Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer gave a powerful speech on Wednesday addressing the rise of antisemitism in America. The speech was prompted by the October 7 terrorist attack carried out by Hamas against Israel, which resulted in multiple deaths and injured civilians. Schumer, who is Jewish, did not shy away from calling out fellow leftists for their complicity in this rise of hate.
Schumer began his speech by expressing concern about the normalization and exacerbation of antisemitism in America. He stated that this is a fear many Jewish people have, and emphasized the need for all Americans of goodwill to come together and condemn such views and behavior. He also reiterated his commitment to calling out anyone who engages in antisemitic rhetoric, regardless of their political affiliation.
The senator then proceeded to highlight the alarming incidents of antisemitism that have taken place in America in the aftermath of the October 7 terrorist attack. He specifically called out those who have used the attack as an excuse to justify violence and hate towards Jewish people.
Schumer also pointed out the dangerous trend of using coded language and actions to vilify and discriminate against Jewish people and cited examples of antisemitic chants and slogans being used in recent protests.
Schumer went on to address the rise of antisemitism among young people, particularly those on college campuses. He referenced a recent poll that showed that a significant portion of young people hold anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiments.
He expressed concern that some of the most extreme anti-Israel rhetoric has given license to even more sinister ideas and called on members of the younger generation to educate themselves on the history of antisemitism.
The senator then equated the genocidal slogan of Hamas, "from the river to the sea," to phrases such as "Chinese virus" and "extreme right-wing Jewish settlers," highlighting the dangerous consequences of such rhetoric. He also called out members of his own party, including Rep. Rashida Tlaib, for their role in perpetuating false narratives and spreading lies about Israel.
Schumer addressed the double standard when it comes to criticism of Israel, pointing out the disproportionate blame placed on Israel for civilian deaths when Hamas actively hides behind innocent Palestinians. He urged for a fair and balanced approach to discussing the conflict in Gaza, and for all parties to condemn antisemitism whenever it appears.