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Schumer’s anti-Netanyahu speech strengthens Bibi in Israel’s war to defeat Hamas

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JERUSALEM Having seen his lowest levels of support in months, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s popularity has gotten a bounce in the polls, which some say is partly due to the Biden administration and Democrats’ growing criticism against the Jewish state.  

Criticism grew this week from across the political spectrum after New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer’s speech calling for new elections.  

‘As a lifelong supporter of Israel, it has become clear to me: The Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel after Oct. 7,’ Schumer said Thursday on the floor of the Senate. ‘The world has changed, radically, since then, and the Israeli people are being stifled right now by a governing vision that is stuck in the past.’ 

Israel’s Channel 14 published a survey Wednesday, a day before Schumer’s broadside against the Jewish state, noting the chance Netanyahu’s conservative bloc could garner an additional six seats in the parliament after Minister-without-Portfolio Gideon Sa’ar ended his partnership with Benny Gantz’s National Unity Party.  

 

Polling shows Netanyahu would secure 56 seats in the Israeli Knesset to form a new government. A bloc of parties needs 62 mandates.  

Mideast expert Caroline Glick told Fox News Digital this dynamic is playing out. 

‘Schumer spoke about Netanyahu, but Netanyahu is simply acting in accordance with the demands of the public. As a result, calls from Schumer and the White House for Netanyahu’s ouster only strengthen him politically,’ Glick said. 

The law of unintended consequences also might help Netanyahu. The Israeli Prime Minister’s support could solidify and he could gain new followers due to Schumer’s efforts to dislodge a sitting head of state.  

The New York senator is the highest-ranking Jewish politician in Congress.  

Schumer’s anti-Netanyahu speech sent shock waves throughout the Jewish state as it aims to root out the last vestiges of the Hamas terrorist organization in Rafah, Gaza, as part of its ongoing self-defense war. 

 

‘Charles Schumer, like the Biden administration, fundamentally misunderstands the war, and, as a result, cannot understand Israel’s behavior,’ said Glick,  a former adviser to Netanyahu. ‘This is not a counterterror operation. This is a conventional war. Hamas did not carry out a terrorist attack on Oct. 7. 

‘Hamas invaded Israel with the strength of a division. That division of terror soldiers seized villages, bases and kibbutzim as Hamas carried out a massive cyberattack against Israeli critical infrastructure and first response team and pummeled Israel with thousands of rockets.

‘This is not a tactical battle. This is a strategic contest for survival. Either Israel survives or Hamas survives. Israelis overwhelmingly understand this, which is why 75% of Israelis demand the conquest of Rafah and oppose Palestinian statehood.’ 

 

Israelis fired back at Schumer’s call to oust Netanyahu.  

‘Regardless of my opinion of Netanyahu and his fitness to serve, Senator Schumer’s call for new Israeli elections is deeply disrespectful of our democracy and sovereignty,’ Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. during the Netanyahu administration, wrote on X. 

‘Israel is an ally, not a vassal state. Along with the U.S., we’re one of the few countries never to have known a second of non-democratic government, and the only democracy never to have known a moment of peace. We certainly deserve that respect.’

On the streets of Jerusalem, Israelis had mixed views. Seated outside with his family at the Aroma café in the German Colony neighborhood, Dov Fox told Fox News Digital, ‘I don’t think foreign politicians should be dictating how foreign countries should vote.’ 

He recognized that Schumer ‘has done a lot for Israel’ but described his speech an ‘overstepping of boundaries.’ 

‘Due to the [Israel] special relationship with the United States, Chuck Schumer is a very central actor there,’ Avi Kay told Fox News Digital. ‘We need to pay attention to what is being said. Whether one agrees or disagrees with Chuck Schumer, I believe he has the best interests of Israel at heart.’ 

Kay, who used Netanyahu’s nickname Bibi, taken from his full name Benjamin, said, ‘Bibi is more interested in staying in power and that is not advantageous.’ 

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, is facing the ultimate test of his leadership after the Hamas massacre of 1,200 people Oct. 7. His legacy and his very political survival are on the line.

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