New York's Senator speaks up

"New York Senator Chuck Schumer harshly criticized the Obama Administration's attempts to exert pressure on Israel today, making him the highest-ranking Democrat to object to Obama's policies in such blunt terms."Schumer, along with a majority of members of the House and Senate, signed on to letters politely suggesting the U.S. keep its disagreements with Israel private, a tacit objection to the administration's very public rebuke of the Jewish State over construction in Jerusalem last month."But Schumer dramatically sharpened his tone on the politically conservative Jewish Nachum Segal Show today, calling the White House stance to date "counter-productive" and describing his own threat to "blast" the Administration had the State Department not backed down from its "terrible" tough talk toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu."http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0410/Schumer_Obamas_Counterproductive_Israel_policy_has_to_stop.htmlOther news and comments:Juan Cole: http://www.juancole.com/2010/04/netanyahu-commits-to-colonizing-east-jerusalem-first-palestinian-expelled-under-new-policy.htmlSteve Clemons: http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2010/04/has_chuck_schum/ Clemons has the radio transcript from Schumer's remarksSince I know not all wheelers share these views, I will be happy to add alternative interpretations (reasonable and gramatically correct that is).Here is MJ Rosenberg's take on Schumer's comments: http://mediamattersaction.org/blog/201004230002Commentary weighs in: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/283176 HT: Patrick MolloyRichard Cohn (NYTimes) has this:"I think what is really bothering Israelis, the root of the troubles, is that Obama is not buying the discourse, the narrative. Instead of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with little Israel against the jihadists, hes talking of how a festering Middle East conflict ends up costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure. Instead of Iran, Iran, Iran the refrain here hes saying Iran, yes, but not at the expense of Palestine. Instead of Israeli security alone, hes talking of the vital national security interests of the United States and their link to Israeli actions." http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/23/opinion/23iht-edcohen.html?hpThis from the Jewish Daily Forward: http://forward.com/articles/127441/

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

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