Since the devastating attacks on Israeli civilians that resulted in over 1,200 deaths and prompted a military conflict between Israel and Hamas, key members of the party have been reluctant to condemn the terrorist group and support Israel’s right to defend itself. The reluctance within the Democratic Party to unequivocally condemn the actions of Hamas has allowed antisemitic rallies to gain momentum, particularly on college campuses and in Democrat-controlled cities.
However, some members of the Democratic Party have broken away from the party line when it comes to Israel and Palestine. Senator Schumer, who is the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in the United States, has publicly condemned Hamas for its barbaric attacks on Israeli citizens. Presumably, Schumer’s heritage plays a role in how he views the current Israel conflict. Schumer understands that many Palestinian terrorists are not just seeking the destruction of Israel, but the destruction of all Jews.
In his 45-minute address on the Senate floor, Schumer highlighted the increasing levels of antisemitism in the United States, with Jewish Americans feeling singled out and isolated. He also cited his own experience of attending a pro-Israel rally in Washington that was quickly labeled a “hate rally.”
“When Jewish people hear chants like ‘From the river to the sea,’ a founding slogan of Hamas, a terrorist group that is not shy about their goal to eradicate the Jewish people, in Israel and around the globe, we are alarmed,” Schumer said.
Schumer’s argument that this rhetoric leads to physical violence is correct. The Anti-Defamation League has reported that since the start of Hamas' attacks on Israel, there has been a 388% increase in antisemitism.
But while Schumer rightly calls out the evil of antisemitism within his own party, it's crucial to acknowledge that his party has played a role in the anti-Zionism and antisemitism that is currently sweeping the nation.
Have you wondered why so many leftists express support for a terrorist group like Hamas, which openly advocates for the systemic oppression of women, gays, and ethnic minorities? There are many individuals, particularly those of the youngest generations, that have been sold the lie that Israel is an oppressor and Palestinians are blamelessly oppressed, but why?
The left's tendency to view conflicts through the lens of an oppression hierarchy, as exemplified by figures like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the "Squad," contributes to a skewed understanding of the Israel-Palestine conflict. These politicians have repeatedly told their constituents that oppression and victimhood are measurable and comparable. For the left, morality and oppression are determined by a perceived imbalance of power. If one individual or group is successful, that success had to come at the expense of another group. This hatred for competence is seen in chants such as “Eat the rich” and “The top 1% should pay their fair share.”
This warped view of oppression is what has caused many individuals to ignore the complexities of the Middle East and falsely claim that Israel is solely to blame for this conflict. When leftists view Israel as a prosperous country with powerful military defenses, and compare it with the relatively poor and militarily weak Palestine, they conclude that Israel has to be an evil oppressor.
This is especially true for leftists who advocate for the progression of the “Black Lives Matter” movement. When Israel is accused of being a “genocidal colonialist state,” these individuals blindly agree. They ignore the fact that Hamas openly calls for Jihad against Jewish people, that a large percentage of Israel’s population is Arab, and that Israel has offered numerous peace deals to Palestinians for decades.
In the past, Schumer has been complicit in this worldview. It is only now, when he has a personal connection with the current conflict, that he breaks away from this way of thinking.
Schumer should be applauded for his efforts to condemn evil. But in addressing the antisemitism crisis, it is essential for Democrats like Schumer to not only condemn these acts but also critically evaluate how their party’s rhetoric contributes to the problem.
Anthony Watson is a contributor with Turning Point USA.
Hayden Cunningham is a writer and administrator with Turning Point USA.