The Schumer-Sanders Alliance

America’s two most influential Jewish politicians are at the forefront of the political attack on the Jewish state.

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File
Senator Sanders talks to the media as he walks to the House chamber before President Biden's State of the Union address at the Capitol, March 7, 2024, at the District of Columbia. AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File

What’s wrong with this picture? America’s two most influential Jewish politicians are at the forefront of a political assault against the Jewish state. The Senate majority leader, Charles Schumer, who has for decades styled himself Israel’s “shomer,” goes on the attack against the Israeli government that leads the fight against a growing global attack on Jews. He does this to abet President Biden’s domestic campaign to appease pro-Hamas voters. 

Then there is Senator Sanders. The “Squadfather,” as Commentary’s Seth Mandel calls him, is the secular rabbi of the most anti-Israel and antisemitic factions in America’s politics. Known by accent and attitude for being Jewish, he endorses every blood libel from Representative Rashida Tlaib and Company. “Not another nickel for Netanyahu’s immoral war against the Palestinian people,” Mr. Sanders declared Thursday.

Both Messrs. Schumer and Sanders claim their attacks are meant to save the country they profess to love from itself. “Many people do not understand that the Israel of today is not the Israel of Golda Meir, of twenty or thirty years ago,” Mr. Sanders shared on Pod Save America. “It is a right wing country, increasingly becoming a religious fundamentalist country.” But wait, is this the same country that religious fundamentalists — Hamas — are intent on destroying?

Also, Golda? The woman of “there is no Palestinian people”? The one who said peace would come only when Arabs “love their children more than they hate us?” What would Golda tell Mr. Sanders and his fellow travelers who accuse Israel of deliberately starving the people of Gaza — never mind that hundreds of trucks carrying food, medicine, and water enter the strip daily, even as Hamas holds 143 hostages? 

In 1973, Secretary Kissinger famously begged Prime Minister Meir, whom Mr. Sanders now claims to idolize, to spare the lives of Egyptian soldiers surrounded by Israeli troops in the Sinai. They could die of thirst, Kissinger said. “We’ll send them water when we have got our prisoners back,” retorted Golda, as depicted by Helen Mirren in a recent biopic. Imagine the outrage if social media existed back then. Imagine Mr. Sanders’s reaction. 

Mr. Schumer the other day called from the Senate floor for regime change in a friendly democratic country. All he wanted to do is spark a political debate in the country he loves, he explained later. Has Mr. Schumer ever met an Israeli? Every politician (and citizen) in Israel knows that debate is etched so deeply in the country’s political culture that at any moment partisan allies could turn on each other, break a coalition, and force a new election. 

Hamas decided to launch its attack in October because Israel was so consumed with debate. Debating is the lifeblood of free societies. It gets so intense sometimes that Israelis have a term for excess infighting — “firing in the APC.” Meaning a nightmare military scenario in which soldiers inside an armored personnel carrier start shooting at one another. Israel has, during the war, laid such a fight aside. Why are Messrs. Schumer and Sanders trying to ignite one? 

Most Americans recognize the danger of tarnishing Israel, which is why Senator Lieberman spent his last day on earth warning Mr. Biden that Jewish Democrats will abandon him in November if he abandons Israel. A former French premier, Manuel Valls, said at Paris this week that around the world since October 7 hatred is growing against “universal values and therefore of Jews.” How can a French Socialist figure it out when Messrs. Sanders and Schumer can’t?


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