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Israelis in Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda food market were critical of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s comments on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the war in Gaza and call for new elections. They felt Schumer should not interfere in Israeli politics and should focus on his own re-election instead. They also expressed skepticism towards President Biden, believing he is turning on Israel for his own political interests ahead of the upcoming U.S. elections.

Many shoppers in Jerusalem indicated that they would have difficulty voting for Netanyahu again, given recent events such as the terror attack carried out by Hamas on southern Israel on October 7. Some believed it was time for a change in leadership, while others expressed uncertainty about alternative options to Netanyahu. Despite this, Netanyahu remains a polarizing figure in Israeli politics, being the longest-serving leader in the country’s history and facing criticism for his government’s policies.

The political climate in Israel has been tense, with mass weekly demonstrations against Netanyahu’s government’s plans to overhaul the judiciary leading up to the terror attack in October. Netanyahu has faced challenges in forming a government, having gone through multiple rounds of elections before finally managing to establish a coalition with far-right and ultra-religious parties in 2022. The situation has been further complicated by international involvement, with Schumer’s comments and Biden’s demands for discussions on Israel’s strategy in Gaza.

While some Israelis praised former President Trump for his support of Israel, others expressed doubts about Biden’s commitment to the country. They accused Biden of prioritizing his own political ambitions over Israel’s interests, and questioned his stability and reliability as a leader. Amidst these concerns, the Israeli public remains divided on the issue of leadership and the direction in which the country should head. The outcome of the upcoming national elections, if held, could have significant implications for Israel’s future.

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