Netanyahu: Schumer is not opposing me, he’s opposing the Israeli people

Netanyahu continues to criticize Schumer for his attacks on the policies of his government. He claims that most Israelis support the government’s policies and does not plan to run for election.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer was opposing the Israeli people by calling for elections to replace his government.

In an interview with Dana Bash, on CNN’s weekly State of the Union program broadcast Sunday morning, Netanyahu said: “It is inappropriate to try to replace the leadership in a sister democratic country.”

Netanyahu stated that Israel is “not a banana-republic” and the people of Israel chose their leaders.

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He spoke just three days after the Democratic politician made a 45 minute speech on the Senate Floor in which he called for Israel to hold new election to replace Netanyahu and called the Israeli leader a barrier to peace.

Some pundits called it a wake up call for the Israeli Government, but Netanyahu said that the speech was a “wake-up to Senator Schumer”.

Majority of Israelis support Netanyahu’s government policy

“The majority supports the policies of my Government,” which is “not a fringe government, and represents the policies that are supported by the majority.”

He said: “If Senator Schumer is against these policies, then he is not against me. He’s opposed to the people of Israel.”

He said that the only government we should work to overthrow is Hamas’ terrorist tyranny, which is a Hamas-run enclave that is a prison for Israelis and American citizens alike.

Bash claimed that polls had shown that Israelis were in favor of early elections. She then pressed him for a commitment to this move after the war was over.

Netanyahu stated that if the elections were held during the war, “we’d have six months of paralysis in the country and we’d lose the war.”

Bash pressed him further, asking him if he would commit to an early election.

Netanyahu retorted that it was ridiculous to bring up the subject. He said that he would not have asked George Bush, the US president, to resign after the al-Qaeda attacks on the Twin Towers in September 2001.

Netanyahu said that the focus should be on how to defeat Hamas.

The morning news shows in America were dominated by Schumer’s speech on Sunday. Both the White House and Republican and Democratic politicians commented.

US President Joe Biden said Schumer’s comments on Friday echoed concerns of many Americans. He described the remarks as “good speeches.”

John Kirby, the White House spokesperson, said that Biden still believed that Israel should make its own internal decisions regarding politics.

Kirby said on Fox News Sunday that “we respect the sovereignty” of the Israelis. “The president thinks it’s up the Israeli government and people to decide if there will be new elections,”

In a response to Netanyahu’s CNN Interview, Schumer said in a press release released by his office: “It is a good sign that serious discussions have begun on how to guarantee Israel’s security and prosperity in the future, once Hamas is defeated.”

Donald Trump, the former US president and the Republican candidate for the upcoming election, said on Fox that Biden abandoned Netanyahu by calling for Israel to replace him.

“All of a suddenly, he abandoned Israel. It’s exactly what he is doing. He dumped Israel,” said Trump.

Even he agreed that the time was right for Israel to put an end to the war.

“Do it (end the war) quickly and return to peace in a world.”

Netanyahu stated at the beginning of the weekly meeting of the government in Jerusalem that the calls for his removal from the international community were part of an attempt to end the war before Hamas is defeated.

Netanyahu stated that “they are doing this, because they know elections will stop the war now and paralyze at least the country for six months.”

We will not allow Israel to lose the war if we end the war before its full goals have been achieved. We cannot and will not succumb to the pressure.

This report was a collaboration between Reuters and the Jerusalem Post Staff.