Senator Chuck Schumer.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON -- The Senate's highest-ranking Democrat applauded French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday for his remarks over the weekend equating anti-Zionism with antisemitism.
Speaking on the Senate floor, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said that Macron was "absolutely right" to deny legitimacy to those who question the founding principles of the Jewish state.
"Antisemitism is a word that has been used throughout history when Jewish people are judged and measured by one standard and the rest by another," Schumer said. "When everyone else was allowed to farm and Jews could not; when anyone else could live in Moscow and Jews could not; when others could become academics or tradesmen and Jews could not. The word to describe all of these acts is anti-Semitism."
"So it is with anti-Zionism," Schumer continued, "the idea that all other peoples can seek and defend their right to self-determination but Jews cannot; that other nations have a right to exist, but the Jewish state of Israel does not."
Speaking at a ceremony commemorating the round-up at Vel d’Hiv, where over 13,000 Jews were arrested by French authorities in a single event during World War II, Macron said that France "will never surrender to hate."
"We will not surrender to anti-Zionism, because it is a reinvention of anti-Semitism," Macron stated.
The manner in which Macron chose to mark the occasion contrasted him with his political rival, Marine Le Pen, who during their race for president questioned France's role in the Vel d'Hiv roundup
. Macron has repeatedly acknowledged France's role in the historic event and did so again over the weekend: "It was indeed France that organized the roundup, the deportation, and thus, for almost all, death," he said.
Netanyahu speaks in Paris at the Vel d’Hiv ceremony
Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was Macron's guest at the ceremony, where he praised the new French leader for his battle against antisemitism at home
This battle extends to a movement to boycott, divest and sanction Israel, Schumer said– a "deeply biased campaign that I would say, in similar words to Mr. Macron, is a 'reinvented form of anti-Semitism,' because it seeks to impose boycotts on Israel and not on any other nation."