Senator Charles Schumer, the powerful New York Democrat and potential future majority leader, was heckled by a Palestine solidarity activist Sunday June 11 at a concert in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Schumer has earned the wrath of Palestine solidarity activists for being an unflinching supporter of Israel and for, most recently, justifying the blockade of Gaza with this reasoning:
The boycott of Gaza to me has another purpose — obviously the first purpose is to prevent Hamas from getting weapons by which they will use to hurt Israel — but the second is actually to show the Palestinians that when there’s some moderation and cooperation, they can have an economic advancement. When there’s total war against Israel, which Hamas wages, they’re going to get nowhere. And to me, since the Palestinians in Gaza elected Hamas, while certainly there should be humanitarian aid and people not starving to death, to strangle them economically until they see that’s not the way to go, makes sense.
When Schumer took the stage, I had only one option to prevent the gag reflex from choking me to death. And that was to yell at him. And then yell at him some more. The adrenaline prevented anything particularly articulate but I managed to get the most important parts out. Free Gaza. End the blockade. Strangling a people is a war crime.
Clearly flustered, Chuck first tried to shush me, a task made more difficulty by his mic cutting in and out. A few people in the crowd – anxious for an uninterrupted Schumer opening act – managed to hurl a few shut-the-fuck-ups my way over their stifling apathy. Realizing I would not relent, Schumer finished with something along the lines of, "This is not about politics. It’s about enjoying our freedom." He hurried off stage.
With such a high per capita volume of smart phones, I expected someone to take a video, or at least blog about it and my desire for a you-tube-able moment trumped my instinct to ignore the entire scene. While full video is still yet to be found, some internet denizens caught hold of the confrontation. In various posts and comments on Brooklyn Vegan and Sentimentalist Mag, I’ve been called a "debbie downer," "fat," inciting a "political heckle fest" and – much to the chagrin of the staff of Vestal Parkway’s Cost Cutters (can’t beat $10 wednesdays) – of having a "bad haircut."