Meir Panim delivers warmth, special care to families in need.
Chuck Hagel lashed out at critics of his Israel record in an article timed for release just after President Obama nominated him to be defense secretary.
Hagel told his hometown paper, the Lincoln Journal Star in Nebraska, that his record was one of “unequivocal” support for Israel and that in the weeks leading up to his nomination on Monday it had been subject to “falsehoods and distortions.”
Hagel, a Republican who represented Nebraska in the U.S. Senate from 1996 to 2008, said he refused to join initiatives backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that he deemed unhelpful to Israel, and believed multilateral sanctions on Iran were more useful in isolating the regime than unilateral ones.
“I have not supported unilateral sanctions because when it is us alone they don’t work and they just isolate the United States,” he said. “United Nations sanctions are working. When we just decree something, that doesn’t work.”
Hagel said he would offer differing views as defense secretary, but ultimately would defer to Obama.
“I have said many times that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism,” he said. “I have also questioned some very cavalier attitudes taken about very complicated issues in the Middle East.”
Hagel’s critics have singled out his proposals to engage with Iran and with terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, his skepticism of Iran sanctions and of the efficacy of a military strike on Iran, and his criticism of Israel in how it deals with the Palestinians.
They also have noted his use of the terms “Jewish lobby” and his assertion that when he was a senator, his loyalty was to the United States and not to Israel. Hagel did not address these concerns in the article.
A number of prominent Jewish Democrats, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.), have suggested they would support Hagel, but others such as Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) have expressed reservations.
Others outright opposed to Hagel include Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the senior Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee; Susan Turnbull, a former vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee who is active in the NJDC; and former New York Mayor Ed Koch and lawyer and writer Alan Dershowitz, both one-time Obama skeptics who enthusiastically endorsed the president just prior to his reelection in November.
The National Jewish Democratic Council said it was confident that Hagel would follow what it called Obama’s “unprecedented” pro-Israel record.
The NJDC statement Monday morning came before Obama’s formal announcement nominating Hagel.
“While we have expressed concerns in the past, we trust that when confirmed, former Senator Chuck Hagel will follow the President’s lead of providing unrivaled support for Israel — on strategic cooperation, missile defense programs, and leading the world against Iran’s nuclear program,” said the statement, which was not attached to the name of an NJDC official.
In 2007, when Hagel was considering a presidential run, the NJDC distributed an attack sheet on Hagel, noting his equivocation on such issues such as Iran sanctions and his criticism of some Israeli policies.
Hagel, after quitting politics in 2008, drew closer to Obama, then a fellow senator, over a shared opposition to intensifying the U.S. presence in Iraq.
In 2009, NJDC’s then-executive director, Ira Forman, said it would be problematic for the group if newly elected President Obama, as it was then rumored, would nominate Hagel for a top Cabinet post. Forman’s successor as NJDC’s top official, David Harris, had until Monday refused to weigh in on the matter.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Sen. Menendez indicted; claims charges against him tricks by political enemies.
Israeli scientists at Tel Aviv University’s School of Electrical Engineering are in the process of bringing the iconic Star Trek “tricorder” to life.
Israeli archaeologists prove Egyptian culture was rife in Israel “for years” after the Exodus.
A Gazan who sold a Bansky painted on his bombed-out doorway to a local artist for NIS 700 (about $175) says he was tricked.
Sixty-five years after a group of Arab nations signed a mutual defense treaty whose primary target was the newly-reestablished state of Israel, Arab leaders agreed Sunday to activate it by setting up a joint military force. The move comes amid spreading Islamic extremism and Iranian muscle-flexing in the region. The in-principle decision was made at […]
A table was set up in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square for all the Israelis who have gone missing.
They chatted a bit, Boehner congratulated Netanyahu on his election victory, and then the two went for lunch.
As Iranian general calls for Israel’s destruction, P5+1 talks on concessions to Iran continue.
Belgian insurance companies refuse to insure Jewish kindergartens due to the risk of anti-Semitic attacks.
France has left the US-led nuclear talks with Iran in Lausanne, saying it will return when it is ‘useful.’
The pipe bombs didn’t have explosives in them yet…
Obama finally stops punishing Egypt for overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi
The IDF will have hard choices to make in the next war with Hezbollah.
Chaim Topol, has been awarded the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement.
More than 20 cars and buildings in a Jewish community in north London were vandalized with swastikas. The Nazi symbol was drawn on approximately 27 cars in the Osbaldeston Road area of Stoke Newington on Sunday night, The Daily Mail reported. An unnamed 32-year-old man was arrested in connection with the vandalism Tuesday. The neighborhood […]
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind called on the Jewish community to attend the funeral of an assassinated New York police officer. “The brave men and women of the NYPD risk their lives every day to protect us. We value them and stand with them,” Hikind, a Democrat who represents Brooklyn, said in a statement […]
“Move Jew” scrawled on a Philadelphia home and slurs written on a synagogue and 10 garages in Chicago.
Cuba has “the largest pool of untapped baseball talent in the world, and Major League Baseball may tap and leave Cuba dry.
Argentina’s president Christina Fernandez has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history to help counter legend of death to a seventh son. She described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family. He was adopted as a godson under a […]
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hagel-lashes-out-at-critics/2013/01/08/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: