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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
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Don’t Push Too Hard Against Hagel Nomination

While it is the right of every American to lobby congress for their legitimate needs, I think our case has already been well made.
Abraham-Foxman

Photo Credit: Yori Yanover

A final note about the nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. I have pointed out in two separate posts that his nomination for this position is troubling. That said I would urge the Jewish community to not make Hagel’s comment about the “Jewish Lobby intimidating a lot of people up here” a self fulfilling prophecy.

It’s one thing to express our opinions publicly about the man, pro or con. But it is another to try and flex any muscle over it. Not that we have any real muscle in Washington. But that is the perception. While it is the right of every American to lobby congress for their legitimate needs, I think our case has already been well made.

In fact, I’m not even sure we had to make our case here. Hagel made it for us. There is sufficient concern among members of Congress from both parties to vet Hagel very carefully before voting for him. Some have already said that they will not support him.

As I have said I hope he won’t be confirmed but I believe he will be. He will give ‘all the right answers’ to questions asked of him.

And although I strongly suspect that he is not a friend of the Jewish people and harbors the kind of soft anti Jewish bigotry that James Baker and Pat Buchanan have, he will not completely abandon Israel’s needs as long as the President continues his present policies with respect to those issues. One can agree or disagree with some of the President’s policies, but over-all they favor Israel’s survival as a Jewish State. Hagel is enough of a patriot to understand that he serves at the pleasure of the President. He may voice disagreement with him, but he knows who is charge.

At this point I think we ought to let Congress do its job. I am very pleased with what I have heard so far from many members of Congress on both sides of the political aisle who were interviewed about him. Putting any more pressure on Congress would in my view be counter-productive along the lines of Hagel’s accusations.

On that level, I applaud the ADL’s approach. Here is what their national director, Abe Foxman said about it in an official statement:

Senator Hagel would not have been my first choice, but I respect the President’s prerogative.

I trust that the confirmation process will provide an opportunity for Senator Hagel to address concerns about his positions, which seem so out of sync with President Obama’s clear commitment on issues like Iran sanctions, isolating Hamas and Hezbollah and the president’s strong support for a deepening of U.S. Israel strategic cooperation.

I particularly hope Senator Hagel will clarify and explain his comments about the “Jewish Lobby” that were hurtful to many in the Jewish Community.

I am not always in agreement with Mr. Foxman. But I think he got it exactly right this time.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.


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10 Responses to “Don’t Push Too Hard Against Hagel Nomination”

  1. Tzvi Fishman says:

    This year's "Stepin Fetchit" Award goes to the ADL.

  2. The US Administration is not even hiding its contempt for Israel. These nominations are a clear sign. Another is it's support for the enemies of freedom of thought and the troika set of nominations to State, Defense and the CIA make its intentions quite clear to the international community. Israel has never been so alone. And you say to go easy? This is the time when Jews either stand up and fight hard or forever hld their piece. NEVER AGAIN!

  3. The US Administration is not even hiding its contempt for Israel. These nominations are a clear sign. Another is it's support for the enemies of freedom of thought and the troika set of nominations to State, Defense and the CIA make its intentions quite clear to the international community. Israel has never been so alone. And you say to go easy? This is the time when Jews either stand up and fight hard or forever hld their piece. NEVER AGAIN!

  4. The US Administration is not even hiding its contempt for Israel. These nominations are a clear sign. Another is it's support for the enemies of freedom of thought and the troika set of nominations to State, Defense and the CIA make its intentions quite clear to the international community. Israel has never been so alone. And you say to go easy? This is the time when Jews either stand up and fight hard or forever hld their piece. NEVER AGAIN!

  5. The US Administration is not even hiding its contempt for Israel. These nominations are a clear sign. Another is it's support for the enemies of freedom of thought and the troika set of nominations to State, Defense and the CIA make its intentions quite clear to the international community. Israel has never been so alone. And you say to go easy? This is the time when Jews either stand up and fight hard or forever hld their piece. NEVER AGAIN!

  6. The US Administration is not even hiding its contempt for Israel. These nominations are a clear sign. Another is it's support for the enemies of freedom of thought and the troika set of nominations to State, Defense and the CIA make its intentions quite clear to the international community. Israel has never been so alone. And you say to go easy? This is the time when Jews either stand up and fight hard or forever hld their piece. NEVER AGAIN!

  7. אנשים מתועבים Lantau אני Lantau פלסטין Kberkm חיות לSgarkm פלסטין
    אני פלסטיני וכל הגאווה ומי מו Aajpo למות לכבוש

  8. Hagel's confirmation, at the very least, would kill the already tiny chance of a negotiated settlement with Iran over it's nuclear program.

    Iran would likely conclude that the view of Hagel and Senator Dianne Feinstein, that under no circumstance should America attack Iran, is now the view from the US.

    That is why harry Maryles' view that we should not pressure Senators Schumer, Gildebrand, and Blulmenthal are dead wrong.

    These Senators have the power to terminate Hagel's confirmation.

    If they help Iran go through with it's nuclear bomb by confirming Hagel, they should understand that the political price they will pay will be greater than the political price they will pay for opposing President Obama.

  9. What Hagel says at his confirmation hearing should have zero weight for Chuck Schumer.

    What Senator Schumer should consider is what will the effect of a Hagel confirmation be on Iran?

    Hagel believes that the policy of President Obama "all options are on the table" should be eliminated and no military option should be considered towards Iran even if it achieves it's nuclear bombs.

    A nuclear Iran has sworn to eliminate Israel and every mosque in Iran has a poster "Death To Israel."

    After Iran drops an atomic bomb over Tel Aviv, the issue of whether Hagel is anti-Israel or pro-Israel becomes mute.

    Iran has a high tolerance for the deaths of huge numbers of people. The war between Iran and Iraq ostensibly over a territorial dispute concerning 0.1% of Iran's land mass had a million casualties. Iran has spread it's terror all over the globe and has murdered more than a thousand Americans. It's ideology is identical to Al Quaeda, amd certainly has America, the Great Satan in it's cross hairs.

    A Hagel confirmation kills any chance of Iran agreeing to stop it's nuclear weapons program through negotiations. why would they take the tremendous political risk of telling their people that years of sanctions privations was for nothing when they know their is no risk of an American military action?

    I believe President Obama's primary motivation in nominating Hagel is that he thinks he would help to deeply cut the Pentagon budget, and not to poke a finger in the eye of the pro-Israel constituency.

    But it is a very serious miscalculation of unintended consequences.

    The Senate should not confirm Hagel. Senators Blumenthal, Gildebrand, Schumer. Lautenberg, Menendez and many more that take seriously the Iranian threat and have made promises to their constituents on this issue should vote no just for this reason.

  10. Meir Kahane says:

    Judenrat.

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