Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer last Wednesday addressed the rise of antisemitism in the US and warned that antisemites are exploiting the “pro-Palestinian movement” to promote “hatred and bigotry toward Jewish people,” the Washington Post reported.
In a speech on the floor of the Senate, Schumer called on young people who are advocating for Palestinians to educate themselves about the history of oppression and violence Jews have faced for centuries and warned that antisemites have exploited those naïve young people into “aiding and abetting their cause.”
Schumer argued that no matter what position people take on the war in Gaza, everyone should condemn antisemitism “with full-throated clarity” before it “metastasizes into something worse.”
The New York Democrat ticked off some of the attacks the Jews have faced in history from ancient Egypt to Nazi Germany and beyond, like the kidnapping and murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Schumer then drew from recent events, citing the November 20 incident at Hillcrest High School in New York where students targeted a Jewish teacher for supporting Israel. The senator had invited the teacher to the Senate for his remarks and lauded her courage for accepting his invitation.
Schumer’s 40-minute floor speech last Wednesday followed just one day after an op-ed by the senator was published in the New York Times. In the op-ed, Schumer described the current rise in antisemitism as “a five-alarm fire.”
In his speech, the senator bravely called out his fellow liberals, saying much of the antisemitism in America today is coming from people “that most liberal Jewish Americans” saw as “their ideological fellow travelers.” He noted that the same people who protest against violence toward blacks, minorities, and the LGBT community have remained silent over the attacks against Jews, adding that “in the eyes of some, that principle does not extend to the Jewish people.”