Sen. Schumer Says Netanyahu Is ‘Obstacle to Peace,’ Calls for Israeli Elections

Netanyahu's Likud party said in response that Schumer shouldn't 'undermine' the Israeli government

On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an “obstacle to peace” and called for new elections in Israel.

“As a lifelong supporter of Israel, it has become clear to me: The Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel after October 7. The world has changed, radically, since then, and the Israeli people are being stifled right now by a governing vision that is stuck in the past,” Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor.

Schumer said he believes “a new election is the only way to allow for a healthy and open decision-making process about the future of Israel, at a time when so many Israelis have lost their confidence in the vision and direction of their government.”

Schumer’s comments drew a sharp rebuke from Netanyahu’s Likud party. “Israel is an independent and proud democracy that elected Prime Minister Netanyahu, not a banana republic,” the party said in a statement. “It is expected of Senator Schumer to respect Israel’s elected government and not undermine it. This is always true, but even more so during wartime.”

Politicians in the US were also unhappy with the Senate leader’s remarks. “Israel is not a colony of America whose leaders serve at the pleasure of the party in power in Washington. Only Israel’s citizens should have a say in who runs their government,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Polling has shown that the majority of Israelis want Netanyahu to resign or for there to be new elections once Israeli operations in Gaza come to an end, giving Netanyahu an incentive to keep the genocidal war going. Schumer said Netanyahu was prioritizing his “political survival” over Israel.

While providing unconditional military support for the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza, President Biden has tried to distance himself from the Netanyahu government. His intelligence agencies released a “threat assessment” this month that said Netanyahu’s hold on power could be in jeopardy, prompting an Israeli official to accuse the US of seeking to overthrow the government.

In his speech, Schumer also expressed opposition to a permanent ceasefire in Gaza despite the huge number of civilian casualties and the dire humanitarian situation. He claimed a permanent ceasefire would “only allow Hamas to regroup and launch further attacks on Israeli civilians.”

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.