Trump says Israel has lost its influence in Congress


Former US president Donald Trump said on Wednesday that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has “become like a Palestinian” in a bizarre jab over the senator’s criticism of Israel’s leadership.

Speaking to Fox News‘ Sean Hannity about Israel’s war on Gaza, Trump claimed that support for Israel was waning in Congress, with “Holocaust deniers” allegedly spinning false narratives about the 7 October attacks.

“Israel was the most powerful lobby in the country 15 years ago. Today, between Tlaib and AOC and all of these people, what they’re doing, Israel, they don’t the back in that they once had,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said, referring to Palestinian-American “congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and her fellow Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC).

“They don’t have the backing. Even Schumer, he’s become like a Palestinian. Chuck Schumer. Jewish. Always strong for Israel. He’s become like a Palestinian,” Trump added.

Trump’s remarks likely referred to a speech Schumer gave to the Senate in March, in which he criticised the Netanyahu government over its handling of Israel’s security and the war.

“As a lifelong supporter of Israel, it has become clear to me: The Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel after Oct. 7,” Schumer said. “The world has changed — radically — since then, and the Israeli people are being stifled right now by a governing vision that is stuck in the past.”

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Schumer also called for fresh elections in Israel, drawing attacks from Republicans who accused him of interfering in the affairs of a “democracy”.

Schumer, whose criticism was largely pointed at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has overseen the passing of legislation that has provided billions in arms and aid to Israel for its war.

Trump has himself criticised Netanyahu, telling Time magazine in April that the Israeli leader has been “rightfully has been criticized for what took place”, referring to the 7 October attack on Israel.

In his interview with Fox News, Trump said that Israel has to “finish the job” in order to help restore world order, adding that the conflict was taking “too long”.

As president, Trump broke with decades of US policy by moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognising Israel’s claim to the occupied Palestinian half of the city.

The former president also oversaw the signing of the Abraham Accords normalisation deals between Israel and several Arab states — a move touted by Netanyahu’s government as a step towards peace in the region.

Palestinians, however, said it rewarded Israel while it continued to occupy the West Bank and besiege the Gaza Strip

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