Yesterday, as a guest on a conservative Jewish radio program called the Nachum Segal Show, Senator Chuck Schumer, whom Politico calls “a hawkish ally of Israel” became the “highest-ranking Democrat” to boldly speak out against President Obama’s Israel policy of late, saying: “This has to stop.” Schumer made it clear that he opposes the tactic of pressuring Israel to cooperate. “You have to show Israel that it’s not going to be forced to do things it doesn’t want to do and can’t do,” he told Segal. “At the same time you have to show the Palestinians that they are not going to get their way by just sitting back and not giving in, and not recognizing that there is a state of Israel.”
Meanwhile, though, as New York Magazine‘s blog points out, Schumer stepped into some Palin- and George W. Bush-esque territory by asserting divine provenance to his rule: “My name as you know comes from a Hebrew word. It comes from the word shomer, which means guardian,” he said. “My ancestors were guardians of the ghetto wall in Chortkov and I believe Hashem, actually, gave me the name as one of my roles that is very important in the United States Senate, to be a shomer for Israel, and I will continue to be that with every bone in my body.” Of course, this tidbit of superstition may have been his way of pandering to his host, who clearly took the proclamation lightly, asking Schumer to be “a shomer against the value-add tax” as well. But if Schumer’s going to assume that God chooses his shepherds via their names, he would do well to remember that “Barack” means “blessing,” and “Emanuel” means “God is with us.”
Hadara Graubart was formerly a writer and editor for Tablet Magazine.