Friday, May 24, 2024 -
Print Edition

Trump’s surprise choice for Vice President: Chuck Schumer

Talk about election interference

The primary difference between Donald Trump and Chuck Schumer is that Trump can be prosecuted for his alleged crimes of election interference. Not so Schumer. He can interfere in Israel’s electoral process without fear of prosecution. His is an overweening arrogance presuming to know better than the will of the electorate.

Schumer similarly presumes to speak for the entire Jewish people when no one elected him to do so, and when, in fact, he does not. He may speak for some Jews — a lot fewer than he thinks, we believe — and he certainly does not speak for us.

Schumer’s transparent attempt to soothe the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic critics within his own party — it has each category — has nothing to do with Benjamin Netanyahu’s  leadership. As the man on whose watch the worst debacle in Israel’s history occurred — the Hamas invasion of Oct. 7 — he will be held accountable. 

But now it is war time. Israel’s survival is at stake. Now is not the time for focusing on the failures of Netanyahu. Perhaps it would be if he were doing a poor job leading his country now. What are the basic facts?

For all of the tragedies and mistakes that take place in any war, including this one, Israel has eliminated some three quarters of Hamas’ battalions and much of its leadership under conditions that no other modern country has had to face: waging war, in large part, underground. If any comment from Schumer about Netanyahu’s leadership now is appropriate, it would be to salute him, the other members of Israel’s war cabinet and Israel’s brave, effective soldiers.

No other country has had to wage war while being charged in an international court with genocide even as, in fact, it is the enemy — Hamas — that blatantly engaged on Oct. 7 in unbridled savagery.

Schumer’s denunciation and barely veiled threat of an arms cut-off   in light of these basic facts do not paint a profile in courage. Sen. Schumer has lost his way.

And Senator Schumer styles himself a “shomer,” a guardian of Israel! With guardians like this, the State of Israel would have disappeared from the stage of history long ago. 

More basic facts: 

• Schumer’s call for a two-state solution handily ignores polling data on the West Bank that shows the great majority of its residents support the Oct. 7 savagery of Hamas. What kind of solution is that? 

• Schumer says that Israel must prioritize the protection of civilian casualties. Actually, Israel must prioritize winning the war and protecting its own soldiers. Only after that comes consideration of civilian casualties, whose numbers have not been verified by anyone except Hamas. When the US prosecuted its war against the Nazis, it prioritized winning and protecting its own soldiers. Does Schumer believe that Israel should win?

• Schumer says that Israel is not upholding Jewish values the way it is prosecuting the war. Did the US fail to uphold its basic values the way it prosecuted WW II?

• Schumer doesn’t like Israel’s Ministers Smotrich and Ben Gvir, but he did not elect them. Israel did. Schumer is outraged that Donald Trump did not accept the result of America’s last election. Schumer is like Trump. Schumer does not accept the results of Israel’s last election. As President Biden has said, you can’t accept the result of an election only when you win. 

  Schumer calls those who reject a two-state solution “bigots.” To demonize opponents is not a productive strategy if the goal is peace. Schumer’s locution reflects a dismissal of the unceasing terrorism flowing from the “moderate” West Bank, the murder of unarmed Israeli parents and children — a dismissal of the polls that show widespread Palestinian support for Hamas. Schumer is locked into an old paradigm, unwilling to confront current reality,  unable to think creatively. The Palestinian reality will never change so long as world leaders deny it. There is no solution to a problem that is not ackowledged: most Palestinians deny Israel’s right to exist.

Perhaps the most obtuse part of Schumer’s speech is the assumption that if he is listened to, Israel will prosecute the war differently. Schumer assumes that if there are new elections and Netanyahu loses, his replacement would wage the war differently. 

Schumer misreads Israel’s determination never again to be subject to an Oct. 7-like attack by Hamas. Even Benny Gantz, a likely replacement for Netanyahu, said that it was wrong for Schumer to interfere in Israel’s elections. On its face, that’s an objection on procedure: one democracy should not interfere with another. Look deeper. It is a statement from Gantz that he would not pursue the war differently from Netanyahu (though he may have a different tone). 

For all of his vaunted pro-Israel self-image, Schumer does not understand Israel, a tiny, vulnerable country. Its survival is the primary Jewish value at play here. Most Jews, Chuck Schumer to the contrary notwithstanding, undertand this.

Copyright © 2024 by the Intermountain Jewish News




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *