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Oliver Brown

Oliver Brown

15 Mar 2024

2 DK READ

15 Read.

Chuck Schumer Calls for Change in Israel

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer took the extraordinary step of urging leadership change in Israel, arguing the longtime government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has run its course. In a speech on the Senate floor, the highest ranking Jewish-American in Congress called for new elections, saying Netanyahu’s coalition is holding back progress in the country.

Chuck Schumer’s remarks represent an unusual intervention in the domestic politics of a close ally. While stressing his lifelong support for Israel, the New York Democrat said five months into renewed conflict with Hamas, “Israelis need to take stock of the situation and ask: must we change course?” With humanitarian concerns growing over the impact on Gaza civilians, Schumer argued Israelis deserve the opportunity for “a healthy and open decision-making process about the future of Israel.”

Chuck Schumer Anguished by Loss of Life

Chuck Schumer

In a strongly worded speech, Chuck Schumer expressed anguish over civilian deaths on both sides of the conflict. While condemning Hamas terrorism, he said “my heart also breaks at the loss of so many civilian lives in Gaza.” The senior Senator called the images of “dead and starving children and destroyed homes” deeply troubling for Jewish-Americans committed to Israel. Schumer made clear this humanitarian toll factored into his view elections could reset Israel’s direction.

Netanyahu’s Likud party dismissed Chuck Schumer’s intervention as inappropriate. But with congressional support for Israel wavering due to the war’s mounting costs, the majority leader’s remarks show rising impatience among Democrats. Schumer argued most Israelis “will recognize the need for change,” believing elections could provide “an opportunity to express their vision for the post-war future.” It remains to be seen if this unorthodox appeal impacts the political calculus within Israel.

Chuck Schumer Calls for Change in Israel