David FriedmanThe writer serves as the President of American Friends of Bet El. He is a practicing trial lawyer in New York and maintains a residence in Jerusalem.
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), the self-proclaimed “shomer” or guardian of Israel’s interests in the halls of the United States Senate, would like us all to believe that, like Shakespeare’s Hamlet, he is agonizing over his decision on whether to approve the Iranian deal. Promising his constituents that he will not commit until he has carefully absorbed, studied and evaluated all relevant information, Schumer publicly hides his views while paraphrasing the Bard’s well-known solliloquy: “to vote or not to vote, that is the question.”
Except that he’s not. Remember, this is a politician who is front and center at a press conference to announce his position before anyone even knew a position was called for. He has been called many things, but “careful” and “deliberate” are not among them. More importantly, there is no more data for Schumer to digest. The Iranian deal has been the subject of more detailed scrutiny than any presidential initiative in recent memory.
Anyone can read the agreement and access hundreds of well-articulated views of experts in the fields of foreign relations, anti-terrorism and military strategy. Imagine how much more information is available to a United States Senator.
Senator Schumer knows all that he needs to know about the Iranian deal. He knows:
- The deal will cause Iran to become a nuclear power within his expected lifetime.
- The deal will spawn a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
- The deal, even in the short run, will be nearly impossible to verify given the draconian restrictions on inspections.
- The deal will provide anywhere from $100 to $150 billion to a rogue regime that remains committed to funding terrorism and annihilating Israel.
- The deal is written so poorly (something that Schumer, a Harvard Law graduate, should readily recognize on his own) that even the arguably favorable provisions are entirely ambiguous and unenforceable.
- The deal is opposed by Prime Minister Netanyahu and his left-wing opposition leader, Isaac Herzog – the two agree on nothing else!
The deal is opposed by Prime Minister Netanyahu and his left-wing opposition leader, Isaac Herzog – the two agree on nothing else!
And yet the Senator remains silent under the guise of his purported soul-searching and gut-wrenching analysis, or whatever other adjectives fit the moment.
This political theatre has all the suspense of a B movie. No matter how he ultimately votes, by making his decision such a close call – which it plainly should not be -- Schumer is validating the worst appeasement of terrorism since Munich. His delay also reeks of political opportunism – even a last minute “no” vote by Schumer undoubtedly will fail to drive sufficient momentum among Schumer’s colleagues to carry the day.
But Schumer will hold his head up high, proclaiming that he voted his conscience to protect Israel, having knowingly done far less than what was needed to defeat the deal. With a wink and a nod, Schumer will have cemented his good will with the President and his position as Harry Reid’s successor as the Democratic leader.
There’s a good reason why people do not trust politicians. This is an excellent example.