Ezra ben-Pesach
Ezra ben-Pesach

Where is the guardian of Israel?

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It is said that in physics the closest distance between two particles is Chuck Schumer and a news camera. Not that the Majority Leader of the United States Senate should be faulted for being a Jewish ham. His mastery of media has enabled him to ascend to the pinnacle of power in America.

Senator Schumer likes to boast that his name Schumer comes from the Hebrew word for “guardian” and that he is the guardian of Israel. Yet when an unprecedented rain of rockets fell on the cities of Israel for eleven straight days, our self-anointed guardian was deafeningly silent. The politician who is poised to pontificate about the most trivial of matters apparently has not given a single address or even a social media post on the dire situation.

If you go to Schumer’s prolifically updated pages on Facebook or Twitter he made quite a number of posts during these eleven days but nothing about Israel. If you’re a fan of minor league baseball in Binghamton, NY, then you were in luck.

As Rabbi Hillel famously said, If not now, when?

The inescapable conclusion is that the political calculi and compromises wrought over a lifetime in politics- Schumer has only held elected office since graduating Harvard Law- has conditioned his character. There is no reason to doubt his love for Israel and his fellow Jews, but the lengthy toil in the fetid swamp of Washington has demonstrably taken a toll on his kishkas.

In Israel’s hour of peril, and with a potential front opening in the North, the Guardian did not walk, much less race, to the powerful podium that he routinely avails himself of.

This is regretfully reminiscent of the tepid lip service that Senator Schumer gave with his opposition to the disastrous deal with Iran, an appeasement of the malevolent Mullahs behind the current spate of terror.

While the Majority Leader flees from his responsibilities as a shepherd, members of his flock wander askew with regard to Israel. Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, normally a stalwart supporter of the Jewish state did reiterate Israel’s right to self-defense. At the same he felt compelled to temper that endorsement with a gratuitous swipe at Israel’s bombing of the building used by the AP which, as he should well have known especially chairing the Foreign Relations Committee, also housed operations for Hamas. If the Guardian of the Jews had given his moral marching orders with strength and clarity, it is doubtful that there would have been such equivocation.

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Another member of the Majority Leader’s flock, Senator Bernie Sanders, the erstwhile presidential candidate and standard-bearer for the leftward lurch of the Democratic Party, is a different story.

In the Amidah, the great liturgical prayer, one of the 18 component prayers seeks Retribution for heretics and other defamers of the People of Israel. This might seem misplaced and archaic amid loftier-sounding supplications such as for Health & Healing, Blessing the Patriarchs and bringing Holiness to this world. With what transpired in Israel, and Sanders’ reflexive condemnations of Israel, the immediacy of this passage comes to light. He is the reincarnation of the apostates who testified against the Talmud and those who aided the Inquisition.

Barring a miracle, Sanders will not be persuaded away from his repugnant views. However, with the authority of his high office should the Majority Leader roundly denounce these attacks on the People of Israel, as we are commanded to do, it would hold tremendous resonance.

For several decades, the Democratic Party has been the political home for most American Jews. It would be tragically ironic if the first Jewish Majority Leader presided over the betrayal of this fealty. Senate Schumer owes it to his fellow democrats and Jews, and to show the world that the leader of the greatest deliberative body on the planet unabashedly stands up for America’s close ally and what is right.

As God told Abraham, those that Bless the Jews shall be in turn be Blessed. It is within the grasp of Senator Schumer to help maintain this Divine Reward.

On a recent Shiva call to the family of one of the victims of the accident In Meron on Lag B’Omer the Majority Leader professed that he has “deep faith in HaShem”.

It is high time for Charles Ellis Schumer, son of Abraham Schumer, to act on this faith and Be a Maccabee!

About the Author
Ezra ben-Pesach is a writer, attorney, martial artist and mountain climber.
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