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Senator Schumer Announces It's Time for Netanyahu To Go

Senator Chuck Schumer. Credit: Flickr/Senate Democrats

March 14, 2024 (EIRNS)—An intense, behind-the-scenes brawl in Washington, D.C., that has pitted President Biden’s electoral hopes against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rule by perpetual war, has finally burst out into the open. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has never been known to utter a word of criticism about Israel’s government, today spoke for 40 minutes in the Senate, saying that Netanyahu was bad for Israel, and urging Israel to hold new elections.

He declared that “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.”

Further, according to AP’s account, Schumer said that he believes Netanyahu has “lost his way by allowing his political survival to take precedence over the best interests of Israel,” and is an obstacle to peace in the region. He pointed out Netanyahu’s choice of a coalition of far-right extremists, which has made him “too willing to tolerate the civilian toll in Gaza, which is pushing support for Israel worldwide to historic lows…. Israel cannot survive if it becomes a pariah.”

A week ago, on March 5, Schumer was one of those who met with Netanyahu’s chief rival, his war cabinet partner Benny Gantz, who was on a visit to Washington. Netanyahu took exception to Gantz’s meetings, smelling that something suspicious was going on. (The latest Israeli poll has Gantz and his coalition easily beating Netanyahu and his.) Then came, on March 11, the Director of National Intelligence release of the 2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community, which included the large dissension in Israel regarding Netanyahu’s rule, which triggered an expected and feral response from Netanyahu—though “officially” from an unnamed very senior government official, understood in Israel as Netanyahu himself.

Perhaps the final straw was Netanyahu’s unapologetic “get out of my way” speech, on March 12, to an estimated 1,600 delegates at an AIPAC convention in Washington, where he attacked anyone who doubts that Israel’s existence depends upon the large-scale killing of Palestinian civilians, who doubts that civilian deaths are wholly the fault of Hamas, and anyone, including his “allies,” who tries to convince him otherwise. He declared that there is “no other option but total victory.” The next day, Netanyahu canceled his scheduled appearance at the Republican legislators’ retreat in West Virginia.

Halie Soifer, CEO of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, commended Schumer’s Senate speech: “He said what the overwhelming majority of American Jews are thinking.” Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid stated: “Netanyahu is causing significant damage to the national effort to win the war and maintain Israel’s security.”

But part of the problem is that Miriam Adelson—the moneybags behind Netanyahu and his two “blood and soil” cabinet members, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir—is moving in on most of the Republican Party, including former President Donald Trump. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell immediately responded to Schumer, saying that the Democratic Party has an anti-Israel problem. And at the House GOP retreat in West Virginia, House Speaker Mike Johnson, called Schumer’s speech “inappropriate…. It’s just plain wrong for an American leader to play such a divisive role in Israeli politics while our closest ally in the region is in an existential battle for its very survival.”

And the other part is that Schumer has no solution to the “blood and soil” movement in Israel. Besides the removal of Netanyahu, Schumer simply states that without also removing from the equation Hamas and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, “there will never be peace in Israel and Gaza and the West Bank.” However, there will never be peace there, in fact, without the obvious: plentiful clean water, irrigation of the deserts and a full supply of electricity—that is, the LaRouche Oasis Plan. With every fiber of his political existence opposed to such, Schumer has no clue as to securing peace in the region.