Alan Newman

Senator Schumer is unprincipled

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Over the past years, hundreds of thousands of pro-Israel Americans have respectfully listened to Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) proudly recycle, with a mix of pride and irony, wordplay about his surname’s legacy. He schooled the audience that “Schumer” derives from the word shomer, Hebrew for guardian. He wanted us to believe that he is our guardian and that he can be trusted.

During this past week Senate Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer, the most senior Jewish Congressional leader ever, gratuitously opined that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu was an “obstacle for peace” and called for Israel, a sovereign nation, to hold elections to oust their leader. Schumer also chimed in on how Israel, heartbroken but resolute, should conduct a war in Gaza against her savage neighbors. Schumer chose to ignore the facts that Israel is the one-and-only democracy in the Middle East and is currently battling for survival on multiple fronts. He brushed off consideration as to how his comments embolden Israel’s many enemies.

Almost all centrist legacy Jewish organizations chastised Senator Schumer for his commentary. While the severity of the wordsmithing reflected political leanings, there was unanimity criticizing the interference and damage to the American-Israeli relationship. Words like disappointing, dangerous, shocked, and unthinkable peppered their reaction.

Nearly a decade ago, on August 6, 2015, Senator Schumer declared he would vote against President Obama’s Iran appeasing Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal. However, he carefully protected his career by not stepping forward to influence his Democrat Congressional colleagues. It was not a “profiles in courage” moment.

With Chuck Schumer’s willingness to proactively disadvantage our ally Israel, it is fair to wonder why his energy isn’t focused on changing of governments of theocratic and autocratic states like China, North Korea, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, and Cuba, just to name a few. Schumer’s selective animus reminds us that the comic Joey Adams observed,” …with friends like these, who needs enemies.”

With all this, Schumer falls well short as a guardian for his beleaguered people. He appears to be more an oberkapo doing the dirty work for his bosses. His recent cynical declarations provide cover for President Biden’s dangerous policies affecting Israel and her malign neighbors. In the same week Schumer punished Israel with his comments, President Biden once again reduced sanctions on Iraq by $10 billion that ultimately advantages Iran and her proxies. Biden also increased the pressure on Israel by threatening redlines and validating Hamas’s unreliable Palestinian casualty figures.

Senator Schumer weakens Israel and places her brave soldiers in greater danger. For a politician who has been in office since he was in his twenties and did not serve in the military, he ought to tread more carefully where someone else’s life and limb is at risk.

On November 15, 2023, at the March for Israel on Washington’s National Mall, in front of a crowd of over three hundred thousand, Schumer stood with his hands raised and locked in solidarity with the four senior Congressional leaders. All were rallying in support of Israel, for return of the hostages and to counter the rise in antisemitism. We must wonder what happened since then. Has the strain of the Biden-Trump presidential race in Muslim-heavy swing states like Michigan encouraged Democrats to jettison their morality and loyalty? Has puppet-master President Obama, with a clear anti-Israel bias, given orders that must be followed? Is pressure from the Democrat’s Far Left’s Squad yanking the self-proclaimed guardian down from the walls?

In the black and white, gritty 1963 movie, Hud, Melvyn Douglas calls out his renegade son, played by Paul Newman, for scheming to jeopardize other ranchers by selling them diseased cattle. Douglas coldly castigates Newman, “You are an unprincipled man, Hud.”

In past years, pro-Israel Americans have heard unprincipled political leaders promise to “have Israel’s back” only to watch their careless and vindictive actions do just the opposite. With Israel stung by Hamas’s murder, rape, and kidnapping, she cannot tolerate politically motivated deception. With antisemitic mobs rampaging in America, Israel rightfully looks for justice and support. With Iran’s bloody responsibility clear for all to see, Israel deserves loyalty from her allies, especially from supposed advocates who are Jewish and whose family name implies one who is a defender of Israel.

About the Author
Alan Newman is a life-long supporter of the Jewish community and Israel. His commitment is evident with his hands-on approach and leadership positions at AIPAC, StandWithUs, Ben-Gurion University, Ethiopian National Project and Federation’s JCRC. He has traveled to Israel almost two dozen times and is an enthusiastic supporter of pro-Israel Christians including critical organizations like CUFI, ICEJ, USIEA and Genesis 123 Foundation. Alan’s compelling novel, GOOD HEART, published by Gefen Publishing House, is a multi-generational story about a Christian and Jewish family. He was a senior executive at Citigroup and holds two US Patents. He lives with his wife in West Palm Beach and enjoys time with his two sons and their families.
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