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Producer Avi Arad Denounces Chuck Schumer’s Speech on Israel: ‘It’s Not Your War’ | Exclusive

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Producer Avi Arad denounced Sen. Chuck Schumer on Wednesday for calling on Israel to hold new elections, accusing the Senate leader of attempting to “dictate to another democratic country what its electorate should do.”

“It’s not your war. It is not your country. And it is not you who is at risk,” the former Marvel CEO wrote in a letter obtained exclusively by TheWrap. Arad, producer of “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” and the “Venom” films, was responding to the New York politician admonishing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for having “lost his way” in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war while speaking on the Senate floor March 14.

In addition to accusing Schumer of meddling in another democracy, the letter also said he is making antisemitism worse with his criticism of Israel and his lack of empathy for someone who lives in the country and whose family is actually under terrorist threat.

“To say these are difficult times for Jews would be an understatement,” Arad wrote. “And statements like the one you made only make it worse.”

Arad added that “The Zone of Interest” filmmaker Jonathan Glazer’s divisive Oscars speech is “one thing … But it is quite another to hear harsh criticism of Israel from a United States Senator who is the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in our government and whose constituents constitute one of the largest concentration of Jews in the world.”

“Worse yet,” he further noted, “it is disappointing to hear you try to interfere with Israel’s democratic process by suggesting the United States withhold support unless it does as you say.”

The letter went on to detail Hamas’ misinformation campaign and how the terrorist organization “has called for the annihilation of Jews.” Arad urged Schumer to “educate yourself” and “retract and correct your stance.”

Read the letter in full, below:

Dear Senator Schumer,

I am writing about your recent statement last Thursday when you called on Israel to hold new elections, saying you believe Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has “lost his way” and is an obstacle to peace in the region amid a growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. I believe your statement is not only incorrect, but inappropriate. It’s not your war. It is not your country. And it is not you who is at risk. And, with all due respect, it is not your place or business to attempt to dictate to another democratic country what its electorate should do or how they should vote.

I am a dual citizen of Israel and the United States. I was born and raised in Israel and moved to the United States in 1969. I proudly served in the Israeli military. And, I am Jewish.

In March of last year, NPR ran a story, “Antisemitic incidents are at an all-time high, the ADL reports.” And it has only gotten worse. CNN reported on Oct. 31, 2023, “The Anti-Defamation League, for example, has catalogued a 400% increase in antisemitic incidents in the U.S. since Oct. 7.” In a subhead on Feb. 13, 2024, Al Jazeera wrote: “Number of American Jews who say they feel less secure in the U.S. has jumped 22% from last year’s survey.”

To say these are difficult times for Jews would be an understatement. And statements like the one you made only make it worse. It is one thing to hear — as repulsive as it is — a Hollywood director say something like, “Right now we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people, whether the victims of Oct. 7 in Israel or the ongoing attack in Gaza.” But it is quite another to hear harsh criticism of Israel from a United States Senator who is the highest ranking Jewish elected official in our government and whose constituents constitute one of the largest concentration of Jews in the world. Worse yet, it is disappointing to hear you try to interfere with Israel’s democratic process by suggesting the United States withhold support unless it does as you say.

I wonder, if God forbid, one or more of your relatives was butchered like the Israelis were by Hamas on Oct. 7, what you would be saying — or, if God forbid, a member of your family was taken hostage and held in subhuman conditions for more than five months or killed in captivity. I wonder if you would take the same stance you recently took or you would utter the same words if you and/or your family lived in Israel and were subject to unwarranted missile strikes and attacks by these terrorists.

You seem to ignore the fact that Hamas has called for the annihilation of Jews: Hamas official, Hamad Al-Regeb in an April 2023 sermon: prayed for “annihilation” and “paralysis” of the Jews whom he described as filthy animals.

Your statements about the cease-fire make Israel look like the villain here. Once again, you ignore the facts: The New York Times and others on Feb. 27 reported that Hamas is the one that rejected the cease-fire proposal. The New York Times headline on that story was “Hamas Rejects Cease-Fire Proposal, Dashing Biden’s Hopes of Near-Term Deal.”

From your comments, you either don’t understand or don’t want to understand the dynamics. Skeptics might say that it is threats by Rashida Tlaib and others like her to tell their constituents to vote against President Biden that is influencing your views. The only peace is to learn to live together. I know you know it, so do the Palestinians. They want to be with us, they do not want Hamas.

No one wants peace more than the Israelis.

Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) summed it up perfectly in a statement on Oct. 27, 2023: “Hamas’ objective is the slaughter of Jews and the complete destruction of Israel — and to argue otherwise is not only dishonest, it is dangerous and it fuels antisemitism …

Every day, Hamas churns out misinformation. They inflate casualty numbers and make false accusations to smear Israel’s reputation. We must treat their claims with the same skepticism we would those made by Al-Qaeda or ISIS.

We ought to put those myths about Hamas to rest. They are not protectors of Palestinian people. Hamas has subjected Gaza to brutal totalitarian rule for years. They forced this war upon the people they claim to represent with no concern for the people of Gaza, the families of Gaza, the children of Gaza. They cower behind innocent Palestinian civilians, using them as human shields. Hamas hoards fuel, water and food, while civilians in Gaza suffer. They use the agony they knew this war would create to their advantage. The blood of all those killed in this war, both Palestinians and Israelis, is on Hamas’ hands.

Hamas does not want peace. Hamas wants the death of Jews and the death of the democratic state of Israel. They are fundamentally opposed to a two-state solution, which I believe is the only way to bring peace to this region.

Crucially, Hamas is not a righteous liberation movement as they claim. It is a terrorist organization. We only need to look at Hamas’ founding covenant to understand its aim. It claims, and I quote, “There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by jihad.” It states that Hamas’ objective is to, and I quote, “fight Jews and kill them.” That genocidal mission is no different than the one outlined in the pages of “Mein Kampf.”

To argue that Hamas’ objective is anything other than the slaughter of Jews and the complete destruction of Israel is not only dishonest, but is dangerous. It fuels the antisemitism the Jews around the world have faced for millennia, especially these past few weeks.

I would ask you educate yourself, take a page out of Congressman Hoyer’s and retract and correct your stance.

Sincerely,

Avi Arad

The post Producer Avi Arad Denounces Chuck Schumer’s Speech on Israel: ‘It’s Not Your War’ | Exclusive appeared first on TheWrap.