Schumer calls for new Israeli leader to replace Netanyahu in Senate floor speech


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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has called on Israel to elect a new prime minister to replace Benjamin Netanyahu in order to move towards a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians in the form of a two-state solution. 

In what was billed as a major speech on a two-state solution, Schumer said on the Senate floor on Thursday that Netanyahu was one of four obstacles to this solution. 

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., conducts a news conference after the senate luncheons in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, June 21, 2023.  (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The majority leader said he believed, “Prime Minister Netanyahu has lost his way by allowing his political survival to take the precedence over the best interests of Israel.”

Along with Netanyahu, Schumer listed “Hamas, and the Palestinians who support and tolerate their evil ways, radical, right-wing Israelis in government and society, [and] Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas” as the other obstacles. 

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Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs a cabinet meeting at the Kirya military base, which houses the Israeli Ministry of Defense, in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Dec. 24, 2023.  (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg, Pool, File)

According to Schumer, who is Jewish, Israeli elections are “the only way to allow for a healthy and open decision-making process about the future of Israel.” He added that he believed a majority of Israelis also recognize a need for change in their government. 

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SENATE CHUCK SCHUMER

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., joined at right by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., speaks to reporters following a closed-door policy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 7, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

In his reasoning for calling on elections to potentially replace Netanyahu, Schumer explained: “He has put himself in coalition with far-right extremists like Ministers Smotrich and Ben-Gvir, and as a result, he has been too willing to tolerate the civilian toll in Gaza, which is pushing support for Israel worldwide to historic lows.”

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Schumer emphasized that Israel will not be able to overcome such a poor public image. “Israel cannot survive if it becomes a pariah,” he said.

A sign on a bridge leading to the US Embassy compound ahead the official opening in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 13, 2018. Monday's opening of the U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem, cheered by Israelis as a historic validation, is seen by Palestinians as an in-your-face affirmation of pro-Israel bias by President Donald Trump and a new blow to frail statehood dreams. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Israel prepares to open the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. (AP)

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As recently as January, Netanyahu rejected the prospect of two states, claiming, “I will not compromise on full Israeli security control over all the territory west of Jordan – and this is contrary to a Palestinian state.” 

The Palestinian Authority has also reiterated its desire for the territories of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with Jerusalem as the capital. 



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