March 15, 2024


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Israel’s US ambassador slams Schumer’s ‘unhelpful’ anti-Netanyahu speech: ‘Israel is a sovereign democracy’

Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Herzog charged that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership is ‘unhelpful’ as the Jewish state continues its war against Hamas in response to the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks that left over 1,200 dead and hundreds more taken hostage. 

‘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 wrote on X. 

The highest ranking Jewish elected official in the U.S., Schumer, D-N.Y., excoriated Netanyahu in a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday. 

‘I believe in his heart, his highest priority is the security of Israel,’ Schumer said. ‘However, I also believe Prime Minister Netanyahu has lost his way by allowing his political survival to take precedence over the best interests of Israel.’

‘He has been 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,’ Schumer added. 

The speech came a day after the No. 3 Senate Republican, John Barrasso, of Wyoming, invited Netanyahu to speak at a GOP retreat in Washington. Herzog spoke in Netayahu’s place due to a ‘scheduling conflict,’ the New York Times reported.

Along with Netanyahu, Schumer listed ‘Hamas, and the Palestinians who support and tolerate their evil ways, radical, right-wing Israelis in government and society, [and] Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ as the other obstacles. The Senate majority leader said that Israeli elections are ‘the only way to allow for a healthy and open decision-making process about the future of Israel.’ He added that he believed a majority of Israelis also recognize a need for change in their government. 

‘The Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel after Oct. 7. 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,’ Schumer said. 

He promoted a two-state solution with a ‘a demilitarized Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in equal measures of peace, security, prosperity and dignity.’ 

‘As a democracy, Israel has the right to choose its own leaders, and we should let the chips fall where they may,’ Schumer said. ‘But the important thing is that Israelis are given a choice. There needs to be a fresh debate about the future of Israel after Oct. 7.’

As recently as January, Netanyahu rejected the prospect of two states, claiming, ‘I will not compromise on full Israeli security control over all the territory west of Jordan – and this is contrary to a Palestinian state.’ The Palestinian Authority has also reiterated its desire for the territories of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with Jerusalem as the capital. 

After Schumer’s speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R–Ky., took to the floor and addressed the remarks of his Democratic colleague, but did not call him out by name.

‘The Jewish state of Israel deserves an ally that acts like one,’ he said, condemning the call for new Israeli elections as ‘unprecedented.’

‘Israel’s unity government and security cabinet deserve the deference befitting a sovereign democratic country.’ 

Fox News’ Julia Johnson contributed to this report. 

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS