Ben Smith picks up a disturbing radio interview of Chuck Schumer by Nachum Segal, who is apparently to the right of Schumer and of course has influence, in which Schumer repeatedly sides with Israel over Obama and says the collective punishment of the Palestinian people in Gaza is tough luck. Notice Schumer's claim that all Americans share his feeling, but the contradictory statement that it's "Jewish members" of Congress who will be meeting Obama to stand up for Israel. Oh my. Amy Goodman, please run for Congress. Notice that Schumer has Obama's ear and brags of spending lots of time with Netanyahu. And you thought Democrats couldn't learn to love a rightwinger. Read the comments at Politico and you will see that people ain't buying, the American street is enraged by Schumer's allegiances.
Excerpt begins with Schumer's reference to State Department spokesman PJ Crowley's description of Hillary Clinton's exchange with Netanyahu: Clinton "made clear that the Israeli government needed to demonstrate not just through words but through specific actions that they are committed to this relationship and to the peace process."
"And Crowley said something I have never heard before, which is, the relationship of Israel and the United States depends on the pace of the negotiations."
"That is terrible. That is the dagger because the relationship is much deeper than the disagreements on negotiations, and most Americans—Democrat, Republican, Jew, non-Jew--would feel that. So I called up Rahm Emanuel and I called up the White House and I said, 'If you don’t retract that statement you are going to hear me publicly blast you on this...'"
[Ben Smith:] Schumer said the White House had backed off that statement, but that now "many of us are pushing back, some of the Jewish members will be meeting with the President next week or the week after, and we are saying that this has to stop."
More directly from the Segal interview, Schumer speaking:
there is some economic growth in the West Bank. It's growing at 7-8%, Netanyahu brags that -- when he came here I spent a lot of time with him – That there are multiplex theatres in places like Ramallah and Janeen. At the same time that is happening, there is prosperity with the more moderate Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and Hamas in Gaza is being squeezed and people there are doing very badly. Not only because Israel has blocked off the border and not let anything into Gaza, and I support Israel in doing that, and it may be tough on the Palestinian people, but when they vote for Hamas they are going to have to suffer the consequences...
Senator Schumer, the perception among New York state residents, and I’m one of them as you know, is there likely is no one closer in the Senate to the President than you.
SCHUMER: That’s not quite true, but I have an ear and frankly I spent time on the phone just yesterday talking to him about this, and telling him that I didn’t quite understand the United States policy, because even
if the goal is to bring about talks of peace, it was counter-productive because it’s encouraging the Palestinians not to sit down.
SEGAL: More than ¾ of the Senate, including a lot of democrats, signed the letter to Sec. of State Clinton rebuking the administration for these confrontational stances toward Israel. Were you surprised that names
like Kerry, Dodd, Durbin, Leahy and Reid were not included in that letter?
SCHUMER: well I think Senator Reid signed the letter, some didn’t sign but the majority of both parties signed. And we’ll have other letters and other meetings to keep pushing that. I think you can say there are a
handful of people who are not sympathetic to Israel in the Senate of each party, but 90% of the Senate is overwhelmingly in support of Israel. And one of my jobs, as you know is to rally those forces to do strong poll work for this year (couldn’t hear this
part perfectly). Believe me I think the policy has to change, and I’m working hard to make it change and I think it will. Every administration at the beginning has this view even Ronald Reagan, the best friend Israel ever had, do you remember his first 2 years?
When George Schultz wanted to sell AWACs to Saudi Arabia? Every administration has this idea to talk tough to Israel and make nice to the Arabs and the Palestinians and that’s the way to bring about peace. It’s counter-productive, it’s actually the
Luckily in terms of Jewish people we have good representation in terms of the Supreme Court. That will continue. One thing I want to assure your listeners
Nachum, my name as you know comes from a Hebrew word. It comes from the word shomer, which mean guardian. My ancestors were guardians of the ghetto wall in Chortkov and I believe Hashem, actually, gave me name as one of my roles that is very important in the
United States Senate to be a shomer to be A. a shomer for Israel and I will continue to be that with every bone in my body for of the other is against me.