“The greatest threat to Israel in the short term is Iran, we know that. That’s why I opposed the agreement, because Iran is such a danger,” Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer said yesterday of his opposition to the Iran deal in 2015. Schumer spoke at a breakfast of the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush, Brooklyn.
Back in 2015, the New York senator was very concerned not to mention Israel’s interest in opposing the deal because such talk might raise dual loyalty charges. He referred to such charges when he gave a “tachlis” talk (let’s get to brass tacks) to a Jewish group and warned them that the U.S. and Israel had different interests and he had to go with America’s. His statement opposing the Iran deal two months later cited American interests– “we will be worse off with this agreement than without it” — and mentioned Israel once:
For years, Iran has used military force and terrorism to expand its influence in the Middle East, actively supporting military or terrorist actions in Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, and Gaza.
Schumer was one of four Democratic senators to oppose the deal, which was the signature of President Obama’s foreign policy.
At yesterday’s speech, Schumer said he is the highest ranking Jewish elected official ever in America and said that he had met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently and for an hour discussed the greatest long term threat to Israel: the disaffection of young Americans from the Jewish state.
I am, Baruch Hashem [thank God] the highest ranking elected Jewish official ever in America. Tell you what a great place America is– my father was an exterminator, he didn’t go to college, and his son is the highest ranking Jewish elected official.
The greatest threat to Israel in the short term is Iran, we know that. That’s why I opposed the agreement, because Iran is such a danger.
But the long term danger for Israel is something we don’t think about enough. The young people in America do not know Israel’s story. If you look at the polling data, they don’t know what Israel has gone through, and their support for Israel is declining, in every part of the country, every age group [sic], even the evangelical young people’s support for Israel is declining.
So it’s our obligation– I had an hour lunch, just me and Bibi Netanyahu, and this was the subject because it is so important.
The problem is that since the ’67 war, “Israel’s become strong, and the Palestinians have done a good job of publicity in trying to show themselves as the oppressor [sic].”
Schumer has three prescriptions “to alert the young people to the truth.”
1, Support the Taylor Force Act, which will cut off funds to the Palestinian Authority because “the Palestinian Authority gives money to the family of anyone who commits terrorism… They give them parades and calls them heroes.”
2, “We have to go after the BDS movement [boycott, divestment and sanctions] and call it for what it is, anti-Semitic.”
3, “We have to let the young people know… the danger that Iran presents to Israel. I can’t tell you the intelligence briefings I get. I can tell you this much: The number and accuracy of the rockets that Iran has brought into Lebanon is much much greater than it was during the last Lebanese war… If Iran tells Hezbollah to send rockets into Israel, there will be much more… death and destruction…. This is a real danger. We must alert the world that Iran is not a benign country but seeks Israel’s destruction and has more power to do it than just about any country since the founding of the state of Israel.
“That will help the young people to understand what Israel is up against.”