Flavius Josephus Move Over; Chuck Schumer is Here - The Jewish Voice
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Sunday, July 3, 2022

Flavius Josephus Move Over; Chuck Schumer is Here

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As we know, Flavius Josephus, the legendary Jewish first century historian was not exactly a paradigm of fealty to his people, to say the least.

During the Roman occupation of the land of Israel, Josephus engaged in an epochal betrayal of his fellow Jews in the hour of their greatest crisis. Having been entrusted by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem with the commission of governor-general of the Galilee, he often served as a middle man; trying to squelch the righteous hostilities of the Jews towards the brutal oppression they faced at the hands of their Roman overseers. In the end, Josephus switched sides, becoming a counselor to Roman emperors while watching and copiously chronicling the mass slaughter of his people in the infamous Roman siege on Jerusalem. Concerned exclusively with saving his own skin, he took great pains to avoid incurring the wrath of the Jews who designated him to speak on their behalf, nor did he want to be seen as a traitor to the Romans, so he joined the ranks of the implacable enemy.

So, why do we provide this mini-history lesson? One need only look to contemporary scenarios to witness a glaring and painful analogy. Today, US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), also entrusted by his constituents, (who just happen to be predominantly Jewish) to represent their interests in the Senate. As we have published here in the pages of The Jewish Voice, the record of former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel as it pertains Israel and Iran is nothing less than deplorable. Perhaps this wouldn’t ruffle our proverbial feathers as it does, if not for the fact that he has been nominated by President Obama for the task of Secretary of Defense. A panoply of Jewish organizations as well as a bevy of politically conservative activists have sounded a clarion call of protest to the powers that be at the White House over this egregious and potentially dangerous choice.

While a great many elected officials (many of them Democrats) have also stood in staunch and vocal opposition to the Hagel nomination, one significant voice is missing. Completely cognizant of Hagel’s record on Israel and knowing full well that Hagel referred to pro-Israel supporters as “the Jewish lobby”, Senator Schumer has vigorously endorsed Hagel’s nomination. Despite the fact that he was exhorted not to do so by prominent and influential members of his constituency who truly care about the future of Israel as a Jewish state, Senator Schumer assumed a maverick posture. He asserts that he conducted lengthy discussions with the nominee and determined that Hagel had an epiphany of sorts and “changed his tune” on support for Israel and expressed his willingness to proffer a more flinty position when dealing with the rogue Iranian regime.

Schumer is a man who has been respected for his intelligence and insight by his peers and his voter base. With that in mind, we know that Schumer is being less than honest with himself and the people he represents, if he thinks he can vanquish the loud chorus of protests against Hagel’s nomination by attempting to put one over on us by pulling out his “snake oil salesman” routine. Schumer knows that a zebra doesn’t change his stripes and a Jew hater is a Jew hater is a Jew hater. Seeking to gain the prestigious post that will define his legacy in public service, Hagel will concoct an image of himself as a “reformed man” and one who now sees the error of his ways. Convincing key Senate and Congressional leaders that he has re-invented himself prior to his confirmation hearings will be Hagel’s key to victory and that’s where Schumer comes in. Mindful of the gravity of the situation, we can correctly assume that Schumer was called on by President Obama to defy the outcry of his people and to give his immediate imprimatur to Hagel. Knowing the pivotal importance of having Schumer throw his support behind the controversial nominee, the President understood quite clearly that the “blessing” Schumer would bestow on Hagel would send a strong signal to other Senators who were either vehemently opposed to the nomination or were still mired in ambivalence. After all, if a Jewish senator from New York votes in the affirmative for Hagel, then surely others who don’t have that much to lose politically can do the same.

The next four years will be no cake walk for Israel. The US administration has hunkered down in its liberal and even left wing agenda, and has now filled its cabinet posts with men who would love nothing more than to see Israel engage in suicidal territorial concessions in the name of a fraudulent peace that could potentially be the harbinger of the Jewish state’s destruction. We must come to the stark realization that while we may not be able to change the direction that the political winds blow, history will record those who stood up and said “NO” in the most adamant manner.

Schumer is a most disingenuous chap. After all, he has gone on record for his alleged support of Israel but has rallied behind the most anti-Israel president since the creation of the state. This kind of political incongruity may work for some, but not for Schumer. The truth has been revealed about the Senator with greater career ambitions and his readiness to place Israel in mortal danger. While it’s true that the results of the Israeli elections are sending yet another signal to Washington to cease and desist in pressuring Israel into a “two-state” that will place it in existential danger, we can’t depend on Netanyahu and his coalition alone to fight off the lions. It will be a long, hard fought battle.

Chuck Schumer was afforded a choice; a decision of tremendous magnitude was placed in front of him. The kind of decision that requires a deep and searing moral introspection. Would he proclaim his loyalty to his ideological spouse, known in layman’s terms as “gushing liberalism” and the attendant place at the feet of President that would be granted to him if he played his cards right or would he internalize the authentic anxiety, pain and fear that his people feel at Hagel’s nomination.

Schumer answered this call for soulful judgment by replicating the dastardly deeds of Flavius Josephus. He went with the path of perceived success, security and personal opportunity at the expense of Israel. Labeling Schumer as a traitor to his constituents, to the Jewish and non-Jewish organizations that opposed the Hagel nomination and to everyone that actually believed that he actually possessed a modicum of sincerity would be a gross understatement. Perhaps your words don’t rattle your under used conscience, Mr. Schumer, but be aware that voters have a long memory. Perhaps full time consideration of another endeavor might be in order.

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