Photo Credit:
Herbert Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel

Hagel wrapped up his three-day trip to Israel by visiting a special forces unit that trains military dogs to find hidden explosives and weapons. He mingled with the soldiers and watched a brief demonstration of the dogs’ skills.

We’re likely to hear more friendly words for Israel when Hagel addresses the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy on May 9 in a speech titled “U.S. Defense Policy in the Middle East.” (Historically, American politicians make pro-Israel pronouncements before pro-Israel organizations).

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Comments: (1) Henry Kissinger also fit the Samuel pattern, leaning more against Israel to offset perceptions of him as pro-Israel. (2) As the Samuel and Hagel trajectories suggest, politics is an ironic business. (3) Sometimes one is better off when an opponent feels compelled to prove his bona fides.

Originally published at DanielPipes.org and The National Review Online, The Corner, April 25, 2003.

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Daniel Pipes is a world-renowned Middle East and Islam expert. He is President of the Middle East Forum. His articles appear in many newspapers. He received his A.B. (1971) and Ph.D. (1978) from Harvard University and has taught at Harvard, Pepperdine, the U.S. Naval War College, and the University of Chicago. He is a board member of the U.S. Institute of Peace and other institutions. His website is DanielPipes.org.
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