Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, the nation’s highest-ranking
Jewish official, spoke from the chamber on Wednesday in regards to the rise of
antisemitism in the USA for the reason that assault by Hamas militants on
Israel and that nation’s airstrikes on Gaza.
Schumer, talking to a largely empty chamber, an unlikely setting for
what he described as a “main handle,” sought to contextualize the
historical past of the Jewish folks and Israel.
The New York Democrat additionally made clear his feedback weren’t meant to
rebuke protesters for talking out on behalf of civilians who’ve been
below siege in Gaza or those that have professional criticisms in regards to the
“This speech just isn’t an try and label most criticism of Israel and
the Israeli authorities typically as antisemitic. I don’t imagine that
criticism is,” Schumer mentioned. “And this speech can also be not an try and
pit hate in direction of one group towards that of one other.”
“I imagine that bigotry towards one group of Individuals is bigotry towards all,” Schumer added.
Talking intimately in regards to the historical past of the Jewish folks, Schumer
sought to contextualize issues following the terrorist assault on
Israel in October.
“I need to describe the fears and anxieties of many Jewish Individuals
proper now, significantly after Oct. 7, who really feel there are elements of the
debate round Israel and Gaza which can be crossing over into antisemitism,
rank antisemitism, with Jewish folks merely being focused for being
Jewish,” he mentioned.
Schumer detailed his household’s personal historical past with antisemitism in addition to that of Jewish folks all through the centuries.
He talked about a number of assaults on Jewish folks, together with the 2018
mass taking pictures on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh; the assault on
Israeli athletes on the 1972 Olympic Video games in Munich, Germany; the
Holocaust; and the enslavement of Jewish folks by historical Egyptians.
Within the dozen circumstances he talked about, Schumer mentioned that “Jewish
folks have been humiliated, ostracized, expelled, enslaved and
massacred for millennia.”
Talking of his great-grandmother, Schumer mentioned that in 1941, Nazi
troopers informed her to collect all of the members of the family on the entrance porch of
her residence in Ukraine, then a part of Galicia. Then they gathered all of the
city’s different Jewish residents to observe.
“When the Nazis informed my great-grandmother, ‘You’re coming with us,’
she refused — they usually machine-gunned down each final one in all them,”
Schumer mentioned. “The infants, the aged, all people in between.”
Many Jewish Individuals have related tales that they discovered rising
up and that “scar tissue of this generational trauma” impacts how
they’re experiencing antisemitism immediately, Schumer mentioned.
“We see and listen to issues in another way from others as a result of we’re deeply
delicate to the deprivation and horrors that may observe the focusing on
of Jewish folks — if it’s not repudiated,” Schumer mentioned. “Which brings
me again to immediately.”
“Whereas many protesters little question view their actions as a compassionate
expression of solidarity with the Palestinian folks, for a lot of Jewish
Individuals, we really feel in too many situations, a number of the most excessive
rhetoric offers license to darker concepts which have all the time lurked under the
floor of each query involving the Jewish folks.”
Schumer mentioned he believes “there are many individuals who chant ‘From
the river to the ocean, Palestine will probably be free’ not as a result of they hate
Jewish folks, however as a result of they help a greater future for
“However there isn’t any query that Hamas and different terrorist
organizations have used this slogan to characterize their intention to
eradicate Jewish folks not solely from Israel, however from each nook of
the Earth,” Schumer mentioned.
U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat and the one Palestinian American member of the Home, was censured by the Home earlier this month for remarks she has made about Israel; Tlaib has defended use of the phrase “from the river to the ocean” as “an aspirational name for freedom, human rights and peaceable coexistence.”
Schumer implored Individuals to “perceive why Jewish folks defend
Israel — not as a result of we want hurt on Palestinians, however as a result of we concern a
world the place Israel is compelled to tolerate the existence of teams like
Hamas that need to wipe out all Jewish folks from the planet.”
“We concern a world the place Israel, the place of refuge for Jewish folks,
will not exist,” he added. “If there isn’t any Israel, there will probably be
no place, no place for Jewish folks to go when they’re persecuted in
The one two different senators within the chamber for Schumer’s speech had been
Democratic Sens. Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Tina Smith of Minnesota.
McConnell praises Schumer
Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, got here
to the ground after Schumer’s speech wrapped as much as commend his Democratic
colleague for his remarks.
“It was extraordinary,” McConnell mentioned. “I need to praise him for
offering a historical past lesson for Individuals in regards to the historical past of the
Jewish folks and placing it in context with the battle that’s
McConnell mentioned he shares Schumer’s “disgust on the alarming rise of
antisemitism in America and all over the world within the wake of the Oct. 7
“I stand with him in condemning this hatred,” McConnell mentioned. “And I
stand with Israel because it defends, actually, its proper to exist.”
The Related Press reported
Wednesday afternoon that talks continued to increase a brief truce in
the struggle throughout which Hamas has launched Israeli hostages and Israel has
launched Palestinian prisoners.