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‘Ultimately, we are alone’: Schumer calls out antisemitism on the left in a speech on the Senate floor

WASHINGTON (JTA) — In a 45-minute speech on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Jewish Americans are “alone” and took some of his political allies to task for rising antisemitism on the left following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel. 

“Jewish Americans are left alone at least in our eyes to ponder what this all means, and where it could lead,” Schumer, the Jewish New York Democrat, said in opening Wednesday’s Senate session. “Can you understand why the Jewish people feel isolated when we hear some praise Hamas and chant its vicious slogan?”

The slogan he was referring to, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” is one embraced by a member of his own party, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American who advocates for a single Israeli-Palestinian state. She is also among a growing group of progressive lawmakers calling for a permanent ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Schumer started out, as he often does, by proudly noting his status as the most senior Jewish elected official in U.S. history. But he articulated what many Jews — who vote overwhelmingly for Democrats — have said over Thanksgiving meals, Shabbat gatherings and after synagogue services: After years of alarm at the rise of antisemitism on the right, many fear that the left is also becoming inhospitable, with some progressives praising the Hamas attack.

“In some cases, people even celebrated what happened, describing it as the deserved fate of ‘colonizers’ and calling for ‘glory to the martyrs’ who carried out these heinous attacks,” Schumer said.  “Many of the people who have expressed these sentiments in America aren’t neo-Nazis, or card-carrying Klan members, or Islamist extremists. They are in many cases people that most liberal Jewish Americans felt previously were their ideological fellow travelers.”

He also drew a parallel with anti-Muslim actions during the Donald Trump administration, recalling how he stood with Muslims when Trump issued a travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries early in his presidency. As a candidate, Trump had called for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States.

“When President Trump called for a Muslim ban during the first weeks of his presidency, I held an emergency press conference to protest the ban,” he said. “It was a deeply distressing moment, and I’m an emotional sort. I began to cry. President Trump saw me crying on TV and gave me a nickname, ‘Cryin’ Chuck Schumer.’ I was — and am — proud of that moniker.”

Schumer’s speech comes as Jewish security groups and law enforcement agencies have reported a spike in antisemitic incidents following Oct. 7. A Jewish man died following a physical altercation at dueling pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian rallies near Los Angeles, and multiple Jewish students have been assaulted on campus. Synagogues and other Jewish institutions across the country have been vandalized with antisemitic and anti-Israel graffiti. 

Schumer delved into the use of the “river to the sea” slogan, which Tlaib and others say simply calls for equality between Jews and Arabs in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank. Jewish groups including the Anti-Defamation League say the slogan is antisemitic because it calls for Israel’s elimination. 

“I believe there are plenty of 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,” Schumer said.

“But there is no question that Hamas and other terrorist organizations have used this slogan to represent their intention to eliminate Jewish people not only from Israel, but from every corner of the Earth,” he said. “Given the history of oppression, expulsion, and state violence that is practically embedded in Jewish DNA, can you blame Jewish people for hearing a violently antisemitic message, loud and clear, any time we hear that chant?”

Schumer often trumpets his Jewish identity and has spoken repeatedly at pro-Israel rallies since Oct. 7. In speeches to Jewish groups, he likes to note his surname’s etymology, which likely derives from the Hebrew word “shomer,” which means guard.

As he has in the past, he expressed deep-seated satisfaction in doing his ancestors proud and praised the American values that he said made his upward mobility possible.

“My father struggled, barely making ends meet,” Schumer said.

“But together with my mother, he provided a stable and loving home in Brooklyn for my siblings and me, where we were able to flourish,” he said. “And because of the tolerance and openness and opportunity that courses through all of American life, I now stand before you as the majority leader of the United States Senate, the highest elected office a Jewish person has ever attained in the history of this country.”

And he sought to conclude on a positive note, inserting a Hebrew phrase from the Jewish prayer book into his speech. 

“Are we a nation that can defy the regular course of human history where the Jewish people have been ostracized, expelled and massacred over and over again?” he said. “I believe, truly believe in my heart, that the answer can and must be a resounding yes. And I will do everything in my power as Senate majority leader, as a Jewish American, as a citizen of a free society, as a human being to make it happen. Ken yihye ratzon, may it be God’s will.”

Yet he walked away from the podium with his face frozen in a grimace, a departure from the avuncular posture he loves to project, and the stark unhappiness that infused his speech lingered on.

“Can you appreciate the deep fear we have about what Hamas might do, if left to their own devices?” he said at another point in the speech. “Because the long arc of Jewish history teaches us a lesson that is hard to forget. Ultimately, we are alone.”


The post ‘Ultimately, we are alone’: Schumer calls out antisemitism on the left in a speech on the Senate floor appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Israeli Actress Shira Haas Stars in New ‘Captain America: Brave New World’ Trailer

Shira Haas in the new trailer for “Captain America: Brave New World.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Marvel Studios debuted the first teaser for “Captain America: Brave New World” on Friday and it shows Israeli actress Shira Haas as an Israeli superhero alongside the other stars of the film, including Anthony Mackie, Harrison Ford, Sebastian Stan and Giancarlo Esposito.

The upcoming superhero movie is the fourth film in the “Captain America” ​​franchise but the first movie to star Mackie’s character, Sam Wilson, as the new Captain America. Esposito plays the villain in the new film and the final moments of the trailer also gives audiences a first look at Red Hulk catching Captain America’s vibranium shield.

“After meeting with newly elected US President Thaddeus Ross, played by Harrison Ford in his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut, Sam finds himself in the middle of an international incident,” said a synopsis from Marvel Studios. “He must discover the reason behind a nefarious global plot before the true mastermind has the entire world seeing red.”

Marvel announced in September 2022 that Haas will star in “Captain America: Brave New World” as an Israeli superhero named Sabra, whose real name is Ruth Bat-Seraph. The character, who first appeared in the Marvel comics in 1980, is an Israeli mutant who serves as a member of the Israeli Police and an agent for the Mossad, Israel’s spy agency. Her superpowers include superhuman strength, speed, a regenerative healing power and the ability to charge others by transferring her life energy to them. “Sabra” is a term in Hebrew used to describe someone who is native to Israel.

Since Marvel’s announcement in 2022, supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel tried, unsuccessful, to urge Marvel to drop Haas from the film. They also threatened to boycott the new “Captain America” movie if it includes the Emmy-nominated actress, who credits include the popular Netflix shows “Shtisel” and “Unorthodox.” In response to all the backlash, which intensified after the start of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, Marvel Studios said in a statement that it would take a “new approach” to the Sabra character in the upcoming Captain America film. Marvel add that “while our characters and stories are inspired by the comics, they are always freshly imagined for the screen and today’s audience.”

Marvel did not elaborate further on its approach to the Sabra character but Israel’s Mako reported on Friday that Haas’s role in the film was in fact expanded and she was given additional parts in the movie.

At the end of 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame,” Steve Rogers, the original Captain America played by actor Chris Evans, passed the torch to Mackie’s character when he decided to return to the past and live out the remainder of his life peacefully with his partner Peggy Carter. He gives his famous shield to his good friend Sam Wilson, making him the new Captain America. In the television miniseries “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” which streams on Disney Plus, Wilson at first declines to become the new Captain America and it was announced that another person would take on the role, a new character in the Marvel Universe named John Walker. But by the end of the series, the title was stripped from Walker, and Wilson decided to take the title upon himself, transforming him from “The Falcon” to “Captain America.”

Marvel Studios’ “Captain America: Brave New World” opens in US theaters on Feb. 14, 2025.



The post Israeli Actress Shira Haas Stars in New ‘Captain America: Brave New World’ Trailer first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Delta Permits Only US Pins on Flight Attendants After Palestinian Flag Pins Called ‘Hamas Badges’

Delta Air Lines planes are seen at John F. Kennedy International Airport on the July 4th weekend in Queens, New York City, U.S., July 2, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Delta Air Lines announced this week that effective July 15, flight attendants will only be permitted to wear pins of the US flag on their uniforms after a recent incident involving two flight attendants who wore Palestinian flag pins that mislabeled as “Hamas badges.”

On Tuesday, a user on X posted two images of Delta Airlines flight attendants wearing Palestinian pin flags and in the caption described them as “Hamas badges” and also referenced 9/11.

“Since 2001 we take off our shoes in every airport because [of] a terrorist attack in US soil,” the post said. “Now imagine getting into a @Delta flight and seeing workers with Hamas badges in the air. What do you do?” The photos in the tweet showed flight attendants on separate flights on different days — a male flight attendant on a Boston to West Palm Beach flight on July 5 and a female flight attendant on an Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale flight that took place days after, according to StopAntisemitism.org.

Delta’s official X account replied to the post, saying, “I hear you as I’d be terrified as well, personally. Our employees reflect our culture and we do not take it lightly when our policy is not being followed.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is the country’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, criticized Delta for the “racist anti-Palestinian tweet” on Wednesday. CAIR demanded an apology, urged Delta to educate its staff members better, and said Delta’s response supports the original tweet’s false claim that a “Palestinian flag pin worn by a flight attendant was a ‘Hamas badge.’”

The Palestinian flag, which represents the Palestinian people, features black, white and green horizontal stripes, with a red triangle on the left side. The Hamas terrorist organization has its own flag, which has a green background with white writing of the Shahada, an Islamic declaration of faith.

The Delta post on X has since been deleted. The airline said in a statement on Thursday that the “mistakenly posted comment on X” was removed “because it was not in line with our values and our mission to connect the world.”

“The team member responsible for the post has been counseled and no longer supports Delta’s social channels. We apologize for this error,” a spokesperson of the airline added.

Whether this racist post on Delta’s X account was approved or unauthorized, Delta must apologize and take steps to educate its employees about this type of dangerous anti-Palestinian racism. Bigotry against Palestinian-Americans is absolutely out of control in workplaces and at… pic.twitter.com/3wezN6W8iN

— CAIR National (@CAIRNational) July 10, 2024

Delta said neither of the flight attendees who wore the Palestinian flag pins have been fired since they “both were compliant with Delta uniform guidelines.” The airline is also in contact with the flight attendants “to offer support.”

“However … Delta is shifting its pin allowance policy effective July 15,” the airline announced. “Beginning then, only US flags will be permitted to be worn on uniforms. Previously, pins representing countries/nationalities of the world had been permitted. We are taking this step to help ensure a safe, comfortable and welcoming environment for all. We are proud of our diverse base of employees and customers and the foundation of our brand, which is to connect the world and provide a premium experience.”

The post Delta Permits Only US Pins on Flight Attendants After Palestinian Flag Pins Called ‘Hamas Badges’ first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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US State Department Spokesperson Shuts Down Suggestion Israel Responsible for Majority of Oct. 7 Casualties

An Israeli soldier stands during a two-minute siren marking the annual Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Day, at an installation at the site of the Nova festival where party goers were killed and kidnapped during the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, in Reim, southern Israel, May 6, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Ammar Awad

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller shut down a conspiracy theory floated by a Palestinian journalist that Israel killed most of its own civilians who died during the Hamas terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

During a State Department press briefing on Thursday, Said Arikat — the Washington bureau chief for Al Quds, a Palestinian daily newspaper — asked if the department believed that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed the majority of civilians on Oct. 7, citing a report recently published by the left-wing Israeli outlet Haaretz. The article alleged that the IDF approved of the controversial Hannibal Directive, a military protocol which reportedly sanctions use of maximum force to prevent soldiers from being taken hostage, even if it results in increased civilian and military casualties.

Arikat asked Miller if the report changed or influenced the State Department’s :position or perspective on what happened [on Oct. 7].”

“Israel may be responsible for killing a majority of people that died,” Arikat added. 

Miller gave a testy retort to Arikat’s attempt to seemingly shift the blame of Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attacks on Israel. The spokesperson asserted that Hamas, which rules Gaza Gaza, is responsible for the vast majority of Oct. 7 casualties.   

“I don’t think that there’s any question that it was Hamas that was responsible for the overwhelming number of deaths on Oct. 7,” Miller responded.

Watch as Al Quds reporter pressed Matthew Miller, saying “Israel—responsible for killing a majority of people that died [on Oct. 7th].”

Miller immediately shuts him down. pic.twitter.com/DMU3WDODpX

— Eyal Yakoby (@EYakoby) July 11, 2024

Haaretz obtained documents and soldier testimony claiming that the IDF launched the Hannibal Directive on Oct. 7. According to Haaretz, the IDF ordered the directive as a response to being “overwhelmed” by the sheer number of Hamas terrorists flooding into southern Israel.

The IDF has launched internal investigations into what transpired on Oct. 7.

“The aim of these investigations is to learn and to draw lessons which could be used in continuing the battle. When these investigations are concluded, the results will be presented to the public with transparency,” the military said in a statement.

Israel first approved the Hannibal Directive in 1986 in response to IDF members being taken hostage by enemy forces such as Hezbollah. The IDF officially repealed the controversial procedure in 2016, saying it would instead create new orders better tailored to the various situations that soldiers may find themselves in.

Critics of Israel have falsely claimed that the Haaretz article suggests that the IDF intentionally killed Israelis Oct. 7 in an apparent attempt to defend Hamas’ brutal invasion of the Jewish state.

Arikat has been an outspoken critic of Israel, accusing the IDF of deliberately killing Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

During a May press briefing, Arikat said that Hamas was not motivated by an “ancient desire to eliminate Jews.” Miller, who was conducting the briefing, responded that Hamas has repeatedly proclaimed it is “committed to the destruction of the state of Israel and committed to the death of the Israeli people.”

The post US State Department Spokesperson Shuts Down Suggestion Israel Responsible for Majority of Oct. 7 Casualties first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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