CNN’s Dana Bash badgers Bibi on new elections

Concerted efforts to undermine Israeli sovereignty had one CNN anchor pestering the prime minister on what to do “once the war starts to wind down.”

(Video: CNN)

Unlike Ukrainian leaders, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has appeared less willing to lockstep with President Joe Biden’s foreign policy positions. As a result, Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) recently blustered over the official being an “obstacle” to the unrealistic two-state solution and issued a call for a new election after the conflict petered out.

CNN’s Dana Bash picked up where she’d left off massaging Schumer’s message in a confrontation with Netanyahu that had her repeatedly asking of new elections, “Will you?”

“I think what he said is totally inappropriate,” the prime minister responded after a clip from the senator’s speech last week was run. “It’s inappropriate to go to a sister democracy and try to replace the elected leadership there.”

“…we’re not a banana republic,” he added before arguing the focus should be on taking down the Hamas government in Gaza because of the Oct. 7 terror attack. Netanyahu furthered his point asserting the majority of Israelis were in favor of his policies and contended, “If Sen. Schumer opposes these policies, he’s not opposing me, he’s opposing the people of Israel.”

Still, Bash endeavored to advance the New York lawmaker’s position amid disunity among Democrats who have faced backlash from Hamas sympathizing members.

“Chuck Schumer gave the big speech, but he has support, in many ways, from the president of the United States. President Biden is a self-described Zionist. Even he is starting to distance himself from the way you are handling the war,” said Bash. “He called what Schumer said ‘a good speech.’ He said that he shared the concern of many Americans. They aren’t criticizing Israel, they’re criticizing you and your right-wing coalition.”

The prime minister fired back, “Dana, there’s a fallacy that is being perpetrated here. And you should take polls — you have your own polls — and check whether the people of Israel support the policies that I’m being criticized for.”

“That is, supporting the policies of going into Rafah, destroying the quarter of the remaining Hamas terrorist army — that’s like leaving a quarter of the Nazi terrorist army in Germany and saying, ‘No, we’re not gonna finish the last quarter, and we’re not going into Berlin,'” argued Netanyahu.

“Most Israelis overwhelmingly support the position that we have to go in,” he continued. “They oppose the idea of ramming down a two-state solution or a terrorist state against their will because they think that this will endanger Israel’s future. They support those policies that I’m putting forward and to present that as something that is, ‘I’m an outlier that doesn’t represent the majority of the people of Israel,’ is simply a fallacy.”

The CNN anchor remained unrelenting as she reiterated Schumer’s remarks to ask, “…when the war winds down, will you commit to calling new elections? That’s my question. Will you?”

Ultimately, Netanyahu responded that it was up to the Israeli people to decide and, “We’ll see when we win the war. And until we win the war, I think Israelis understand that if we were to have elections now, before the war is won, resoundingly won, we would have at least six months of national paralysis which means we would lose the war. If we don’t win the war, we lose the war, and that would be a defeat for not only Israel but a defeat for America too because our victory is your victory.”

Kevin Haggerty


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles