NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There were questions Tuesday evening about the decision by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to throw his support behind Keith Ellison – a fiery critic of Israel – to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, Schumer got a taste on Monday of what it could be like to lead the out-of-power Senate Democrats in the age of Donald Trump. Some two dozen protesters came to Schumer’s Washington office and occupied it.

“The Democratic establishment cannot lead the opposition right now,” a protester said.

Another protester asked Schumer to step aside and give his Senate minority leadership to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

The protests were one reason for Schumer’s hard-for-some-to-swallow decision to back Ellison (D-Minn.) to chair the Democratic Party. Otherwise, there were concerns that someone else, like Sanders, could become Senate Minority Leader. Ellison was a Sanders supporter.

Prominent Jewish leaders told CBS2’s Kramer they are upset with Schumer for backing Ellison, who has been highly critical of Israel.

The Jewish leaders recited a litany of concerns. Ellison, the first Muslim in Congress, worked to insert pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel pranks into the Democratic Party platform, but they were stopped by the Clinton team.

On a trip to Israel last summer, Ellison posted a photo of a sign in Hebron declaring Israel to be an apartheid state. He also proudly defended Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan against accusations of being anti-Semitic.

“(H)is vile beliefs… ought to disqualify him outright,” said Joel Mowbray, a consultant to Jewish groups. “If Chuck Schumer actually did his due diligence and is supporting Ellison anyway, that’s shameful.”

Jewish leaders also claimed Schumer’s support of Ellison is at odds with Schumer’s own strong support for Israel.

CBS2’s Kramer asked Schumer’s office why he is supporting an anti-Israel candidate.

Schumer spokesman Angelo Roefaro replied: “Democrats have an excellent platform, including one of the strongest pro-Israel platforms. Keith Ellison was instrumental in making that happen and persuading others to support it.”

On Wednesday, Senate Democrats will decide if Schumer will be their top dog in the Senate.

Comments (5)
  1. Chuck Schumer is well-known to all who have known him personally for years to care about one thing only: the career of Chuck Schumer.

    I have learned this from multiple sources that are very close to him.

    Schumer sold out Israel on the Iran nuke program in exchange for the master of ceremonies slot at Obama’s 2nd Inaugural (refusing to force through sanctions tougher than Obama wished that would have given the US a better deal).

    Schumer, aspiring to keep his slot as next Democratic Senate Leader, sold out Israel in 2015 waiting for Obama’s green-light before opposing the deal and also agreeing to not ask other Senators to vote with him.

    Now, Schumer is selling out Israel yet again by cowering to threats by Sanders (who could support a challenger to Schumer’s long-sought Democratic Senate Leader role) in backing Sanders’ pick, the Nation-of-Islam member, anti-Semitic (yes, he has made outright anti-Semitic statements in the 1990s!), Keith Ellison.

  2. Phil Deed says:

    Schumer is a coward, Sanders is of course a sell-out and is afraid if he is going to stand up for Israel he is going to lose support among his far left-worshippers, but Schumer could have stood up but I am sure he is afraid the way the tide the Democrats are going he is not going to want to be left out, if the DNC is heading the way of the anti-Israel party let it be known that Schumer and Sanders had a huge role in it

  3. Right ON Ms. Galen Linder. As a Jew, and a dual Isaeli-American Citizen I support Keith Ellison! He is the kind of leader that can pull the Dems back onto a path to represent the people, instead of the powers that be. Let us hope that those who supported Bernie will come out in huge numbers to support this move as well as demand we stop the Trump agenda!!!!

    1. Phil Deed says:

      Keith Ellison had ties to the Nation of Islam and called Israel an “Apartheid” state which is basically a blood libel, his first objective is going to see the destruction of Israel over everything else

  4. Galen Linder says:

    Chuck Schumer simply knows he has no choice. The forces in the Democratic Party who put Hillary Clinton forward are completely discredited. As for Keith Ellison being an anti-Semite, that is nonsense. We are tired of those smears. If Bernie Sanders wasn’t born Jewish, they would have smeared him with that brush too. Ellison is simply critical of Israel’s policy toward people in the occupied territories. Who isn’t?

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