web analytics
August 5, 2015 / 20 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Hagel Controversy Picks Up Steam

The controversy over Chuck Hagel’s nomination as secretary of defense continued to roil this past week with the revelation that he did not provide the Senate Armed Services Committee information concerning several of his speeches to controversial pro-Arab and Iran advocacy groups. Though he was under no obligation to do so – he was required, as part of the confirmation process, to report all “formal speeches” given after 2008 and the speeches at issue were all from 2007 and 2008 – the speeches could provide an important glimpse into to his true thinking on the Middle East and Iranian nuclear aspirations.

Since his nomination by President Obama, Mr. Hagel has had to defend past statements in which he voiced opposition to economic sanctions against Iran, claimed that Israel controlled the State Department and opined that “the Jewish lobby” intimidated many on Capitol Hill. He was also challenged for having refused to sign onto broadly supported Congressional letters calling for the designation of Hizbullah as a terrorist group and expressing support for Israel.

The unreported speeches include a 2008 keynote address Mr. Hagel delivered before the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, an organization that, according to Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism, has called on the U.S. to cut aid to Israel and for Israeli leaders to be brought to trial for alleged war crimes.

An IPT report also says Mr. Hagel spoke at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in 2008, and in 2007 he delivered a speech at Rutgers University’s Center for Middle East Studies which was co-hosted by the American Iranian Council. It was at the latter venue that Mr. Hagel called for reestablishing a U.S. Consulate in Iran and made his remarks about Israeli control of the State Department (the State Department was an “adjunct of the Israeli foreign minister’s office”), according to an attendee cited by the IPT.

One gets the uncomfortable feeling that the man who would be secretary of defense has a compulsive need to speak to Israel’s adversaries. We’ve heard some make the argument that perhaps he feels such engagement is the best way to wean such groups from their hard-line views, but his overall record of placing himself outside the Congressional mainstream in terms of support for Israel makes such a rosy assumption rather far-fetched indeed.

In any event, the likelihood that there are videos or other accounts of undoubtedly revealing comments Mr. Hagel made to pro-Arab groups should be reason for New York Senator Chuck Schumer to reconsider his earlier precipitous reversal of position and announcement of support for Mr. Hagel. We think he has a special responsibility to do so.

In our January 25issue we expressed dismay over Sen. Schumer’s sudden announcement that after having publicly expressed concerns about the disturbing positions Mr. Hagel had taken regarding Israel and Iran, he – Sen. Schumer – was going to support Mr. Hagel in advance of Senate hearings on the nomination. He said at the time that he based his new position on a ninety-minute meeting he had with Mr. Hagel and White House officials:

Senator Hagel could not have been more forthcoming and sincere. Based on several key assurances provided by Sen. Hagel, I am currently prepared to vote for his confirmation. I encourage my Senate colleagues who have shared my previous concerns to also support him….

We noted at the time that Sen. Schumer is not known for any particular expertise on foreign affairs. So we wondered what compelling information he could have gleaned from a relatively brief sit-down with the defense secretary nominee in an environment decidedly friendly to Mr. Hagel.

As we saw it, the problem was exacerbated by the fact that several of Mr. Schumer’s Senate colleagues who had shared his concerns doubtless took their cue from his invitation to join him in supporting Mr. Hagel. Mr. Schumer is the number three Democrat in the Senate and its most senior Jewish member with a reputation of support for Israel.

The questions that continue to be raised about Chuck Hagel are, as we said in January, “perhaps the most serious ever regarding a nominee for so senior a position.” It is now time for Sen. Schumer to reconsider his hasty support – or at the very least to publicly state that more needs to be known about what exactly Mr. Hagel had to say to Israel’s enemies.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Hagel Controversy Picks Up Steam”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
US Secy of State John Kerry announcing nuclear agreement with Iran from Vienna.
Israel Law Center Files Motion to Block IranDeal in NY Federal Court
Latest Indepth Stories
The Quran

Islamists spoke of “Love and Justice in a World of Suffering,” skipping the horrors caused by Islam

President  Barack Obama.

How and when is it appropriate for pulpit rabbis to comment publicly on the Iran issue?

David Menachem Gordon

David was many things: Brother, son, grandson, nephew, uncle, cousin, talmid, comrade, AND a WARRIOR

Graffiti at Duma home that was torched in Samara.

Some Israelis seem to have forgotten no one has yet tracked down the murderers of Ali Bawabsheh.

Aside from my own 485-page tome on the subject, Red Army, I think Jamie Glazov did an excellent job at framing things in United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.

“Isn’t it enough that the whole world hates us? WHy do we have to hate each other?”

Who said Kerry won no concessions from Iran? He secured pistachios and Beluga caviar for America!

In 2015, Israel’s fertility rate (3+ births per woman) is higher than all Arab countries except 3

The New Israel Fund, as usual, condemns the State of Israel rather than condemning a horrible act.

I sought a Muslim group that claims to preach a peaceful and accepting posture of Islam, Ahmadiyya

While Orthodox men are encouraged to achieve and celebrated for it, Orthodox women too often are not

Jonathan remember, as long as you’re denied your right to come home to Israel you’re still in prison

Reports of a dead baby, a devastated family, and indications of a gloating attacker.

“The fear of being exposed publicly is the only thing that will stop people,” observed Seewald.

“Yesha” and Binyamin Regional Council leaders said the attack “is not the path of Jews in Judea and Samaria.”

The occasion? The rarely performed mitzvah of pidyon peter chamor: Redemption of a firstborn donkey.

More Articles from Editorial Board

The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.

Mr. Kerry may or may not be genuinely disturbed and troubled by the Iranian leader’s continued belligerence. With the deal completed, that’s not even a matter of concern anymore.

Mr. Silver’s legislation changed the primary date to April 19, which avoids any conflict. And, we are happy to say, he received the support of Republicans in the legislature for changing the date.

The issue of the Chief Rabbinate’s control over conversions and other life-cycle matters has long been a contentious one.

Can adoption agencies limit the placement of children to heterosexual couples only?

The court’s finding that the president has exclusive jurisdiction in recognizing foreign countries might have been be apt if the issue at hand were a congressional attempt to grant recognition to “Palestine” as a state.

It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Erdogan, in his determination to burnish Turkey’s credentials as an Islamist state at the cost of the secularism that had brought much economic and political success to Turkey, upended his country’s decades-long cooperative relationship with Israel.

Does the pope really believe that Father Dehon’s destructive anti-Jewish calumnies do not disqualify him from the highest honor of the Catholic Church because in his time everyone did it?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/hagel-controversy-picks-up-steam/2013/02/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: