Former prime minister blasts Schumer’s attacks on Netanyahu: ‘Israel is not a banana republic’

Ruling Likud party and former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett both slam Chuck Schumer’s call for new elections to replace Netanyahu.

By World Israel News Staff

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett chastised Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Thursday, after Schumer called for new elections in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ouster.

“Regardless of our political opinion,” tweeted Bennett, who split from a coalition of right-wing parties led by Netanyahu in 2021 to form his own government, “we strongly oppose external political intervention in Israel’s internal affairs.”

Bennett blasted Schumer’s interference in Israeli democracy, declaring Israel is “not a banana republic,” and rejected criticism of Israel’s handling of the war against Hamas.

“We are an independent nation, not a banana republic.”

“With the threat of terrorism on its way to the West, it would be best if the international community would assist Israel in its just war, thereby also protecting their countries.”

The Likud party issued similar comment in response to Schumer’s statement on the Senate floor Thursday, saying: “Israel is not a banana republic, but a democracy proud of its choice in PM Netanyahu.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Herzog, called Schumer’s comments “unhelpful” and “counterproductive.”

“Israel is a sovereign democracy,” the ambassador tweeted.

“It is unhelpful, all the more so as Israel is at war against the genocidal terror organization Hamas, to comment on the domestic political scene of a democratic ally. It is counterproductive to our common goals.”

Benny Gantz, Netanyahu’s long-time rival, who joined the current government as a minister-without-portfolio after the October 7th invasion, said Schumer “erred” in his Senate address.

“Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is a friend of Israel, who helps it a lot even in these days, but he erred in his statement,” Gantz tweeted.

“Israel is a strong democracy, and only its citizens will determine its leadership and its future. Any outside intervention on the matter is not right and not acceptable.”

Opposition Leader and former Prime Minister Yair Lapid called Schumer’s speech “proof that one by one, Netanyahu is losing Israel’s staunchest supporters.”

In his address on the Senate floor Thursday, Schumer called Netanyahu an “obstacle to peace,” lambasting his recent statements rejecting Palestinian statehood.

Schumer called for new elections and the removal of Netanyahu and his government from power.

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“The Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel,” Schumer said. “The Israeli people are being stifled right now by a governing vision that is stuck in the past.”

“I believe that holding a new election once the war starts to wind down would give Israelis an opportunity to express their vision for the postwar future,” Schumer added.

The Senate’s top Republican, Minority Leader and Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, slammed Schumer’s comments as “grotesque.”

“Israel’s unity government and security cabinet deserves the deference befitting a sovereign democratic country,” McConnell said.