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Sen. Schumer, thanks for the clarity

Schumer says Israel could become a pariah state. Whose fault? Schumer blames the Jews. Schumer specifies the suffering in Gaza. But not in Israel.

In an interview in which Sen. Chuck Schumer defends his demand of Israel that it hold elections now and throw out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Schumer says he was saving Israel. He was preserving bipartisan support for Israel. He was preventing Israel from becoming a “pariah state” (his words).

In the world according to Schumer, if Israel becomes a pariah state, it is the fault of Israel under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu. Look at how distant the Biden administration has become from Israel, Schumer says. Look at how public opinion around the world is against Israel, Schumer says. Israel must be saved from itself, Schumer says. And he is the savior.

There is a fairly simple way to test Schumer’s proposition. Ask whether the hostility to Israel is a response to actions by Israel, and if so, which actions and when. Did the hostility to Israel begin only as its defensive war in Gaza entered its fifth month? Did the hostility begin only as a humanitarian crisis in Gaza developed? Did hostility to Israel begin only as President Biden turned cold on Israel?

Or did the hostility to Israel around the world begin even before it launched its ground offensive in Gaza two weeks after the Hamas slaughter of Oct. 7? Did the hostility to Israel — the danger of it becoming a pariah state — take root just for having been attacked by Hamas? Did the hostility to Israel began not in response to anything Israel did? Here are the answers:

One Democrat in Congress would not condemn Hamas’ sexual atrocities of Oct. 7.

As Israel fought to destroy Hamas last October and November — long before a humanitarian crisis developed — that lone Democratic voice gathered some six or seven fellow travelers around her.

When it was reported that Israel bombed al-Ahli hospital on Oct. 17, the report was based not on evidence, but on the assumption by The New York Times and other leading media that Israel did so. In fact, Israel did not. Palestinian terrorists did. But the baked-in hostility in major media and the concurrent denunciations of Israel by growing numbers of Democrats showed that the danger of Israel becoming a pariah state was not caused by Israel’s actions.

Still, Schumer blames Israel. He blames the Jews for hatred of the Jews. It’s one of the oldest anti-Semitic tropes in existence.

And it’s not just Democrats. Republicans hold up the aid to Israel. It passed in the Democratic Senate, but not in the Republican House.

This terrible development in the US, the country whose support for Israel is still strong but weakening, is new. But it builds on the “pariah state” danger accentuated but not created by Israel’s defensive response in Gaza. The anti-Israel protesters were out in force even before Israel struck back in Gaza, even on Oct. 7 itself! Not to mention, Schumer invokes the “pariah state” danger without reference to the UN. The pariah status of Israel is longstanding in the world body. Just now, Sen. Schumer, you’ve woken up to the pariah-state status of Israel? Just now, you think it’s because Israel fights back against Hamas?

• • •

We read your speech to the US Senate. If it is Israel you want to save, Sen. Schumer, then defend its brave soldiers. Speak up for Israel’s displaced population. Speak up for the horror of its many amputees, who, without Hamas’ aggression of Oct. 7, would be healthy. You didn’t use your voice before the US Senate to speak of any of these things — and it was a very long speech.

You spoke up for Israel’s “suffering” — in generalities. Very much unlike how you spoke up for the suffering in Gaza: whole families wiped out, you repeated. But you didn’t mention that Hamas did this in Israel on Oct. 7. And the orphans in Israel — the brutally wounded in Israel — the amputees in Israel — the mental calamities that have befallen Israeli families — none of this appeared in your speech.

What did appear was moral equivalence: the equation of Mahmoud Abbas — who pays people for murdering Israelis — who is an admitted and proud accomplice to first-degree murder — and of Benjamin Netanyahu, whose failures are of a qualitatively different order.

On the political level, your speech was as obtuse as your blaming Israel for making itself a pariah state. On the one hand, you acknowledged that Hamas is evil, that Hamas uses Gazans as human shields, that Hamas attacked Israel with the intent of inviting a massive military response. All that, you get. What you did not get is that most Gazans and most Palestinians support Hamas. Ignoring that, you pushed for a two-state solution — and pushed for getting rid of Netanyahu — again blaming Israel for its future security dangers if it rejects a Palestinian state populated by people who back Hamas and its savagery. There is no two-state solution with people who want only one state: minus Jews altogether or, at best, minus a Jewish majority.

Sen. Schumer, you contribute to the fantasy factor: If only the PA were given a chance to reform itself; if only Israel wouldn’t fight to win; if only a ceasefire cum release of hostages were agreed to; if only Netanyahu were gone. Fantasies contribute to the decline in support for Israel in the US. Israel needs your support, Sen. Schumer, not your fantasy of a post-Netanyahu Israel magically blessed with good options.

Copyright © 2024 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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