I’ve always found the call not to “politicize” an inherently political issue somewhat humorous. But of course we know what is meant by this: Don’t take something that has bipartisan support and make it a partisan issue.

As with anything, sometimes this is said in earnest and sometimes in bad faith. The most predictable example of the latter is any time someone criticizes a Democrat on Israel.

Take the events of the past week. Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, launched an unusually partisan attack on Israeli democracy by giving a speech calling for the collapse of Israel’s unity government, during wartime, because he doesn’t like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Even Israeli opposition figures criticized Schumer’s unprecedented intervention in an allied country’s domestic politics. So did the umbrella group of American Jewish organizations as well as individual Jewish groups.

The motivation behind the speech was unconscionable: The highest-ranking Jewish lawmaker was scapegoating an Israeli leader for the sole purpose of appeasing the pro-Hamas and deeply anti-Semitic elements in his own party so that after November’s election he would still be the Senate majority leader. It was textbook politicizing of an issue at the worst possible time, a shameful and cynical move recognized as such by nearly everyone who saw it.

But Schumer and his defenders came up with a rejoinder to his critics: I am rubber, Schumer explained, and you are glue. Furthermore, I know you are but what am I.

“Kind of an interesting irony,” sneered National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, “which is you have the prime minister speaking on American television about his concerns about Americans interfering in Israeli politics.… In fact, we don’t do nearly as much as they speak into ours.”

This is wrong on so many levels, but for our purposes here its juvenility and hypocrisy are what stand out. You can see the road Democrats were getting tempted to take here—the low one—and just as easily see how disastrous it would be. Nevertheless, they persisted.

Netanyahu asked to address the parties directly via video conference at the parties’ next scheduled meetings. The Republicans agreed. Schumer personally rejected Netanyahu’s request to talk to the Democrats.

The reason Netanyahu asked to speak to the parties at their next meeting is because he cannot, at the moment, address all of Congress, and this is the next best thing. Also, the parties’ concerns regarding Israel differ greatly from each other, and only by privately addressing each party could Netanyahu keep the discussion from stirring the partisan pot and turning members against each other. Netanyahu has also, of late, expressed deep frustration with Israel’s public-relations deficit, and there is wide agreement that the country’s communications teams are struggling to tailor their message more directly to particular audiences.

Schumer was having none of it. Once again, he took explicitly partisan actions against Israel and when the Republicans didn’t follow suit, accused them of partisanship. “I care deeply about Israel and its long-term future,” Schumer said. “When you make the issue partisan, you hurt the cause of helping Israel.”

Politician, heal thyself.

There’s a reason, of course, that Democrats like Schumer believe they can get away with this behavior: They can, because the press is of the same mind. Here is the lede of the Washington Post story on the row (emphasis added): “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined Senate Republicans via live video conference Wednesday, his face and booming voice beamed into the party’s weekly closed lunch meeting as he criticized the Senate’s Democratic leader, in the latest display of deepening partisan politics around U.S.-Israel policy.”

The Post plays it as though Bibi is picking the fight, but in reality “he criticized” Schumer is a reference to Netanyahu responding to Schumer’s pointed criticism, and doing so in rather mild language compared to Schumer’s. The Post also suggests that Netanyahu is the engine of the “deepening partisan politics,” but of course the entire situation came about because of Schumer’s decision to launch his partisan broadside and throw his public support behind Bibi’s own domestic political opponents.

Then there’s this unbelievably unprofessional passage: “amid mounting criticism from Democrats of Israel’s war in Gaza, congressional Republicans are seeking to amplify their party’s unconditional loyalty to the Jewish state, in contrast with the party that has long attracted the most Jewish voters.”

Ah, the disloyalty canard. It’s Joe McCarthy’s Red Scare all over again, except it’s aimed at Israel and Jews, so perhaps the Blue Scare is more appropriate. This is dreadful behavior, and no, it cannot be blamed on Republicans.

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