Speaking at radical left-wing J Street’s 2021 virtual national conference Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called on Israel’s elected leaders to replace Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leading to a backlash online against her “hypocrisy” for meddling in Israel’s affairs.
Today I spoke at @jstreetdotorg’s virtual national conference about the steps the US should take to improve the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians and to make a negotiated two-state solution more likely. Watch or read my whole speech here. #JStreet21 https://t.co/kddU9M5Rqx
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) April 19, 2021
After thanking J Street — which has close ties with many Democrats and has received support from billionaire left-wing philanthropist George Soros — for “the critical work you do every day to advance our progressive values,” Warren criticized the “Trump administration’s disastrous policies,” claiming “the Biden administration has the values, judgment, and experience to undo that damage.”
Subsequently, Warren slammed Israel’s “corrupt” prime minister and called for his ouster.
“Israel’s long-term strategic interests, meanwhile, have been served poorly by its longest serving prime minister,” she said. “He has precipitated four stalemate elections in two years in his frenzied effort to immunize himself from well-documented charges of corruption.”
Netanyahu does not command a majority of the new Knesset, but Israel’s president has told him to try anyway, lamenting that the law does not allow him to do anything else even while Netanyahu is currently on trial. If Netanyahu fails in this task, the majority that opposes him must decide what to do next. Will they continue to fight amongst themselves and in the process prop up a corrupt leader who puts his own interests ahead of his country, or will they join together to begin the difficult task of rooting out corruption and reinstating the rule of law?
This is the same fork in the road that the US faced in the election of 2020. Despite our differences, a significant majority of Americans concluded that the integrity of a democracy is far more important than the personal interests of one leader and banded together to defeat Donald Trump. Israel’s elected leaders should do the same and give the Israeli people a new Prime Minister.
The lambasting of the elected leader of a longtime U.S. ally, as well as the call for his removal, was swiftly rebuked on social media.
At @jstreetdotorg, @ewarren is directly advising Israeli parties to oust Netanyahu. Americans united to oust Trump, she says, and "Israel's elected leaders should do the same, and give the Israeli people a new prime minister."
— (((Ron Kampeas))) (@kampeas) April 19, 2021
“Not supposed to say the quiet part out loud, just supposed to steer Foggy Bottom grants to former campaign partners on the ground who happen to share your goal,” wrote journalist Seth Mandel.
Not supposed to say the quiet part out loud, just supposed to steer Foggy Bottom grants to former campaign partners on the ground who happen to share your goal.
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) April 19, 2021
Many blasted Warren for interfering in foreign elections, with some noting the hypocrisy it entailed.
“Wow…regardless of how one may feel about @netanyahu, it is highly improper for a US Senator to openly advocate for the ouster of the Prime Minister of one of America’s closest allies,” wrote Aaron Troodler, founder and publisher of Philadelphia Jewish Link. “This is not how US foreign policy is supposed to work.”
Wow…regardless of how one may feel about @netanyahu, it is highly improper for a US Senator to openly advocate for the ouster of the Prime Minister of one of America's closest allies. This is not how US foreign policy is supposed to work. https://t.co/5HILFYq1cv
— Aaron Troodler (@troodler) April 19, 2021
“But tell me again how U.S. politicians (Democrat @ewarren in this case) do not interfere in internal Israeli issues?” asked international human rights lawyer and political analyst Arsen Ostrovsky.
“Notwithstanding her dislike of PM @netanyahu, it was highly inappropriate for Warren to make such a comment & she ought to be condemned for it,” he added.
But tell me again how U.S. politicians (Democrat @ewarren in this case) do not interfere in internal Israeli issues? Notwithstanding her dislike of PM @netanyahu, it was highly inappropriate for Warren to make such a comment & she ought to be condemned for it. https://t.co/4oKuNX2vt3
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) April 19, 2021
“As someone that actively opposes Netanyahu, I believe this is improper for a foreign elected official,” wrote former Consul General of Israel in New York Dani Dayan. “BTW, it is also counterproductive.”
As someone that actively opposes Netanyahu, I believe this is improper for a foreign elected official. BTW, it is also counterproductive.
— Dani Dayan (@AmbDaniDayan) April 19, 2021
“Interfering in foreign elections is apparently O.K. as long as it’s Israel,” wrote one Twitter user.
“I dislike Netanyahu too but what you said was inappropriate as a sitting member of Congress,” wrote another.
“Elizabeth Warren interfered in Israel’s election but complained about foreign interference in US elections,” wrote another Twitter user.
“Unbelievable how cavalier American politicians are about interfering in Israeli elections,” wrote yet another. “Sorry you lost that presidential run Liz, really broke my heart.”
“How is this ok,” asked another user. “The hypocrisy is beyond comprehension, obviously!”
“This sounds like ‘meddling’ in another nation’s elections, no?” asked another user.
“According to Sen. Warren, ‘the steps the US should take’ include directly interfering in the elections of a close US ally,” wrote one Twitter user. “You know, the precise kind of thing that the Left routinely criticizes the US for doing.”
“Definelty crossing a line here,” wrote another user. “Don’t meddle in your foreign allies elections.”
Many also blasted Warren for telling Israelis — who must face real dangers and consequences — how to act.
“Just what Israelis need to hear. From a dimwit @ewarren sticking her nose in where it doesn’t belong, and from a dimwit that knows ZERO about Israel,” tweeted The National Security Roundtable.
“Hey, Elizabeth: How about taking care of the Haters, Bigots & Anti-Semites in YOUR party?!”
Just what Israelis need to hear. From a dimwit @ewarren sticking her nose in where it doesn't belong, and from a dimwit that knows ZERO about Israel. Hey, Elizabeth: How about taking care of the Haters, Bigots & Anti-Semites in YOUR party?! https://t.co/gp4S5Dz4Mi
— TheNatSecRoundtable (@NSRoundtable) April 19, 2021
“First she was a Native American, now she’s an Israeli voter. Amazing!” wrote Noah Pollak, the executive director of Democratic Alliance Initiative.
First she was a Native American, now she's an Israeli voter. Amazing! https://t.co/fWa4nnH8W9
— Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) April 19, 2021
“J Street is not a pro Israel organization and until you live in a nation surrounded by hostility and terrorism, keep your opinions on *how Israelis should vote* to yourself,” wrote one Twitter user. “Imagine a PM of Israel telling Americans who to vote for.”
“How ’bout worrying about the lives of the americans instead and stop messing in other countries business?” asked another Twitter user.
“This is not her business, and not her place. She was one of only 3 senators who voted against recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and should be the last person to give political advice to the Israelis,” wrote another.
“Dear @ewarren I think you’ve got less than 1/1024th of a vote in Israeli elections. & Americans didn’t ‘unite’ to oust Trump-over 75M of us voted FOR him in a hotly contested election [that] was ‘decided’ by questionable ballot chicanery that’s still being investigated,” wrote another Twitter user.
Others noted the hypocrisy of ignoring that Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas — who attended and addressed the conference — has been rewarding terror while illegitimately holding onto power for years.
“She literally spoke at the same conference as Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader in the 16th-year of a 4-year term,” wrote Logan Ratick, Newsmax’s national correspondent.
She literally spoke at the same conference as Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader in the 16th-year of a 4-year term https://t.co/a3mOMRtUfG
— Logan Ratick (@Logan_Ratick) April 19, 2021
“Mahmoud Abbas has been in power since 2006. There has been ZERO election since then,” tweeted StopAntisemitism.org, a non-profit foundation that works to hold antisemites accountable. “Did Elizabeth Warren have any brilliant advice about this or did she save her wisdom solely for the Jew?” the group added.
Mahmoud Abbas has been in power since 2006.
There has been ZERO election since then.
Did Elizabeth Warren have any brilliant advice about this or did she save her wisdom solely for the Jew? https://t.co/SEWOS5kLWU
— StopAntisemitism.org (@StopAntisemites) April 19, 2021
“PM Netanyahu is a controversial figure, and there is no doubt much to criticize, but @SenWarren in comparing him 2Donald Trump is forcing false narrative that is unwarranted,” wrote another, while accusing Warren of “excusing Abbas of years of incitement and reward of terror.”
“And if you really want to improve the lives of Palestinians maybe you would encourage them to *vote out* Hamas and Abbas,” wrote another user. “But, you can’t do that — because the last time Palestinians had the right to vote was in 2006, 15 years, ago!”
“Sen. @ewarren would advise the Palestinians who they should or should not elect as their leader, but the Palestinians haven’t had an election in 16 years and are unlikely to have one anytime soon,” another user wrote.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.