Congratulations to Chuck Schumer, this year’s true April Fool. The predictably vile consequences of his public attacks on Israeli democracy are here, and no doubt there will be more coming.

Schumer has long fashioned himself the shomer—Hebrew for “watchman,” a play on his last name—of Israel. But he has revealed himself instead to be more of a mashgiach, the man who officially certifies products as kosher. And he has been certifying the political version of porkchops and pepperoni.

“I’m 100% with Senator Schumer,” declared Jamaal Bowman, the Squad-adjacent Democrat who has built his brand around anti-Jewish incitement. “[Benjamin Netanyahu] needs to be removed. He is a blockade to a pathway to peace. And we need a ceasefire right now. That’s what we should be focused on, humanitarian aid, not weapons.”

Appearing on MSNBC yesterday, Bowman had more to say: “The majority of Gaza has already been destroyed through acts of collective punishment by this maniac, Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Bowman was last seen yelling on a New York street corner that Israeli women were lying about the rapes committed by Hamas terrorists. Previously, he had been cited after he was caught on camera pulling a fire alarm to prevent a congressional floor vote. So it’s possible that Bowman uses the term “maniac” as a compliment, that it’s his way of trying to find common ground with the Israeli prime minister.

There were even worse things said by people in Congress yesterday, more evidence that Schumer has helped to open the floodgates of Jew-baiting when he called for regime change in an allied country.

Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon posted yesterday: “On this Easter, let’s ponder Netanyahu’s indiscriminate bombing of Gaza, which has killed more than 20,000 women and children, and his restriction of humanitarian aid, which has pushed Palestinians to the brink of famine.”

There is a long tradition of using Christian holy days like Easter to scapegoat the Jews for the world’s misfortunes. The Kishinev pogrom of 1903, the most infamous of its kind and the closest relation to Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre, began stirring on Easter. Warsaw was the site of an Easter pogrom in 1940—presumably folks remember what happened next.

There are other examples, but the point is clear. And that point is: Jeff Merkley’s presence in the United States Senate is a stain on this great country. But it’s also important to note why Merkley’s Easter passion play didn’t garner the kind of outrage it surely deserved: because Schumer has helped normalize and legitimize trashing Netanyahu as the villain and then arguing, with a straight face, that it isn’t meant to tar the Jewish state.

Now, we’ve been down this road a few times, but again: The Israeli counteroffensive in Gaza isn’t “Bibi’s war,” it’s Israel’s war. Netanyahu is the prime minister, but he is currently part of a three-man governing team atop a unity coalition. That team (and coalition) includes his primary rival, Benny Gantz, and a defense minister with whom Netanyahu had previously fallen out, Yoav Gallant, neither of whom would take this war in a different direction. They are in fact directing, under Netanyahu’s political authority, this war already.

It is also worth restating the current predicament in which all of Israel finds itself. After Hamas’s Oct. 7 attacks, tens of thousands of residents of Israeli communities in that area were evacuated to other parts of the country, many of them to the south. The Iranian-directed missile attacks by Hezbollah since October have forced the evacuation of communities in the north, internally displacing another 60,000 Israelis. Yesterday, an Iranian proxy in Iraq managed to hit southern Israeli territory with a drone attack.

That is, this war alone has forced the displacement of about one percent of Israel’s population. Three times that many have been called up on reserve duty. The governing coalition now represents voters of the two largest political parties in the country and the two men between whom the next premiership will be fought. What would Jeff Merkley have them all do? Pretend, as he does, that this is some sort of imaginary war cooked up by one man?

The Jamaal Bowmans and Jeff Merkleys of the world are bothered by the fact that survival is popular with the Israeli public. And Chuck Schumer has given all such demagogues the green light to continue preaching against the legitimacy of the Jewish state.

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