The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for his recent criticism at the 2014 AIPAC Policy Conference of “friends” who pressure Israel to accept so-called peace deals by warning them that, if they don’t, the movement against Israel will only strengthen. Senator Schumer said that such actions –– which are generally regarded to refer to recent statements by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry asserting that Israel would face increased boycotts and isolation –– added to the strength of the Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment (BDS) movement.
The ZOA also praised Senator Schumer for differing with the Obama Administration on Iran sanctions, strongly backing the Nuclear Weapons Free Iran Act, which aims to tighten sanctions on Iran in the event of Iran breaching the Geneva interim agreement or failing to reach agreement on dismantling its nuclear weapons program. President Obama has vowed to veto the Act if it is passed by the Senate.
Senator Schumer said, “friends should be condemning the boycotts in every possible way, weakening them.” He also said that the BDS movement fits into a long historical pattern on unfair treatment of Jews that could only be described as “anti-Semitism” (Rebecca Shimoni Stoil, ‘Schumer pans Kerry’s BDS warnings to Israel,’ Times of Israel, March 4, 2014).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Senator Schumer is to be applauded for his stand on these two important matters.
“The ZOA agrees with Senator Schumer that veiled threats to Israel of weak or no support against a hostile movement of boycott and ostracism –– as occurred in Secretary Kerry’s Munich speech last month and again in President Obama’s Bloomberg interview last week –– are wrong and do not befit an ally.
“Similarly, Senator Schumer deserves praise for standing by the Nuclear Weapons Free Iran Act, introduced by Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ). This legislation, if passed, would enhance the Administration’s leverage in negotiations with Iran by showing that serious consequences await Tehran if it refuses to come to a diplomatic deal that terminates its nuclear weapons program. President Obama’s threat of a veto, thus siding with Iran over a bipartisan Senate majority, sends the dangerous message that the U.S. is not serious about stopping Iran. Senator Schumer is right that the bill should be passed into law, something which would send a necessary message that America is resolved to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear break-out power.”