Photo Credit: AIPAC
Then-Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks at the 2018 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington.

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is Jewish, has called for the overthrow of Israel’s government, urging Israelis to hold new elections and oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Hamas and the Palestinians who support and tolerate their evil ways; radical right-wing Israelis in government and society; [Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud] Abbas; Prime Minister Netanyahu: these are the four obstacles to peace,” Schumer said in remarks Thursday morning on the Senate floor.


Netanyahu “has all too frequently bowed to the demands of extremists like Ministers [Bezalel] Smotrich and [Itamar] Ben-Gvir and the settlers in the West Bank,” Schumer said.

“I have known Prime Minister Netanyahu for a very long time. While we have vehemently disagreed on many occasions, I will always respect his extraordinary bravery for Israel on the battlefield as a younger man. I believe in his heart he has as his highest priority the security of Israel.

“However, I also believe Prime Minister Netanyahu has lost his way by allowing his political survival to take the precedence over the best interests of Israel.

“As a lifelong supporter of Israel, it has become clear to me the Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel after October 7th. The world has changed radically since then, and the Israeli people are being stifled right now by a governing vision that is stuck in the past. Nobody expects Prime Minister Netanyahu to do the things that must be done to break the cycle of violence, to preserve Israel’s credibility on the world stage, and to work towards a two-state solution,” Schumer said.

“At this critical juncture, I believe a new election is the only way to allow for a healthy and open decision-making process about the future of Israel.

A firestorm of reaction was not long in coming.

From Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY):
“It is grotesque and hypocritical for Americans who hyperventilate about interference in our own democracy to call for the Israeli leader’s removal,” McConnell said.

“The primary ‘obstacles to peace’ in Israel’s region are genocidal terrorists and corrupt PA leaders who repeatedly reject peace deals. Foreign observers who cannot keep this straight ought to refrain from interfering in the democracy of a sovereign ally.”

From Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud Party:
“Israel is not a banana republic but an independent and proud democracy that elected Prime Minister Netanyahu. Prime Minister Netanyahu leads a determined policy that is supported by a huge majority of the people.

“Contrary to Schumer’s words, the Israeli public supports a complete victory over Hamas, rejects any international attempts to dictate the establishment of a Palestinian terrorist state, and opposes the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza.

“A senator is expected to respect Israel’s elected government and not undermine it,” the Likud added. “This is always true, and even more so in wartime. It is expected of Schumer to respect Israel’s elected government and not undermine it.”

From Former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett:
“Regardless of our political opinion, we strongly oppose external political intervention in Israel’s internal affairs,” Bennett said.

“We are an independent nation, not a banana republic. With the threat of terrorism on its way to the West, it would be best if the international community would assist Israel in its just war, thereby also protecting their countries.”

From War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz (Blue & White Party):
“The US and Israel share common values and interests, and the citizens of Israel and its leadership are very grateful for the US standing by the State of Israel in its difficult and complex moments.

“The leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate Chuck Schumer is a friend of Israel, who helps her a lot even these days, but he made a mistake in his statement.

“Israel is a strong democracy, and only its citizens will determine its leadership and future. Any external intervention in the matter is incorrect and unacceptable.”

From Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich (Religious Zionism Party):
“The largest democracy in the world is expected to respect Israeli democracy.”

From Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Herzog:
“Israel is a sovereign democracy. It is unhelpful, all the more so as Israel is at war against the genocidal terror organization Hamas, to comment on the domestic political scene of a democratic ally. It is counterproductive to our common goals,” Herzog said in a statement.

The Ambassador’s statement is all the more noteworthy inasmuch as Herzog is a longtime left-leaning centrist.

“Israel is an independent democracy that decides for itself when elections are held and chooses its own leaders.

“America must continue to stand with our ally Israel and ensure it has the time and resources it needs to win this war. Hamas bears sole responsibility for this conflict. The hope for a brighter future for the Middle East begins with Israel’s decisive defeat of Hamas.”

The pro-Israel lobbying group noted that Hamas “bears sole responsibility for this conflict.”

From Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid:
Unsurprisingly, there were also a few in the opposition (primarily Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid Party) who chose to seize the opportunity presented by Schumer’s remarks to take a political swing at the prime minister, despite continued public support for the policies of his government since Oct. 7.

“Senator Chuck Schumer’s speech is proof that one by one, Netanyahu is losing Israel’s biggest supporters in the US. What’s worse – he’s doing it on purpose.

“Netanyahu is causing heavy damage to the national effort to win the war and maintain Israel’s security,” Lapid claimed.

From the Yesh Atid Party led by Yair Lapid:
“The only thing that has a huge majority in the people is that Netanyahu should go, because the biggest disaster in the history of the Jewish people since the Holocaust is written on his name. Even today he is only concerned with political survival, and he will fail in that too.”


Previous articleThe Mitzvah Of Settling In The Land Of Israel (Part IV)
Next articleSenator Chuck Schumer and The Elephant in The Room
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.