We are sorely disappointed in Chuck Schumer, the senior U.S. senator from New York.
For one thing, despite his seeming courageous defiance of President Obama last year in voting against the Iran nuclear deal, he has now declared that despite his vastly increased influence as Senate minority leader and the election to the presidency of an avowed opponent of the agreement, he is not prepared to work to end it.
In fact, because of the intricacies of Senate rules, the Democratic minority will have a lot to say about what gets passed in that body.
We continue to believe the Iran deal presents grave threats to U.S. security and perhaps an existential threat to Israel. That Mr. Schumer, who will now be in a position to do something about it, chooses to punt is very disturbing and puts into doubt the notion that he was being forthright in his initial opposition to the agreement.
Indeed, there were some who suggested at the time that Sen. Schumer made a deal with President Obama that he, Sen. Schumer, would vote against the Iran agreement only if his vote were not needed for approval. According to this view, Mr. Schumer was able to cravenly have his cake and eat it too, as it were.
For another thing, Sen. Schumer has now taken to strongly supporting the appointment of Congressman Keith Ellison for chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. Mr. Ellison has been a relentless critic of Israel and proponent of the Palestinian narrative, has been a defender of the Nation of Islam’s Rev. Louis Farrakhan, and led an effort to insert an anti-Israel plank in the most recent Democratic Party platform.
The problem is that the DNC chairman will be the de facto face of the Democratic Party and its most potent organizing and fundraising tool at least until the next presidential campaign gets underway more than three years from now.
Already the Democratic Party in recent years has become vulnerable to the blandishments of anti-Israel voices such as Sen. Bernie Sanders. So the problem will become exponentially greater should Ellison become chairman and the longtime reality of solid bipartisan support for Israel takes another major hit.
Incredibly, Sen. Schumer freely admits that he supports Mr. Ellison because of Sen. Sanders’s importuning. He acknowledges his problems with Mr. Ellison’s feelings about Israel but brushes them off: “I’m not worried about the Israel stuff even though he and I disagree.”
Chuck Schumer has always been a stalwart supporter of Israel, which makes his current behavior all the more difficult to understand.