If we could only believe this is a case of good cop – bad cop to move peace mountain. However, there is no silver lining on what Sen. Chuck Schumer has done, because he’s made Pres. Obama the bad guy on Israel, something the right has been trying unsuccessfully to do. That Schumer chose the politically conservative Jewish Nachum Segal Show to air his displeasure with Obama in public that included calling the settlement issue a “kerfuffle,” puts Chuck Schumer in the Sarah Palin “zoning issue” camp.
However, if you ever had any doubts about where Sen. Schumer’s loyalties lie, know that it is with
Israel Netanyahu over United States Pres. Obama.
The Senator from
AIPAC New York unloaded on Pres. Obama in the most politically destructive and odious manner, handing Netanyahu his most potent weapon against Obama, while delighting the hawk right in the U.S. Never mind that it does nothing for peace.
New York Senator Chuck Schumer harshly criticized the Obama Administration’s attempts to exert pressure on Israel today, making him the highest-ranking Democrat to object to Obama’s policies in such blunt terms.
Schumer, along with a majority of members of the House and Senate, signed on to letters politely suggesting the U.S. keep its disagreements with Israel private, a tacit objection to the administration’s very public rebuke of the Jewish State over construction in Jerusalem last month.
But Schumer dramatically sharpened his tone on the politically conservative Jewish Nachum Segal Show today, calling the White House stance to date “counter-productive” and describing his own threat to “blast” the Administration had the State Department not backed down from its “terrible” tough talk toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Schumer, a hawkish ally of Israel since his days as a Brooklyn Congressman, described “a battle going on inside the administration” over Middle East policy.
“This has to stop,” he said of the administration’s policy of publicly pressuring Israel to end construction in Jerusalem.
“I told the President, I told Rahm Emanuel and others in the administration that I thought the policy they took to try to bring about negotiations is counter-productive, because when you give the Palestinians hope that the United States will do its negotiating for them, they are not going to sit down and talk,” Schumer told Segal. “Palestinians don’t really believe in a state of Israel. They, unlike a majority of Israelis, who have come to the conclusion that they can live with a two-state solution to be determined by the parties, the majority of Palestinians are still very reluctant, and they need to be pushed to get there.
Is Mr. Schumer kidding? Does he not read or listen to the opinions of Arabs— Strike that. Mr. Schumer believes that Palestinians don’t matter and neither do our Arab allies, which sends a message across the Middle East that makes your hair stand on end.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has never presented himself as a serious party to peace negotiations, which is evident by his continued building of settlements that inflames the situation more every time he gives a nod to expansion. Unfortunately, what Sen. Schumer has done is confirm Israel’s bet that eventually Obama will lose out to wider public sentiments on Israel v. the Palestinians and how to get to peace. Habits are hard things to break, especially bad ones that have the same outcome every time.
However, Mr. Schumer didn’t stop with Pres. Obama. He also went after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Because hey, once you’re at a microphone and getting all this attention you might as well keep going.
But then what happened is the next day Hillary Clinton called up Netanyahu and talked very tough to him, and worse they made it public through this spokesperson, a guy named Crowley.
Poor Bibi. Hillary “talked very tough to him.” Makes you wonder how he gets up in the morning with all those mean Palestinians staring him down, too.
And a guy named Crowley? This is insulting in too many ways to count. Mr. Crowley is a distinguished expert on national security and the current Assistant Secretary. During the Clinton administration Crowley he was Special Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security Affairs and served on the staff of the National Security Council. Prior to that, he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. Crowley served in the Air Force for 26 years, retiring at the rank of colonel in September 1999. He is a veteran of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During the Kosovo conflict, he was temporarily assigned to work with then NATO Secretary General Javier Solana (source).
Ah, but Schumer’s radio tantrum comes on the day Quinnipiac released a poll finding that 44% of the American public disapprove of Obama’s handling of the Israeli – Palestinian issue.
A Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday morning indicates that 35 percent of the public gives the president a thumbs up on how he’s dealing with the situation between Israel and the Palestinians, with 44 percent saying they disapprove, and just over one in five unsure.
Steve Clemons did a broad and systematic search to see if Sen. Schumer has ever criticized Israel the way he just did Pres. Obama. Clemons found not one instance.
This is a very public dressing down by Mr. Schumer of Pres. Obama, not to mention a serious instance of rewriting the facts on the Netanyahu government, with a Democratic senator taking sides with Israel over the U.S. president.
Sen. Schumer has done a disservice to President Obama in every way; someone who knows that a U.S. Middle East policy that solely favors Israel, even as we stay loyal friends, is not in the best interest of this country. Putting American foreign policy interests at the top of the priority list is Obama’s job, something that was just made tougher by Chuck Schumer.
This post has been edited.