Chuck Schumer Iran Deal Anti-Semitism

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., chairman of the Rules Committee, speaks to reporters about the economic consequences of a debt ceiling default, during a news conference at the Capitol, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. Schumer, the third-ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership, on Wednesday endorsed Janet Yellen to become the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

For what it’s worth, here’s Schumer’s published statement against the Iran Deal, and here are President Obama’s remarks at the American University. I’m coming to think that the important points that Schumer is right and has every constitutional right to raise, are addressed by Obama with considerable robustness. The main critical concern was what happens after the 10-15 years term to the Deal runs out. Obama suggests it’s back to square one with military options, but on better terms for the U.S. and its allies in the region. A more credible U.S. policy in the region, particularly in relation to Syria and Iraq and Iranian influence in both countries, might have done a lot to assuage fair-minded critics of the Iranian Deal.

In the meantime, there has been more than enough demagoguery to go around, and its worth mentioning here that much of the response against Iran Deal opponents has come to an ugly head in response to Schumer’s principled opposition to the Iran Deal, for which he has taken enormous flak and at considerable risk to his political career. You’re going down a treacherous rabbit hole if you need to defend the Iran Deal by flagging “the Israel Lobby,” rather than defend the Deal on the merits and take skeptical criticism seriously. In this instance, we’re talking about up front and blatant anti-Semitism. In the NYT comments section, which you can read it here, the key terms are: cynicism, dual loyalty, money, cabal, lobbies, warmonger, kowtow, Joe Lieberman, Netanyahu, Adelson, Wall Street, AIPAC, Israel, Jewish, blood, fitness, betrayal, shame, treason, and disgust.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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10 Responses to Chuck Schumer Iran Deal Anti-Semitism

  1. Daniel Sieradski says:

    “You’re going down a treacherous rabbit hole if you need to defend the Iran Deal by flagging ‘the Israel Lobby,’ rather than defend the Deal on the merits and take skeptical criticism seriously.”

    The deal has already been defended on its merits ad nauseam. Rather, Schumer’s betrayal of his party, his president, and yes—his nation, cannot be explained without taking into consideration that fact that he’s received $800K in donations from pro-Israel PACs. Suggesting that the lobby plays no role, just after Donald Trump unashamedly told a national audience that the politicians to whom he donates do whatever he asks of them, is an absurd deflection from the reality that the Zionists in our community conduct themselves in a way that affirms the most pernicious antisemitic stereotypes and takes them out of the realm of myth into the territory of well-established fact.

    • zjb says:

      I think supporters of the Deal have been reluctant to consider the criticism of the Deal in respect to its larger ramifications. The American Univ. speech is the most hard nosed and hawkish defense of the Deal I’ve seen so far. But no, I think “betrayal” is McCarthyite smack down. The “no alternative” argument is okay as it goes, but doesn’t answer serious questions, like what happens after year 15. Obama accuses critics of being warmongers, but in the American University address can only answer that question with a little warmongering of his own (i.e. in 15 years, we’re back to all options on the table). I think it’s probably a good idea to pocket the 15 years, but the critical questions are the ones better asked than the absolute certainty of Administration supporters and Schumer critics. That goes for the influence of Lobby money which is always more limited than people tend to think. Otherwise, it would be President Romney presiding over this mess. No, the Lobby hysteria on the left is a nice way to try to end by shutting down an argument that has not been argued ad nauseum. At any rate, I won’t let anti-Semites off the hook just because of Netanyahu. I’ve seen you do the same as well and is something I admire about you.

      • Daniel Sieradski says:

        “But no, I think ‘betrayal’ is McCarthyite smack down.”

        Not if you’re choosing the interests of a special interest group that serves at the pleasure of a foreign nation over the interests of your own party, president, and national security establishment. When Congress votes against veterans’ benefits, it’s a betrayal of their service. When Congress votes against CHIP, it’s a betrayal of our children. When Congress votes against an international treaty that one party is using to stick it to the President they’ve been trying to tank for a decade, and when both parties are using it to curry favor with donors with unlimited spending potential, how can we not say it’s a betrayal of our nation and the global community? Because it echoes classic antisemitic canards because Jews are involved? Maybe the extreme elements in our community could not wantonly exhibit antisemitic canards for television cameras by shamelessly buying off representatives to do the bidding of the Netanyahu administration?

      • zjb says:

        look, betrayal is at the root of politics. I get that. And I don’t like the hyper partisan turn in U.S. party and cultural politics. I just don’t see how a blanket tarnish on all Deal critics serves any constructive political interest. I also don’t think politicians, poliitical decisions and political office are that easily bought. (Did I already make my Sheldon Adelson-President Romney joke?)

      • dmf says:

        betrayal (especially given the legislative/decision making mechanisms to be used, and Gillibrand seeming to signal that Chuck isn’t recruiting) is way over the top, but to ask anyone to answer a 15yr out crystal ball question on international affairs seems absurd really, but I’m quite worried about the public resonances that you mentioned (not up to venturing in a comment section at a site like the NYTs myself) this is a bad year for Israel/US relations that only seems to be getting worse with France all too ready to take more of an international role.

  2. chicagoteamster says:

    Daniel Sieradski says above: “…the reality that the Zionists in our community conduct themselves in a way that affirms the most pernicious antisemitic stereotypes…” Not “some Zionists” (or any qualifier for that matter) but “the Zionists.” Mr. Sieradski has been down the rabbit hole long enough to have suffered oxygen deprivation.

    • zjb says:

      Daniel plays rough and is fearless, for which he gets props.

      • chicagoteamster says:

        How can you complain about rhetoric used against Schumer, and, in the same blog post, say that Sieradski deserves respect when he says that “the Zionists in our community conduct themselves in a way that affirms the most pernicious antisemitic stereotypes”?

      • zjb says:

        Because I know Daniel (not very well but well enough) and trust him, if not necessarily or always his political judgment. In my comment to him, I think I pushed back pretty hard.

    • Daniel Sieradski says:

      Liberal Zionists no longer count as Zionists according to the government of Israel so I’m counting you (if this is the source of your complaint) among the Erev Rav to which I apparently belong.

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