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Sunday, April 25, 2010

White House slaps back at Schumer

The White House slapped back at Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for remarks he made on Thursday morning on Nachum Segal's JM in the AM program.
“We have an unwavering commitment to the security of Israel and the Israeli people,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said this morning. “We have said that from the beginning of this administration. I don’t think that it’s a stretch to say we don't agree with what Senator Schumer said in those remarks.”
And it doesn't look like Jake Tapper is going to be taking my suggestion of inviting Schumer to repeat his remarks on ABC's This Week anytime soon.
Interestingly, Schumer’s tough talk on the local New York City radio show hosted by an Orthodox Jew was a bit braver than when he appeared on This Week a few weeks ago.

As some in the Jewish media noticed at the time, I asked Schumer about a report in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Achronoth, which quoted an anonymous Netanyahu confidante calling President Obama "The greatest disaster for Israel, a strategic disaster."

I asked Schumer: “I'm sure you have some constituents who share those views and perhaps those concerns. Do you think that the White House has behaved toward Israel and the prime minister of Israel as you would want them to?”

Schumer basically avoided the question.

“Well let me say this: I think everybody here in the United States, virtually everybody, and the vast majority of Israelis, want peace, they're willing to accept a two state solution,” Schumer said. “The best way to bring about that peace is let the two sides negotiate and bring them together. I think one of the problems we have faced in the Middle East is that too many of the Palestinians, they elected Hamas, sworn to Israel's destruction, don't really believe in peace. And I do believe that you have to let the two parties come together. If the United States imposes preconditions, particularly on the Palestinian and Arab side, they'll say we won't come and negotiate.”

Meanwhile, Jennifer Rubin remarks on Schumer:
That’s simply remarkable, albeit long overdue. It tells me several things. First, Schumer, who is nothing if not politically astute when it comes to New York politics, senses that there is no upside to sticking with the president on this. One wonders how many constituents he’s heard from and who is threatening to cut off the money flow to Democrats.

Second, one suspects that Schumer has gotten nowhere in private and is now forced to unload in public. It seems that while Schumer cares what American Jews think, Obama is unmoved by quiet persuasion.

Third, Schumer and other pro-Israel Democrats now have a dilemma: what do they do when the president refuses to sign on to petroleum sanctions? What do they do when the next round of bullying starts up again? They’ve been painfully mute until now, which has no doubt encouraged the White House. If Schumer is as outraged as he sounded on the radio, this will end.
Well, maybe. But name me another Democrat who has as many Jewish constituents as Schumer has.


At 6:44 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Pushback helps and the White House's treatment of Jewish Democrats isn't going to bode well for the party's chances in November. There's not a great deal of affection for the President's Mideast policies and that's putting it mildly.

Obumbler has a real political problem on his hands and its bipartisan.


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