On Wednesday, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer delivered a remarkable speech from the well of the Senate on the rise of antisemitism in America.
The Democratic senator from New York believed he had to make that speech. He was also surprised at having to — surprised at the antisemitism that has been growing under the surface of today’s Democrat Party.
Schumer spoke with the painful passion of a man who is beginning to understand that his world is being upended, noting, “I stand before you as the majority leader of the United States Senate, the highest elected office a Jewish person has ever attained in the history of this country. Only in America — only in America could an exterminator’s son grow up to be the first Jewish party leader in the Senate.”
Getting to the heart of the matter, Schumer explained that while “Jewish Americans represent 2 percent of the population, yet we are targets of 55 percent of all religion-based hate crimes,” with things getting worse in recent years. After Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre of Israeli civilians, “antisemitism incidents increased nearly 300 percent” with “Jewish Americans feeling singled out,” he added.
Schumer then admitted, “The solidarity that Jewish Americans initially received from many of our fellow citizens was quickly drowned out by other voices, while the dead bodies of Jewish Israelis were still warm.”
And who were those “other voices” that Schumer said “celebrated what happened, describing it as the deserved fate of ‘colonizers’ and calling for ‘glory to the martyrs’”?
That’s what must have been the most difficult part of Schumer’s speech: “Many of the people who express these sentiments in America aren’t neo-Nazis or card-carrying Klan members or Islamist extremists. They’re in many cases what most liberal Jewish Americans felt previously were their ideological fellow travelers” (emphasis added).
Schumer almost plaintively added, “Many of us marched together for black and brown lives, we stood against anti-Asian hatred and protested bigotry against the LGBTQ community and fought for reproductive justice.”
The Left Denies History
The bottom line: Schumer has evidently now discovered that, despite millennia of persecution stretching back to hundreds of years as slaves in Egypt, despite the pogroms of Eastern Europe in the 19th century, and despite Hitler’s Holocaust in the last, “those who are inclined to examine the world through the lens of oppressors versus the oppressed” see Jewish people as the oppressor.
It appears the woke left cares not for history. Their new religion requires a new good and evil. The good are always the oppressed for whom “by any means necessary” will mean violence, while the oppressors deserve humiliation, defeat, and even death. Of course, the woke clerisy get to determine who is oppressed — senior Jewish senators need not apply.
Thus, Schumer’s observation that “antisemitic conspiracy theories throughout the generations often theorize, often weaponize this very dynamic [that is, that some Jewish people have done well for themselves] by pitting the successes the Jewish people have done with their countrymen. It has happened throughout history. It’s happening now. For Jewish Americans, any strength in security we enjoy always feels tenuous — no matter how well we’re doing, it can all be taken away in an instant.”
Yes, Mr. Majority Leader, that’s why we Americans believe we have “unalienable rights” such as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and a Constitution to make those rights more than theory — including a right to keep and bear arms, so that all Americans, including those of the Jewish faith, might protect themselves, their homes, and their places of worship. And should that somehow break down and prove an insufficient guarantor of safety, the state of Israel itself, as the world’s sole Jewish state, serves as a refuge, a redoubt where the existence of the Jewish people isn’t dependent on the sufferance of mob or majority.
Democrats’ Move Toward the Fringe
One wonders how Schumer will work through his revelation of betrayal. What path will he take? Will political expediency cause him to cut his journey short? Will the threat of the political wilderness cause him to bury his fears about the new left and its inveterate Jew hatred?
The fractures now rending the Democrat Party moved from the fringe to academia to the mainstream in a terrifyingly short span. By 2010, President Barack Obama made no secret of his antipathy for Israel’s leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who started his second stint as prime minister only two months after Obama was sworn into office. And with his subsequent rapprochement with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Obama’s tilt against Israel burst into the open. The ideological roots of that policy have now matured and are bearing a poisoned fruit. We already see its first casualty in the left’s crumbling façade, as common agreements shatter and basic survival and dignity assume greater importance than abortion and tax policy.
It’s hard to work with people who, chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” are advocating for the death and diaspora of millions of your co-religionists.
The answer to the above questions might well determine America’s future, as we labor to enlist the better angels of our nature to exorcise the latest demons of hate stalking among us.