Netanyahu: ‘Schumer isn’t opposing me, he’s opposing the Israeli people’

Israeli Prime Minister blasts Schumer over ‘totally inappropriate’ call for new elections and his ouster, accuses Senator of ‘opposing the Israeli people.’

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted New York Senator and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer over the weekend, after the top Senate Democrat said Thursday that Netanyahu had “lost his way” and should be replaced in snap elections.

“I think what he said is totally inappropriate,” Netanyahu said in an interview with CNN Saturday. “It is inappropriate to go to a sister democracy and try to replace the elected leadership there. That is something that the Israeli public does on its own.”

Echoing statements by both his own Likud party and political rival and former Israeli premier Naftali Bennett, Netanyahu said demanded Schumer respect Israeli democracy, saying the country is “not a banana republic.”

“We are not a banana republic. I think the only government that we should be working on to bring down now is the terrorist tyranny in Gaza, the Hamas tyranny, that murdered over 1,000 Israelis – including dozens of Americans – and is holding Americans and Israelis hostage. That’s what we should be focused on.”

Netanyahu also touted popular support for his government’s policies, saying the vast majority of Israelis back the ground campaign in Gaza and the IDF’s plans to enter Rafah, the last Hamas stronghold in the coastal enclave.

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“As far as what Senator Schumer said, the majority of Israelis support our government. Eighty-two percent of Americans support Israel instead of Hamas. But the majority of Israelis support the policies we are leading: Going into Rafah, destroying the remaining Hamas terrorist battalions, make sure that we don’t put into Gaza instead of Hamas the Palestinian Authority that educates their children towards terrorism and the annihilation of Israel. And also an enormous majority here of 99 Knesset members to 9 voted to oppose ramming a Palestinian state down our throats.”

“This is a wakeup call to Senator Schumer. The majority of Israelis support the policies of our government. It is not a fringe government. If Senator Schumer opposes these policies he’s not opposing me, he’s opposing the Israeli people.”

Schumer’s comments drew heavy criticism from Israel, Republican lawmakers, and at least one congressional Democrat.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Schumer’s comments “grotesque,” while Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton blasted Schumer’s demand as “inappropriate and offensive.”