On Wednesday, the Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer delivered a speech about the growing dangers of anti-Semitism, pointedly observing that much of it today comes from the political left, in the form of hatred of the Jewish state. Seth Mandel has much praise for the speech, and for the condensed version that was published in the New York Times—as well as a warning:
The words are powerful, and Schumer should be congratulated for them. But there are words and then there’s action. On the action front, a few of Schumer’s fellow Democratic senators are talking about taking demonstrable steps—against Israel. And therein lies a problem that has been brewing for years, long before Hamas was planning its October 7 slaughter. Schumer is calling on his fellow Americans to stop attacking Jews. But he has members of his own caucus calling on the rest of Congress to join them in tying one of Israel’s hands behind its back.
Senate Democrats have begun debating whether to “condition” aid to Israel during its defensive war. . . . What Senate Democrats are talking about here is simply making it harder for Israel to win the war. Are there specific numbers of casualties Democrats will accept? How did they arrive at that number, or that formula? How do they plan on assessing Israel’s compliance given Hamas’s proven tactic of inflating casualties and conflating soldiers and civilians?
They don’t. They have, to be very clear, no idea what they’re doing. They are reacting to pressure from constituents, and that is how electoral politics works. But their only idea, it seems, is to give Hamas a veto over Israeli actions. That will not so easily pass the Senate, but the debate alone is legitimizing the tactic within Schumer’s party.