Senate Republicans charge Schumer’s been ‘silenced’ on Israel due to AOC primary threat

Over 200 dead in Israel-Hamas conflict

Rocket strike from Gaza kills 2 people as Israel, Hamas reach a 9th day of fighting. Trey Yingst reports from Ashkelon.

EXCLUSIVE – The Senate GOP reelection arm is taking aim at Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer over his relative silence the past couple of days regarding the fierce fighting between Israel and Hamas.

In a new TV ad shared first with Fox News on Tuesday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) charges that Schumer, the senior senator from New York and the top Democrat in the chamber, is keeping quiet over concerns that progressive firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may challenge him next year when he’s running for reelection.

Schumer, who is Jewish and typically one of the most ardent defenders of Israel on Capitol Hill, has been fairly quiet the past two days as the attacks between Israel and Hamas forces based in the Gaza Strip have continued to rage. When asked about the Middle East flare-up at news conference Tuesday afternoon, Schumer gave a boiler plate statement before deferring to fellow Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

While there is uniform support for Israel’s ability to defend itself from attacks by Hamas among congressional Republicans, a growing number of progressive Democrats in Congress are questioning Washington’s support of conservative Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Many Democrat leaders are siding with the terrorists,” the narrator in the NRSC spot charges.

The commercial then uses clips of Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, a fellow member of the group of diverse and progressive congressional Democrats known as the “Squad,” speaking out on the House floor against the Israeli aerial attacks on Gaza.

 “The United States must acknowledge its role… in the injustice,” Ocasio-Cortez says.

 The narrator then asks “why is Democrat leader Chuck Schumer not defending Israel?” before claiming that “Schumer’s scared AOC will run against him. He’s been silenced. Schumer would rather save himself than stand up for Israel.”

Schumer has quietly taken steps this year to politically strengthen himself against any potential primary challenge in 2022 from the left, possibly from Ocasio-Cortez, who hasn’t ruled out such a move.

The NRSC told Fox News that they’re spending five figures to run their ad on TV in the Washington, D.C. market.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States, began launching massive rocket attacks into neighboring Israel on May 10, after violent clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters in Jerusalem at the Al-Aqsa compound, Islam’s third holiest site. 

The Hamas missile attacks quickly sparked a ferocious aerial response by Israeli forces.

More than 230 Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, and at least 12 Israelis, have been killed in the worst fighting between the two enemies in seven years.

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