Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday that Israel should hold elections while claiming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “has lost his way.”

In a 40-minute speech on the Senate floor, Schumer, the highest-ranking elected Jewish official, called for the revival of a two-state solution. He pointed to Netanyahu as one of the four obstacles to this solution.

According to Schumer, the other obstacles to a two-state solution are “Hamas, and the Palestinians who support and tolerate their evil ways, radical right-wing Israelis in government and society, (and) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.”

Schumer saved some of his most pointed criticism for Netanyahu. “As a lifelong supporter of Israel, it has become clear to me: The Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel after October 7. The world has changed, radically, since then, and the Israeli people are being stifled right now by a governing vision that is stuck in the past,” said Schumer.

“Five months into this conflict, it is clear that Israelis need to take stock of the situation and ask: must we change course?”

The Senate majority leader said he believes “a new election is the only way for a healthy and open decision-making process about the future of Israel, at a time when so many Israelis have lost their confidence in the vision and direction of their government.”

In his reasoning to stand against Netanyahu, Schumer said the Israeli leader gives into “the demands of extremists,” and is “too willing to tolerate the civilian toll on Gaza.”

He added that Netanyahu has not shown an interest in carving out a path for peace, even before the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7.

In January, Netanyahu rejected calls for a two-state solution, following his conversations with President Joe Biden.

“I will not compromise on full Israeli security control over all the territory west of Jordan — and this is contrary to a Palestinian state,” Netanyahu said in a social media post.

The White House distanced itself from Schumer’s remarks. “We know Leader Schumer feels strongly about this,” said John Kirby, the National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications at a press conference Thursday, adding they’ll “let him speak to his comments.”

“We’re going to stay focused on making sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself,” Kirby said, as reported by Real Clear Politics’ Philip Melanchthon Wegmann.

But Republicans took a firm stance against Schumer’s statements while defending Israel’s autonomy.

As CNN reported, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in his remarks on the Senate floor said, “Israel is not a colony of America whose leaders serve at the pleasure of the party in power in Washington. Only Israel’s citizens should have a say in who runs their government.”

“It is grotesque and hypocritical for Americans who hyperventilate about foreign interference in our own democracy to call for the removal of a democratically elected leader of Israel,” McConnell said. “This is unprecedented. We should not treat fellow democracies this way at all.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La, told reporters Thursday that Schumer’s remarks were “not only highly inappropriate,” but “plain wrong for an American leader to play such a decisive role in Israeli politics while our closest ally in the region is (in) an existential battle for its very survival,” according to the Washington Examiner.

“We need to be standing with Israel, and we need to give our friends and allies our full support. We have to stand with and support them right now,” Johnson said at a press conference during the House Republican’s annual retreat at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. “But what you’re seeing from the White House and clearly from the Senate Democrats is really exactly the opposite. They seem to be standing with and supporting Iran and its proxies instead.”

Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary under the Bush administration, in a post on X said Schumer’s remarks were “one of the most disgusting speeches ever given in the Senate.”

Fleischer said, “Senators don’t get to pick who foreign democracies elect. This is election interference.” He also stated the Senate majority leader “doesn’t understand how Israel is united to destroy Hamas,” adding, “It’s bigger than Bibi.”

American survivors, family members of Oct. 7 victims sue UNRWA

Schumer’s remarks come as survivors and family members of those who died in the Oct. 7 attacks sue the U.S. nonprofit that raised funds for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

The lawsuit, filed earlier this month, claims the Hamas attacks “were financed and aided” by the UNRWA and its U.S. National Committee, according to Fox News.

Amid allegations U.N. employees were involved in Oct. 7 attacks, Rep. John Curtis proposes bill to hold the U.N. accountable

In January, lawmakers, including Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, pointed to official dossiers that alleged UNRWA employees were involved in the Oct. 7 attacks, which led the U.S. to suspend sending money to the agency, starting March 1.

But Mark Goldfeder, the attorney for the plaintiffs, told Fox News stopping funding for UNRWA was “way too little, way too late.”

“They funded it up until the point, even after the reports came out of UNRWA staff literally participating in the massacre,” Goldfeder said Wednesday. “Even after the United States suspended its own UNRWA donations, even after all of that, they continued fundraising, and they continued sending money.”