Pollak: Schumer’s Bad Actions Speak Louder than his Words on Antisemitism

Ilhan Omar and Chuck Schumer (Drew Angerer / Getty)
Drew Angerer / Getty

Here is the most important fact about Sen. Chuck Schumer and antisemitism: When President Barack Obama forced the Iran nuclear deal on America, Schumer opposed it but did not whip his caucus against it.

When the deal came up for review in the Senate, Schumer’s party filibustered the vote and prevented Congress from blocking it. The deal gave Iran access to some $100 billion in assets, plus billions of dollars in a side deal as ransom for Americans held in Iran. That money funded terror and Hamas.

At the time, Schumer made a wonderful statement about how terrible the Iran deal was. I even thought that it might be a “game-changer.”

More experienced observers of the future Senate Majority Leader told me to watch his actions, and not his words.

They were right.

A few years later, Schumer — like every other elected Democrat — refused to attend the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem and declined to attend the party thrown by the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC, to celebrate the event.

The reason? Schumer and the Democrats did not want to give President Donald Trump credit. They put partisan gain ahead of what was good for America and the U.S.-Israel alliance.

So it is with Schumer’s speech on antisemitism in the Senate Wednesday.

Schumer is being praised by the establishment for the speech, including the American Israel Public Affiars Committee (AIPAC), which is always at pains to praise Democrats for doing anything pro-Israel, since that maintains the façade of bipartisan support.

Some conservatives, too, are happy that Schumer mildly criticized the left and college campuses, finally acknowledging that the base of the Democratic Party is the source of the problem.

It took Schumer eight weeks to recognize what is painfully obvious?

Like everything Schumer does, this speech had a partisan purpose: to calm nervous Democrats about the party’s drift toward antisemitism, and to assuage Jewish Democratic voters in particular, some of whom are thinking of backing Republicans in 2024.

Schumer found time to bash President Donald Trump — predictably — by claiming that Trump had imposed a “Muslim ban” in 2017.

No, Trump did not ban Muslims — though it is worth noting that Muslim immigration has likely driven some of the rise in antisemitism, a point that Schumer did not acknowledge.

Schumer also attacked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for supposedly encouraging “militant settlers in the West Bank.” (That was his only mention of Netanyahu: not a word of support.)

The Senate Majority Leader pointed out that the pro-Palestinian demonstrators across the country have failed to condemn Hamas. He pointed out that Jews want Israel to be strong because it is the only guarantor of Jewish safety in the event of persecution. All of that is important to reiterate.

But these are just words.

Schumer allowed President Joe Biden to confirm radical appointees to key positions, such as Kirsten Clarke, who had a troubling history of antisemitism.

Clark runs the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, which has done nothing to protect the rights of Jewish Americans. (The Department of Education has been more active.)

Schumer prides himself on providing humanitarian aid to Palestinians, without asking — as Trump did — where that aid is going.

As of this moment, Schumer has yet to pass $14 billion in emergency aid to Israel because he insists that it be joined to a much larger amount of aid for Ukraine.

So, as always, with Schumer — watch what he does. It’s more important than anything he says.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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