By Larry Gordon
Our senior U.S. senator, Charles Schumer, took a bold, ethical, and important stance when he opposed Barack Obama’s deal on nuclear weapons in 2015. But now he’s not so sure that opposing the deal was the right decision. Schumer was one of four Democratic senators who opposed the agreement with Iran that removes sanctions against the dictatorial regime in exchange for the ayatollahs winding down their drive toward possessing nuclear weapons.
Yet it is fairly common knowledge that Schumer only voted the way he did because he knew that Mr. Obama had enough votes in the Senate to ratify the deal. We reached out to the senator’s office on Wednesday and were told that Mr. Schumer’s recent expressions of support for the Iran deal are based on the recommendations of the military brass, who have stated that it is presently in the U.S. interest not to scuttle the agreement with Iran.
In a statement released to the Five Towns Jewish Times, Senator Schumer said: “President Trump’s own Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Generals Mattis and Dunford, both said that it’s in our national security interest to keep the JCPOA [Iran deal] in place and I agree. I believe Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, will heed their recommendation. If the President is serious about countering Iran his first step can be to implement the tough sanctions Congress passed in July and urge the House to pass the Hezbollah sanctions legislation that recently passed the Senate.”
But of course the agreement does not actually force the ayatollahs to give up their nuclear ambitions, and that is why the deal has been opposed all along by Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Last week, when President Trump decided not to recertify Iran’s compliance with the arrangement, the president tweeted: “Dem Senator Schumer hated the Iran deal made by President Obama, but now that I am involved, he is OK with it. Tell that to Israel, Chuck!”
The deal at best sidetracks or delays Iran’s development of nuclear weapons for the next 10–13 years. After that period, the agreement allows Iran to do exactly the opposite of what Obama supporters say the deal will accomplish—it allows the Iranians to legally become a nuclear power.
What about this awful and potentially devastating consequence for Israel and for other countries in the Middle East doesn’t Mr. Schumer understand? For decades he has been promoting himself as the “Shomer Yisrael,” the Guardian of Israel. But the Iranians are promising to destroy the Jewish state as soon as they are able to, so how is that compatible with the idea of paving the way for Iran to become a nuclear power?
Is nothing sacred? Is it time to throw every policy and position out the window in the Democratic zeal to derail the Trump presidency at all costs? What happened to the Chuck Schumer who used to think sensibly and with focus? Has the need to oppose President Trump’s policies and positions made everything else expendable?
It was a proud and important moment when Mr. Schumer summoned up the courage to take a stand in opposition of President Obama on the Iran nuclear deal. Mr. Obama probably understood at the time that considering Mr. Schumer’s large and influential Jewish constituency and Mr. Netanyahu’s outspokenness against the deal, the senator just had no choice.
So what changed now after two short years? If anything, the Iranian regime is two years closer to nuclear capability, and it is not a matter of debate, disagreement, or dispute that Iran is the greatest state sponsor of terrorism and terror groups around the world. So where are Chuck Schumer’s ethics, honesty, and integrity? It looks like it’s all gone just so he can knock President Trump and hopefully move closer to pushing more Democrats into office in the 2018 midterm elections.
The not-so-little secret is that most of the core of the country opposes facilitating the Iranian move to nuclear-weapon capability. Only the editorial boards at the New York Times and the Washington Post see the Iran deal as part of what they consider untouchable Obama legacy. Those editorial positions do not represent the sentiments of the heartland of the country, and Chuck Schumer should know that. That message will be hopefully hammered home as we head into the midterm election campaign when it will become abundantly clear where the majority of this country stands on arming thugs and terrorists with weapons of mass destruction.
Our Other Senator
And then there is our other senator, the junior senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand. New York actually functions like most of the rest of the country; New York City leftist liberals garner all the attention while the rest of our geographically generous state leans right and even identifies to a great extent with the policies of President Trump. But judging by our two senators, you would never know that this is the case.
Chuck Schumer changes positions on issues depending on the direction that the winds are blowing. Ms. Gillibrand, on the other hand, though she hails from upstate New York, has become increasingly liberal as time goes by. Now the junior senator is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a conference at the Brooklyn Museum funded by supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.
The conference begins on October 19 and is described on the website as “three days of dynamic programming exploring the intersections of art and social justice.” Even more fascinating is that the conference is being sponsored in part by JPMorgan Chase and George Soros’s Open Society Foundations. As reported in the Washington Free Beacon, one of the organization’s objectives is to “erode Israel’s status as a democracy on the world stage.”
The Free Beacon also noted, “Women’s March national co-organizers Linda Sarsour—who has repeatedly compared Zionists to white supremacists—and Bob Bland will be offering the ‘Resistance Revival’ workshop. Sarsour and Bland recently appeared with their fellow Women’s March leaders at a Johns Hopkins University lecture series, a move criticized by Jewish student leaders.
“Murad Awawdeh, the director of political engagement at the New York Immigration Coalition, will also be speaking at the conference. A frequent defender of Sarsour online, Awawdeh has called on the world to ‘come to grips that Israel is a racist, apartheid, hostile, terrorist state not interested in peace.’”
All this raises the question as to what Senator Gillibrand is doing by appearing and lending her name in a rather prominent fashion to an event like this that has been organized for the most part to vilify, denigrate, and hurt Jews and Israel.
Unlike Senator Schumer, Ms. Gillibrand was not released from her allegiance to the Democratic Party by the Obama administration and had to vote in favor of the very twisted Iran deal. And the odd thing here is that despite her increasingly leftist contortions, Senator Gillibrand still is honored, recognized, and supported by segments of the New York Jewish community.
These leftists who dominate media attention in the major markets would like us to think that they represent mainstream opinion and that the rest of us are just dominated by wrong thinking.
Someone out there has to let our New York senators know that they cannot claim to be ardent supporters of Israel while saying things, casting votes, and supporting organizations that exist for the purpose of damaging the state of Israel. So far it does not look like either Chuck or Kirsten are listening.
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