WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) didn't mince words Wednesday on Capitol Hill where he denounced America's dramatic rise in antisemitism and the alarming rhetoric he's seen in the days following October 7th.
Speaking on the Senate floor, Schumer, the highest-ranking elected Jewish official in American history, described the situation as a "five-alarm fire that must be extinguished."
"I'm speaking up to issue a warning informed by lessons of history too often forgotten," said Schumer. "No matter what our beliefs, no matter where we stand on the war in Gaza, all of us must condemn antisemitism with full-throated clarity wherever we see it before it metastasizes into something even worse."
Schumer warned against blaming Jews for Israeli policy and cautioned not to allow criticism of that government to turn into something much darker.
"Some of the most extreme rhetoric has emboldened antisemites and they're attacking Jewish people just for being Jewish," he said.
Schumer believes younger Americans especially seem to be jumping to support a cause and message they don't understand.
"I believe there are many people who chant 'From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free' not because they hate Jewish people but because they support a better future for Palestinians, but there is no question that Hamas and other terrorist organizations have used this slogan to represent their intentions to eliminate the Jewish people not only from Israel but from every corner of the earth."
The majority of Schumer's address came as a growing number of government officials and federal workers criticize President Biden's support of Israel and its war on Hamas.
More than 100 congressional staffers recently staged a walkout and hundreds of federal political appointees and staffers signed a letter demanding Biden pursue an Israeli ceasefire and take immediate action to end Palestinian casualties.
In another instance, a top CIA official posted a pro-Palestinian image to her Facebook page, a public political statement former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called unacceptable.
"I'm struggling for words because it is so far out of bounds," Pompeo told Fox News. "It is so disconnected from the fundamental role that they have."
Over in the House, a vote Tuesday on legislation reaffirming Israel's right to exist and condemning Hamas did not receive unanimous support. Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) refused to vote for either measure and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) voted for the resolution which centered on Israel's existence.