Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer strongly pushed back against the anti-semitic label Republicans have been pushing on Democratic party, arguing that Israel needs a united front from its ally.
“Not only is it demonstrably false to say Democrats are anti-Israel. It also hurts the Israel-US relationship,” Mr. Schumer said at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference Monday. “Those who seek to use Israel as a means of scoring political points do a disservice to both Israel and the United States.”
His comments come after Democrats have struggled to address anti-semitic controversies surrounding some of its own freshman members and 2020 presidential candidates. Republicans have capitalized on the growing list of controversies to argue that Democrats have become the party of anti-Semitism.
The top Senate Democrat said that Americans had a duty to specifically call out examples of anti-semitism whenever and from wherever they arise “with clarity, with courage.”
Though he didn’t mention any specific names, Mr. Schumer directly condemned the anti-semitic tropes Rep. Ilahn Omar used on Twitter.
The Minnesota congresswoman caused trouble for her party after she questioned a Jewish lawmaker’s loyalty to America and suggested that AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobbyist groups were buying U.S. support.
Mr. Schumer also directed his thinly-veiled criticism at President Trump’s comments after the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.
“When someone looks at a Neo-nazi rally and sees some ‘very fine people’ among its company, we must call it out,” he said.
Mr. Schumer also acknowledged that there is a problem with waning support for Israel — the ignorance of younger generations. He argued that they must be reminded of his people’s centuries of suffering, and informed that Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran and the Boycott, Divestment movement are all prevalent threats to Israel’s current existence.
“I fear too many in our younger generation don’t have the understand of the threats facing Israeli as my generation did,” he said. “They don’t know that as long as Israel has existed she has had to defend herself from enemies who seek to wipe her off the map.”