That’s the implication of a little-noticed YouTube video on which he
was last month captured talking with a delegation of Orthodox Jews in
The video has been given little coverage, even as Schumer emerges as a
pivotal figure in the debate in the Senate. The meeting was with a
delegation of one of the most distinguished Jewish groups, the Orthodox
Union. It was apparently filmed on a cellphone by a member of the
audience and was uploaded onto YouTube in June.
Schumer was aware of that possibility, because he started out by saying he’d “wanted to talk a lot of tachlis about Iran” — meaning, roughly, get down to business. But, he said, “I’m not going to do this because you’re recording it.”
Then he proceeded to talk tachlis anyhow, characterizing the question
as “which is better — no agreement or an agreement that is not close to
the ideal.” It would, though, be inaccurate to suggest that Schumer
simply endorsed what the administration is doing.
Schumer was nuanced and thoughtful. He gets that an Iranian bomb
would be an existential threat to Israel. But he mocked those who
advocate a military strike against Iran’s bomb-making facilities,
calling it “the next-worst solution.”
Then, toward the end of his remarks, he asked that the door be closed.
“This is the tachlis part,” the senator said. He spoke of how the
failure to reach an agreement would leave sanctions in place but only if
everyone else stays in. “It so bothers me to have the Jewish fate in
European hands,” Schumer said.
“We’ve been through this before, we Jewish people,” Schumer said. He
then spoke of what a difficult decision he was facing. Noting that he’d
been an elected official for 41 years, he said he would not let
political pressure interfere.
Yet maybe Schumer will remember Mordechai’s injunction to Esther: “If
you remain silent at this time, relief and rescue will arise for the
Jews from elsewhere, and you and your father’s household will perish.”
I am an Orthodox Jew - some would even call me 'ultra-Orthodox.' Born in Boston, I was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991 (I don't look it but I really am that old :-). I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty-five years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 12 to 33 years and eight grandchildren. Three of our children are married! Before I started blogging I was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact me at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com