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Democratic leadership send signal to left-wing base

Democratic leadership send signal to left-wing base Democratic leadership send signal to left-wing base

The uncommitted voters of Michigan say “Jump,” and Chuck Schumer asks “How high”?

The Senate majority leader gave an extraordinary speech flaying the democratically elected leader of an ally engaged in fighting a defensive war against a hideous terrorist enemy.

The speech calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to go, along with increasingly critical statements by the White House, shows that the Democrats have decided that appeasing their left-wing base in an election year is now their top consideration.

This is bad all around. As a matter of basic decency, this is not something that allies do to one another, especially not in wartime. Present unvarnished views in private? Absolutely. Try to nudge a partner toward a favored policy? Sure. But blast a friendly government in hopes that it can be toppled via a new election, just months after suffering a monstrous attack and as it is still trying to destroy a terrorist group deeply embedded in an urban environment? No.

The fact of the matter is that this is not Bibi Netanyahu’s war. It is the nation of Israel’s war. Netanyahu sustained political damage after the Oct. 7 attack, but his goal of prosecuting the war against Hamas to its completion is widely shared in Israel. Immediately after the attack, Israel formed a government of national unity that has pursued the war policy that Democrats now find so objectionable. If Netanyahu were to resign tomorrow, any number of things might change, but the war against Hamas would stay the same.

It is easy, sitting in Washington, D.C., and worrying about how to placate the anti-Israel uncommitted voters in the Democratic primary, to forget the shock of the massive pogrom carried out by Hamas on that infamous day in October. Israelis, though, aren’t going to forget, nor should they.

It’s a key tell about Schumer’s intentions that his speech engendered a universally negative reaction in Israel, and Schumer — who is no naif — must have anticipated as much. Benny Gantz, who would presumably run against Netanyahu in a future election, harshly rejected the Schumer call for a new government. So, the only place where Schumer could have any assurance of advancing his cause was here at home.

What stronger signal could there be that the Democratic leadership has heard the activist calls to rein in Israel than the previously staunch supporter of the Jewish state, Chuck Schumer, unloading on its wartime government?

Hamas has been getting devastated on the battlefield, but the turn against Israel among Democratic officials in the U.S. is a sign of the success of its longer, deeply cynical strategy. By doing everything in its power to create the predicate for more civilian casualties in Gaza, Hamas hopes to turn international opinion against Israel. So it has done in one of the two major American political parties.

If you had told many of the same Democrats criticizing Israel today that within five months of the Oct. 7 attack they would be inveighing against Israel’s war against Hamas, they would have been incredulous. If you had told them they would be getting pushed around by pro-Hamas sentiment in their own party, they would have rejected the idea as impossible. If you had told them they would have been seeking a two-state solution as one of their highest post-Oct. 7 priorities, they might have considered it a smear.

Yet here we are. On top of everything else, this isn’t good domestic politics. There is still majority support for Israel. The anti-Israel turn demonstrates, yet again, that the Biden campaign is pursuing a continued from page

base strategy in November. Just the last couple of days, Kamala Harris visited an abortion clinic, Joe Biden suggested there will be no executive action at the border, and Schumer — having run it by the White House first — delivered his Philippic.

What’s fidelity to an ally compared to zeal in pursuit of an embattled president’s election strategy?

Rich Lowry is editor of the National Review. ( c)2024byKingFeatures Synd., Inc.

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