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Schumer Calls for Israel Elections in Break With Netanyahu

Schumer Calls for Israel Elections in Break With Netanyahu

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for Israel to hold new elections, a sharp break with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the highest-ranking Jewish US elected official.

“I believe a new election is the only way to allow for a healthy and open decision-making process about the future of Israel, at a time when so many Israelis have lost their confidence in the vision and direction of their government,” Schumer said Thursday in a speech on the Senate floor.
Schumer, a New York Democrat, said it’s up to Israelis to choose their leaders, but warned Israel “cannot survive if it becomes a pariah.”Schumer’s comments come amid harsh criticism among progressives about how Israel is conducting the war in Gaza, especially the high civilian death rate and difficult distribution of aid.

The Democratic leader criticized Netanyahu and his government for turning away from a two-state solution to the conflict, calling it a “grave mistake.” Schumer said Netanyahu “has lost his way” and is beholden to right-wing extremists.

“The bitter reality is that a single state controlled by Israel, which they advocate, guarantees certain war forever,” Schumer said.

“The Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel after October 7. The world has changed — radically — since then, and the Israeli people are being stifled right now by a governing vision that is stuck in the past.”

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, swiftly rebuked Schumer, urging continued support for the Israeli government.

“It is grotesque and hypocritical for Americans who hyperventilate about foreign interference in our own democracy to call for the removal of a democratically elected leader of Israel,” McConnell said.

Israel’s ambassador to the US, Michael Herzog, said in a social media post that Schumer’s criticism is “unhelpful” and “counterproductive to our common goals.”

Schumer also declared that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas must step down and the Palestinian people must reject Hamas.

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