OpinionU.S. News

Schumer’s Jewish support crashed after attacking Israel

Poll also shows 46% of New York Jews would vote for Trump.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) delivers a more than 40-minute speech about antisemitism on the U.S. Senate floor on Nov. 29, 2023. Source: U.S. Senate live floor proceedings.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) delivers a more than 40-minute speech about antisemitism on the U.S. Senate floor on Nov. 29, 2023. Source: U.S. Senate live floor proceedings.
Daniel Greenfield
Daniel Greenfield is an Israeli-born journalist who writes for conservative publications.

Two years ago, Sen. Chuck Schumer enjoyed 82% approval among New York Jews. In contrast to the 40% unfavorable rating among New Yorkers, only 18% of Jews disapproved.

Now he’s tied, as 45% of New York Jews have come to hate Chuck.

What happened in the last two years to send his approval rating crashing from 82% to 48%?

This spring, Schumer agreed to become the public face of the Biden administration’s campaign to bring down the Israeli government, save Hamas and end the war. In a high-profile Senate speech, the lifelong politician, who had spent his career pretending to be pro-Israel, equated the Israeli government with Hamas, forbade Israel to go into Rafah to pursue the terror group, claimed that “the Israeli war campaign has killed so many innocent Palestinians” and warned that the Biden administration would use its “leverage” to create a terrorist state inside Israel.

While many pro-Israel figures excoriated Schumer, he trotted out his “rabbi,” Rachel Timoner, a radical leftist anti-Israel activist who had taken part in anti-Israel rallies, to defend his betrayal.

According to Timoner, Schumer said “what most of us think” and “what the overwhelming majority of American Jews are saying to each other.” However what Timoner was saying, according to T’ruah, one of the anti-Israel groups she was allied with, could be summed up as, “American Jews must tell our govt we oppose this war and want an end to the occupation.”

Was Schumer saying what most American Jews were really thinking?

Schumer’s latest Siena poll numbers in New York are in. And while his total unfavorable rating in the state is only up a few percent, his numbers among Jewish New Yorkers are catastrophic. With a 48% approval rating among New York Jews, he is only 3% higher than Trump at 45%. And his disapproval rating is higher than that of any other statewide figure in the poll. He now has a higher disapproval rating among Jews than among blacks, Latinos or protestants.

Those are stunning numbers and they show a sharp reversal of political fortune. They also help explain why the same poll shows that 46% of New York Jews would now vote for Trump.

A Siena poll that covered the pro-Hamas campus riots found that 87% of New York Jews believed that they had crossed the line into antisemitism and 80% supported calling in the cops.

This is completely at odds with the messaging that has come from Timoner and the infrastructure of allied anti-Israel astroturf groups like J Street, T’ruah, Bend the Arc, New York Jewish Agenda, Jewish Voice for Peace, If Not Now and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, which receive nonstop coverage from a media that pretends these extremists represent Jews.

The views of New York Jews are not actually reflective of those pushed by the JTA, The Forward and other anti-Israel leftist narrative outlets, and Schumer is now paying the price.

In the months since his ill-fated speech, Schumer has struggled to backtrack on his remarks, but in June was booed at New York’s Israel parade even when he was avoiding any controversy. And there was more booing at The Jerusalem Post’s annual conference in Manhattan.

The Jewish Democratic Council of America is no longer vocally celebrating the Schumer speech or advocating for an “end to this conflict” and has instead taken to sending panicked emails with headlines like “How to Persuade Your Friends that Trump is Not the Answer.”

What that really says is that quite a few Jewish Democrats now believe Trump just might be.

Despite popular narratives about what percent of Jews voted which way in presidential elections, there is no reliable independent polling of Jewish voters nationwide.

The numbers that are thrown around usually come from Democrat and left-wing organizations.

For example, a recent rash of media stories with headlines like “Jewish people in U.S. overwhelmingly support Biden and oppose Trump” used a poll from the Jewish Electorate Institute. JEI is headed by Halie Soifer, who is also the executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America. The JDCA then put out a press release announcing a “just released poll from the non-partisan Jewish Electorate Institute.” And the poll was conducted by GBAO Strategies, which boasts of being 2022’s Democratic Pollster of The Year.

Siena, the pollster quoted in this article, is the one reliable independent pollster that regularly measures Jews as a part of the larger electorate. While these polls are generally limited to New York, that is also the state with the largest Jewish population. And the Siena polls often show that the hoax polls of Jews promoted by leftist organizations are simply wrong.

The JDCA poll promoted by every media outlet claimed to show “Biden leading Trump 72% to 22%”. How could that be possible if the split is 52% to 46% in New York?

Schumer and the JDCA know the real numbers, which is why they’ve adopted a more conciliatory tone. They’ve learned the hard way that the majority of Jews are not on their side.

Each Biden anti-Israel move led to a backlash from American Jews. That’s why the Biden administration, which initially broadcast its decision to block military aid to Israel, has taken to angrily denying it and condemning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for even mentioning it.

The formal narrative seen from the New York Times to the JTA is that American Jews chose Biden over Israel. But if that were true, why are Schumer and the JDCA so worried?

Schumer’s poll numbers are a warning that Jews oppose the leftist anti-Israel agenda.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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