Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon / GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with US President Joe Biden in NYC on Sept. 20, 2023, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former President Donald Trump both took aim at US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in separate interviews this weekend in response to Schumer’s remarks on the Senate floor last week, calling for new Israeli elections, establishment of a Palestinian state on Israel’s borders and claiming that Netanyahu “has lost his way.” US President Joe Biden, currently in office, praised Schumer’s remarks.

Let’s begin with Israel’s Prime Minister, “Bibi” Netanyahu.


And here is former US President Donald Trump.

Both Trump and Biden have expressed the view that Israel is running out of time as it pursues the remaining Hamas terrorist battalions in southern Gaza.

Trump urged Israel to “finish it up quickly” in order to “get back to the world of peace.” But he did not threaten Israel, nor did he make claims that Israel was endangering civilians in the process of pursuing the Hamas terrorists who massacred 1,200 people and abducted 253 others in southern Israel on October 7, 2023.

Biden, however, is directly opposed to the IDF entry into Rafah, Gaza’s city on the border with Egypt, fearing the 1.5 million civilians who have taken shelter there from combat zones further north could be harmed in the process.

Netanyahu has said repeatedly that the civilians will be evacuated out of harm’s way when the IDF begins operations in the city — but somehow, the Biden Administration is not convinced because the Israeli government has not yet shared the details of its plans with the White House.

Trump has not gone that far, but he too seems convinced it’s getting to be time to wrap things up — whether Israel has managed to achieve its goals or not.

Israel’s prime minister emphasized in the interview — as he has in every interview — that this time no amount of international pressure will force Israel to conclude its operations before achieving the goals of the war: destroying Hamas, rescuing the hostages and ensuring Gaza never again has the capability to become a threat to Israel.

“When people tell us don’t go into Rafah, that’s like telling the Allies ‘Don’t go into Berlin, leave a quarter of the Nazi Army intact.’ That’s ridiculous,” Netanyahu said.

“If we leave a quarter of the Hamas fighting terrorists in place, they’ll regroup, recapture and they’ll repeat the massacre over and over again. That’s not going to happen,” he said.

No Palestinian State. Period.
As for a Palestinian state, Netanyahu said the vast majority of Israelis oppose this idea, saying it “would be basically a formula for creating a platform, the greatest reward for terrorism in history, and would create a platform for attacking Israel.

“Hamas had a de facto Palestinian state in Gaza,” Netanyahu pointed out. “What did they use it for? To massacre Israelis in the worst savagery on Jews since the Holocaust.”

The prime minister took aim Schumer’s claim that Netanyahu’s government is comprised of “extremist fringe elements”: “You have to say when people say ‘Oh well, this is Netanyahu and his fringe elements in his coalition’ — no, it’s not. It’s the vast majority of the Israeli public that understands that a Palestinian state the way it’s envisioned would be an enormous danger to Israel’s future.”

‘We’re Not Obstructing Peace’
In response to Schumer having named Netanyahu as one of four “obstacles to peace” along with “Hamas and the Palestinians who support and tolerate their evil ways, radical right-wing Israelis in government and society, [and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud] Abbas,” the prime minister said bluntly, “We’re not obstructing peace.

“We’re ensuring that we don’t have a catastrophic, suicidal move. It’s not just me. It’s the vast majority of Israelis. If you want to take up the issue with the vast majority of Israelis, say so,” Netanyahu declared. “Say you’re against the vast majority of the people of Israel. Don’t try to personalize it, because it’s not a personal thing.”

Slamming Schumer
Asked for a direct response to Schumer and US President Joe Biden — who praised Schumer’s remarks and said the remarks had been cleared with his own presidential staff prior to the speech — the prime minister blasted the senator and praised the president for his support of Israel up to this point.

“I think Schumer’s statements are wholly inappropriate,” he said flatly.

“I think we’re not a Banana Republic. The people of Israel will choose when they’ll have elections, who they will elect and it’s not forced upon us. It’s wrong to try to replace the elected leaders of a sister democracy, a staunch American ally at any time, but especially during a time of war.

“Just imagine that after 9/11 and when you were fighting Al Qaeda and winning … some Israelis would say the right thing to do is to have new elections in America, or have President Bush resign. It’s inappropriate, and shouldn’t have been said. It’s wrong.

“I think the only thing we should be focused on is changing the regime in Gaza, bringing down the terrorist regime of Hamas, and not the duly elected government of Israel,” Netanyahu added.

Praising the Presidents, Past and Present
“Let me say I appreciate President Trump’s tremendous support for Israel when he was president. He recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he moved the American Embassy there,” Netanyahu noted.

“He recognized our sovereignty on the Golan Heights, got out of the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, and [together] we brokered the Abraham Accords, which brought peace with four Arab States.”

As for Biden, the prime minister noted that from the start of the war on October 7, 2023, “President Biden stood with Israel, came here, called Hamas ‘sheer evil’, sent carrier groups – aircraft carrier groups – to the region and sent ammunition. I hope the support will continue.”

But, Netanyahu added, at the bottom line, “If we’re alone, we’ll go it alone.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.