". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


‘We Need to Stand with Our Ally,’ Senator Says after Netanyahu Addresses GOP

March 21, 2024

Last Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) “called for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to step down and his government to be dissolved,” shocking many Americans. Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, pointed out on his podcast, “The Briefing,” that Schumer’s statement is even more startling considering his prominent role in the Senate and the fact that he’s also “often described in the media as the highest-ranking politician who is Jewish.”

Mohler continued, “When you have the majority leader in the United States Senate calling for the removal of the Israeli prime minister, when you have that same official calling for new elections in Israel, when you have the open statements that Senator Schumer made, this is a breach in democratic decorum.” But according to The Washington Times, Schumer went a step further when he “denied a request from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to hold a video call with Senate Democrats about the crisis in the Middle East and Israel’s handling of the war with Hamas.”

In an interview with CNN, Netanyahu fired back at Schumer’s statements, calling them “inappropriate.” He emphasized, “The majority of Israelis support the policies of my government. It’s not a fringe government. It represents the policies supported by the majority of the people.” Ultimately, the prime minister asserted, “If Senator Schumer opposes these policies, he’s not opposing me. He’s opposing the people of Israel.”

While Schumer denied Netanyahu’s request to speak in front of the Democrats, Senate Republicans heard from the Israeli leader in a private speech instead. In attendance was Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.), who shared the details of the meeting during Wednesday’s episode of “Washington Watch” with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.

“It’s painful,” the senator admitted. “When I first came into Congress, I used to tell people there weren’t many bipartisan issues, but Israel was one of them. And now, suddenly, this has become very partisan in many ways.” Although Lankford noted that “it really hasn’t been ‘suddenly’” since the division over this matter has increased “over several years.” But he added, “I’m hearing more and more rhetoric that is more pro-Palestinian than it is pro-Israel, forgetting that Israel was the one who was ruthlessly attacked in a terrorist attack. … They were just trying to exist.”

During the 45-minute private dialogue, Lankford highlighted that Netanyahu “walked through some of the military operations, what’s happening in their government and … how they’re holding up.” He explained that the prime minister addressed “the conversation about Rafah and about Hamas, because there is this whole push currently from the [Biden] administration” for Israel not to go into that area and “take out Hamas.”

But Lankford noted that Netanyahu compared this to someone saying during World War II, “‘Take out the Nazis, except don’t go to Berlin.’” It’s simply not possible to adhere to the irrational desires of the Biden administration to stay out of Rafah, the senator added. Israel’s “been very clear they’re doing everything they can to protect the lives of civilians,” Lankford said. But while “every life is valuable, Israel [must be] very aggressive to be able to do what they can … to protect the lives of [their] civilians” during a war that the Hamas terrorists started.

Perkins agreed. “We can’t just come to a truce and say, ‘Hey, let’s go about our business,’ because … [it’s] very clear Hamas will be back.” But he continued, “Not only do we have Hamas … you have Hezbollah and” other threats including Iran, which Perkins described as “the puppet master.”

According to Lankford, Netanyahu outlined “the three Hs” that serve as threats to Israel: Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis. In addition to Hamas’s brutal October 7 attack on Israel and all that has followed, he emphasized that both Hezbollah and the Houthis are actively firing rockets at Israel. “So, while [Democrats] talk about the people displaced in Gaza,” which Lankford agreed is still tragic, “People just conveniently leave out 100,000 people in northern Israel that are also having to live as refugees away from their homes because of Hezbollah [and other terrorist] attacks.”

“I believe America’s future is intertwined with that of Israel,” Perkins said, emphasizing they’re not only America’s “strategic ally” and a “stabilizing force” in the Middle East, but they are also “spiritually very significant to us as a nation.”

A notable point Lankford also stressed is that Schumer did “not call for new change in leadership in Hamas or change in leadership in Hezbollah or change in leadership in Venezuela or in Iran.” Rather, “It’s a change in leadership in Israel” that he demanded. “And we need to be very clear that Israel has elected the leader Netanyahu, and he is leading in the time of war, and we need to stand with our ally during a time of war,” he concluded.

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.