Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
We were dismayed by the sudden announcement last week by New York’s senior U.S. senator, Charles Schumer, that he would support President Obama’s nomination of former senator Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense.
The hearings on the nomination aren’t scheduled to begin until January 31, and Sen. Schumer had publicly echoed some of the pro-Israel community’s misgivings about Mr. Hagel’s positions on Israel and Iran, his refusal to sign a Senate resolution letter declaring Hizbullah a terror group, and his “Jewish lobby” comment, among other things – about which many members of the Senate had expressed their own concerns.
Hearings – with questions drawn up by Armed Service Committee staffers – will likely make for a possibly explosive but certainly informative proceeding. So why the haste on the part of Sen. Schumer, who is not exactly known for his expertise on defense issues.
Sen. Schumer met with Mr. Hagel and White House officials for ninety minutes a week ago Monday and issued a statement certifying that “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….”
To be sure, Sen. Schumer provided two or three sentences about each of the issues Mr. Hagel addressed. But how much insight could Mr. Schumer have gleaned from a relatively brief sit-down in an environment decidedly friendly to Mr. Hagel? Would it not have been more prudent for Sen. Schumer to have waited to see what would emerge from full-blown Senate hearings?
Several members of the Senate have already publicly deferred to Mr. Schumer and more have doubtless already taken their cue privately from him as well. Indeed, many were looking to Sen. Schumer for guidance because he is the number three Democrat in the Senate and the most senior Jewish senator. And, frankly, he has always stood up for Israel. So though the hearings will still take place, their impact has been greatly diminished.
Even so, from where we sit the questions raised about Mr. Hagel are perhaps the most serious ever regarding a nominee for so senior a position. A robust inquiry was appropriate prior to any decision-making about support.
Frankly, Mr. Schumer’s speedy certification of Mr. Hagel smacks of political expediency – an effort by a loyal and influential Democrat to take the steam out of the hearings and blunt a serious inquiry. And that’s truly unfortunate.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Soldiers at various hospitals complained that they experienced hostility from Arab hospital staff.
“We have succeeded in raising an ideological generation that loves death like our enemies love life”
No one with any sanity would dream of rationalizing or justifying the depredations perpetrated on the Arab world by ISIS.
With $2 billion on hand the Islamic State is an extremely well-funded terrorist group that may pose a major international crisis for the U.S. and the world. Learn about their rise to power and the toll they’ve taken thus far.
In the recent Gaza war and its aftermath, we saw a totally illogical reaction from the world.
A., a teacher: “I do not know a single Gazan who is pro-Hamas at the moment, except for those on its payroll.”
Is the global community clear in its response to these extremist groups?
Like our fabled character, Don Quixote, President Obama has constantly spawned his own reality.
Boroujerdi was informed that “the pressures and tortures will increase until he has been destroyed.”
Fatah: Hamas stole relief aid for Gaza and distributed it amongst its followers in mosques.
Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?
Washington remains ignorant of the need to dismantle alliances with various Muslim countries.
There is not even a hint of recognition that Hamas deliberately fires rockets at civilian targets in Israel while storing arms and rocket launchers among its own civilians in Gaza.
Particularly galling was the complaint by one Jo Anne Simon about Judge Dear’s supposed “mobilizing on behalf of apartheid and his insensitivity to minority communities.”
Whatever one has to say about Iran, it does have clout in the Middle East and the Gulf region and could play a key role in addressing the ISIS threat.
A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.
The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.
Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/sen-schumers-unseemly-haste/2013/01/23/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: