This Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer gave an important speech about rising antisemitism in the United States since Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7.
In a 45-minute speech, Schumer, the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in American history, highlighted how American Jews have felt increasingly isolated and attacked in the last month. He went on to criticize responses from some fellow Americans who have justified the terrorist attack against Israel, highlighting the need to separate political opinions from antisemitic persecution.
“While the dead bodies of Jewish Israelis were still warm, while hundreds of Jewish Israelis were being carried as hostages back to Hamas tunnels under Gaza, Jewish Americans were alarmed to see some of our fellow citizens characterize a brutal terrorist attack,” he said, highlighting that many people even celebrated what happened.
Schumer criticized those who protest how Israeli policy has displaced at least 700,000 Palestinians but who fail to mention “the 600,000 Mizrahi Jews across the Arab world who were also displaced” and threatened. He also expressed concern about those who insist on criticizing Israel and ignoring Hamas’ tactics of hiding behind Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
“Those who are inclined to examine the world through the lens of the oppressors versus the oppressed should take note that the many thousands of years of Jewish history are defined by oppression,” he commented.
Senate Leader Schumer recalled the history of the Jews, from the diaspora to the Holocaust, underscoring the importance of understanding the past to build a more tolerant future.
Today, I’m giving a major address on the Senate floor on the dangerous and disturbing rise of antisemitism in America.
Watch live: https://t.co/SeHnGFJdLq
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) November 29, 2023
“No matter what our beliefs are, no matter where we stand on the war in Gaza, all of us must condemn antisemitism with full-throated clarity whenever we see it before it metastasizes into something even worse,” he said.
Schumer insisted that the increase in antisemitism that is being experienced in the United States is considered a critical situation for the Jewish community.
“The Anti-Defamation League estimates that antisemitic incidents have increased nearly 300 percent since October 7,” he said with concern.
The Senate leader concluded his speech by calling for understanding and urging that the history of the Jewish people be known and that American Jews be supported.
“I implore every person and every community and every institution to stand with Jewish Americans and denounce antisemitism in all of its forms, especially the double standard that has been wielded against the Jewish people for generations to isolate us,” he said.
Republican leader praises Schumer’s speech
After Schumer’s words, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell congratulated his colleague for delivering a speech of great historical importance.
McConnell also took the opportunity to join the condemnation of antisemitism. “I share his [Schumer’s] disgust with the alarming rise of antisemitism in America and around the world. I stand with him in condemning this hatred and I stand with our ally Israel,” he said.