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As we noted last week, President Obama’s apparent inclination to appoint former Republican senator Chuck Hagel as his new secretary of defense has been disturbing from the start, given Mr. Hagel’s record of opposing sanctions against Iran, his criticism of U.S. partiality toward Israel, and his reference to what he called “the Jewish lobby” in Washington, which, he suggested, unduly urges the U.S. government to act on behalf of Israel’s interests.
Mr. Hagel has also taken to reminding his critics that he was elected a member of the United States Senate, not the Israeli Knesset.
The notion that a man with such views could have the ear of the president over the next four years is troubling enough, but of perhaps greater concern is the idea that Mr. Obama seems comfortable with Mr. Hagel’s worldview.
Of course it can be argued that President Obama has proven that he does indeed “have Israel’s back,” as he has stated on more than one occasion. During the recent Operation Pillar of Defense he stood solidly behind Israel both materially and against international criticism. He also just blocked yet another attempt at the UN Security Council to pass a resolution condemning Israel’s recent announcement of new settlement building (though he is still on record as opposing new settlement construction). And he was in the forefront of efforts to dissuade the Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas from seeking even limited recognition of a Palestinian state from the UN General Assembly.
In addition, changed circumstances on the ground in the Middle East would seem to militate against any great effort by the U.S. to pressure Israel to make concessions deemed necessary to bring the Palestinians back to the negotiation table. The uncertainties wrought by the upheavals of the Arab Spring, Hamas’s eclipse of Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, and the inability of the international community to get its arms around the Iranian problem are certainly inconsistent with any idea of Israel making agreements with anyone in the Arab world.
Even so, no one can predict the future, especially in the Middle East, and elevating a man like Chuck Hagel at this point in time would raise all sorts of questions about where the administration stands on a host of foreign policy and defense issues.
As we went to press on Tuesday, it appeared a Hagel nomination was far from a done deal, in large measure due to mounting criticism of Mr. Hagel’s record, particularly his hostility toward Israel. We look to Mr. Obama to do the right thing and nominate someone other than Mr. Hagel.
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“Mr. Prime Minister, declare a unilateral ceasefire! Remember, Blessed is the peacemaker!”
Hamas is continuing to prepare its next war against Israel instead of improving conditions in Gaza
The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.
Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof
What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.
Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.
The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.
Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US
No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?
For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.
It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.
It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”
Last year the Obama administration sought to minimize civilian deaths from drone strikes by generally requiring that missile attacks be limited to instances where Americans were directly threatened and there was a “near certainty” that no civilians would be killed.
If anything, Operation Protective Edge showed that Israel will not pull punches when it comes to combating terror.
Toward the end of Operation Protective Edge this past summer, the president was unusually vocal about Israel’s so-called disproportionate use of force and alleged lack of compliance with international humanitarian law.
There was no accompanying caption, but the cartoon could not help but feed the anti-Semitic canard that Israel was responsible for 9/11.
An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor
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