Schumer decries antisemitism in impassioned Senate speech: ‘Jewish people feel isolated,’ ‘deep fear’

Schumer reminds Americans that 'the long arc of Jewish history teaches us a lesson'

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., delivered a 40-minute speech on the Senate floor Wednesday morning against the rise of antisemitism in the U.S. since the Hamas-led massacre in Israel on Oct. 7.

"I feel compelled to speak because I'm the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in America," Schumer said on the floor Wednesday. "In fact, the highest-ranking Jewish elected official ever in American history."

Schumer listed several incidents across the country that unfolded after Oct. 7 as evidence of the threat Jewish Americans feel they're under. 

Schumer highlighted boycotts on unrelated Jewish businesses, swastikas on delis, verbal abuse with references to Hitler, threats toward a Jewish senator, harassment and violence against Jewish students, and a left-wing magazine labeling a pro-Israel rally as a "hate rally."


schumer decries antisemitism in impassioned senate speech jewish people feel isolated deep fear

A group of F-16 aircraft fly over Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., on March 30, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

Schumer also condemned the "Free Palestine" slogan that protesters across the country have chanted – "From the river to the sea" – and called it a "violently antisemitic message."

"But rather than call out this dangerous behavior for what it is, we see so many of our friends and fellow citizens – particularly young people who yearn for justice – unknowingly aiding and abetting their cause, and worse, many of our friends and allies whose support we need now more than ever during this moment of intense Jewish pain, have brushed aside these concerns," he said.

"When I've asked some of the marchers what they would do about Hamas, they don't have an answer," he said. 


schumer decries antisemitism in impassioned senate speech jewish people feel isolated deep fear

Protesters wave flags as thousands of Israelis attend a rally against their government's judicial overhaul plan on March 27, 2023z, in Jerusalem. (Amir Levy)

"Can you understand why the Jewish people feel isolated when we hear some praise Hamas and chanted its vicious slogan?" he asked. "Can you blame us for feeling vulnerable only 80 years after Hitler wiped out half the Jewish population across the world, while so many countries turned their back? Can you appreciate the deep fear we have about what Hamas might do if left to their own devices? Because the long arc of Jewish history teaches us a lesson that is hard to forget. Ultimately, we are alone."

When Schumer first heard about the unfolding attacks in Israel, he recalled a story of when his great-grandmother refused to go with Nazi soldiers, "They machine-gunned down every last one of them – the babies, the elderly, everybody in between," 

"This story resonated deeply in my heart," he said.

"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. Because right now, that’s what Jewish Americans fear most," he said.

Since the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas against Israelis last month, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported a nearly 400% rise in antisemitic incidents in the U.S. since the same time period last year. 

Prior to that, the ADL reported in March that antisemitic incidents rose 36% – equivalent to 3,697 incidents – in 2022. 

In New York, Schumer's home state, a 214% year-over-year surge in hate crimes against Jews was reported in October – or 101 incidents – according to the city's monthly crime data. 


schumer decries antisemitism in impassioned senate speech jewish people feel isolated deep fear

Rockets fired by Palestinian militants toward Israel are seen over Gaza City, Aug. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

"The time for solidarity must be now. Nothing less than the future of the American experiment hangs in the balance," Schumer continued. "We are stewards of the flames of liberty, tolerance and equality that warm our American melting pot, and make it possible for Jewish Americans to prosper alongside Palestinian Americans, and every other immigrant group from all over the world."

Jamie Joseph is a writer who covers politics. She leads Fox News Digital coverage of the Senate. 

Authored by Jamie Joseph via FoxNews November 29th 2023