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.
The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.
Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.
Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory
Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”
Do you seriously think that as you kidnap our children we should medically treat and help yours?
Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.
The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.
Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!
Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.
A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.
Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent
Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.
While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.
Carter developed a fondness for Arafat believing “they were both ordained to be peacemakers by God”
That key is the disarming of Hamas and the demilitarization of Gaza – as the U.S., EU, and others agreed to in principle at the end of Operation Protective Edge.
Given the vitality of Hamas, Israel can hardly rely on the commitments, even if sincere, of PA President Mahmoud Abbas for its security.
Is the president oblivious to polls saddling him with some of the lowest presidential popularity rankings in recent history?
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.
No one with any sanity would dream of rationalizing or justifying the depredations perpetrated on the Arab world by ISIS.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/sen-schumers-unseemly-haste/2013/01/23/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: