Schumer Calls For Netanyahu’s Removal, Warns Israel Risks Becoming ‘Pariah’

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer delivered a scathing rebuke of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, warning that Israel risks becoming a “pariah” while calling for new elections. Schumer’s remarkable speech on the Senate floor marked an extraordinary moment in modern US-Israel relations.

The Senate leader’s stern criticism of Netanyahu’s government contained unusually forceful language, especially coming from a staunch “life-long supporter of Israel” and the most senior Jewish American in the US government. Schumer expressed frustration with Netanyahu’s conduct of the war in Gaza following the October 7 Hamas attacks, his unwillingness to heed US advice, and his rejection of a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

Schumer argued that Netanyahu’s ultra-right coalition is preventing needed course corrections in the Gaza conflict, which has caused over 30,000 Palestinian deaths according to Gaza’s health ministry. He contended that while Hamas bears primary responsibility, Israel must do more to protect innocent Palestinian lives.

The senator warned that Netanyahu’s governing vision is “stuck in the past” and no longer fits Israel’s needs after October 7. 

“Five months into this conflict, it is clear that Israelis need to take stock…and ask: Must we change course?” Schumer stated, asserting that only fresh elections can allow a healthy decision-making process about Israel’s future direction.

Schumer’s call for new elections in Israel sparked backlash from Netanyahu’s Likud party, accusing him of trying to undermine Israel’s elected government. “Israel is not a banana republic but an independent and proud democracy that elected Prime Minister Netanyahu,” they said in a statement.

Israel’s ambassador to the US, Michael Herzog, called Schumer’s remarks “unhelpful.”

Some, like Republican leader Mitch McConnell, accused Democrats of hypocrisy and an “anti-Israel problem.”

However, Schumer’s speech reflects growing discontent among Democrats, including President Biden himself, over the civilian toll in Gaza. The widening partisan divide suggests Netanyahu has lost bipartisan support long seen as critical for Israel. With Biden showing signs of frustration over being ignored, Schumer’s extraordinary rebuke could signal a significant shift in US policy toward Israel.

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