is for the Israeli public to decide, a public that I believe understands better than anybody, that Israel cannot hope to succeed as a pariah, opposed by the rest of the world. As a democracy, Israel has the right to choose its leaders, and we should let the chips fall where they may,” the New York Democrat said.

“But the important thing is that Israelis are given a choice. There needs to be a fresh debate about the future of Israel after October 7th. In my opinion, that is best accomplished by holding an election,” Schumer added.

“Now, you’ve president — Prime Minister Netanyahu’s current coalition remains in power after the war begins to wind down and continues to pursue dangerous and inflammatory policies that test existing U.S. standards for assistance, then the United States will have no choice but to play a more active role in shaping Israeli policy by using our leverage to change the present course,” Schumer continued.

He concluded, “The United States bond with Israel is unbreakable but if extremists continue to unduly influence Israeli policy, then the administration should use the tools at its disposal to make sure our support for Israel is aligned with our broader goal of achieving long-term peace and stability in the region. I believe this would make a lasting two-state solution more likely. Now, I know that many on both sides question how we can discuss peace at a moment like this.”

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Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell responded critically to Schumer’s speech, saying in his remarks on the Senate floor, “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.”

“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,” McConnell said. “This is unprecedented. We should not treat fellow democracies this way at all.”

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