web analytics
September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

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.



Hagel, Amid Criticism Over Israel Views, Nominated For Defense Secretary

Chuck Hagel

Chuck Hagel

President Obama on Monday nominated former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel, who has been criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike for his record on Israel, as his new secretary of defense.

U.S.-based Jewish groups reacted swiftly to the news, with some slamming the move and others deferring to Obama’s judgment but expressing the desire for the Senate confirmation hearings on Hagel to address the issues surrounding him.

Meanwhile, the general sentiment in Israel was one of concern. Monday evening news broadcasts on the Jewish state’s three main televison stations depicted Hagel as “cool toward Israel,” according to Israel Hayom.

On Tuesday, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin weighed in.

“Because of [Hagel’s] statements in the past, and his stance toward Israel, we are worried,” Rivlin said.

Hagel chairs the Atlantic Council think tank, which last month published a column titled “Israel’s Apartheid Policy.” In 2008 he infamously took a direct shot at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), telling former Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller in a quote that appeared in Miller’s book The Much Too Promised Land that “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people” in Washington.

Reacting to the Hagel nomination on Monday, the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) said that though there have been concerns about Hagel, “setting policy starts and stops” with Obama.

“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,” NJDC said in a statement.

When Hagel was being considered for a President’s Intelligence Advisory Board appointment in 2009, Ira Forman, then the director of NJDC and in 2012 the Obama campaign’s Jewish outreach director, opposed the move.

“If [Hagel] was taking a policy role, we’d have real concerns,” Forman said at the time.

NJDC also doubted Hagel’s credentials in 2007, when the senator was considering a run for president, saying he “has a lot of questions to answer about his commitment to Israel.”

The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) on Monday called the Hagel nomination “a blow to U.S.-Israel relations, to the president’s relationship with the American Jewish community, and to U.S. security in the Middle East.”

“It signals that the president, having been re-elected, will now distance himself from Israel,” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a statement.

“We hope that when Senator Hagel’s weak record is laid on the table, senators will rightly decline to support his nomination.”

American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris said “there are serious concerns about Hagel’s commitments to the efficacy of sanctions and a credible military option against Iran, on pressing the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, on sustaining the U.S. policy on the terrorist Hamas regime in Gaza, on the special nature of the U.S.-Israel relationship and Israel’s quest for peace and security…. ”

Anti-Defamation League National Director Abe Foxman said that Hagel “would not have been my first choice,” but added that he respects “the president’s prerogative.”

Like AJC’s Harris, Foxman looked forward to the Senate confirmation process as a chance to address concerns about Hagel.

“I particularly hope Senator Hagel will clarify and explain his comments about the ‘Jewish Lobby’ that were hurtful to many in the Jewish community,” Foxman said in a statement.

A number of senators last month had vowed to press Hagel during the confirmation process on his “Jewish lobby” comment. John McCain (R-AZ) said that he knows of no “Jewish lobby” and hopes Hagel “would identify who that is.” Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Hagel would “have to answer” for his Jewish lobby comment if nominated for defense secretary.

“I don’t agree with that [‘Jewish lobby’] statement [by Hagel],” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said. “If he is nominated, there’ll be a hearing. His entire public record and all his public pronouncements will be reviewed as a part of that process. And we’ll move on from there.”

When rumors of Hagel’s possible nomination surfaced last month, the RJC pointed to a number of letters signed by most other senators but not Hagel: an August 2006 letter asking the European Union to declare Hizbullah a terrorist organization (12 senators did not sign), a November 2001 letter asking President George W. Bush not to meet Yasir Arafat until Arafat took steps to end violence against Israel (11 senators did not sign), and an October 2000 letter in support of Israel (four senators did not sign).

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.

2 Responses to “Hagel, Amid Criticism Over Israel Views, Nominated For Defense Secretary”

  1. Senators Gildebrand and many others have been very silent on this enormously important matter.

    I hope Senator Rubio goes beyond placing a hold on this nomination and considers.
    a filabuster. That action would be the greatest accomplishment of his career.

  2. As bad as Obama was in his first term, he will make it look like romper room in his second. A simple but sometimes forgotten fact is that it all starts from the top. If the leader of a nation has certain views, they are going to put in place people that share those views. The appointment of John Kerry to take over as secretary of state and Chuck Hagel as Defense secretary, are exactly what Obama wanted, primarily because they are antagonistic to Israel. I shutter to think what this country will look like in four years from now. With the privilege of voting for our public officials also comes a responsibility to forget the television ads and feel good speeches, and to spend time researching who these politicians really are and what do they truly believe. The American people had a chance to oust Obama and elect someone that would work hard to get us out of our massive financial problems as well as appointing people that would be aligned with Israel. But, that opportunity was squandered and as such we will pay a heavy price for making this blunder. For example, our neighbor to the north, Canada, has a Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, who is a strong ally of Israel, you will notice that all of his appointed cabinet members also support Israel. Not long ago, I read a story in which a large Canadian retailer was boycotting Israeli products, when Prime Minister Harper was made aware of this, a short time later that boycott was no longer in effect. We live in a world of high volatility, antisemitism and Israel bashing is also at alarming highs, it would have been nice to know that along with Canada, Israel could have had an equal ally in the United States. But, that won't happen because we elected the same person who caused or exasperated Israel's strife. Now is not the time to be weak or lose our resolve. Israel will only lose out if they are weak and they allow others to dictate to them what they should do. This is my greatest fear because there have been several occasions that Israel wavered and paid a heavy price. Nobody knows what is best for Israel better than Israel, that should never be forgotten.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The Port of Oakland, without any docked cargo ships. Is this its future?
Port of Oakland Loses as ZIM Moves to Friendlier Shores
Latest News Stories
The Port of Oakland, without any docked cargo ships. Is this its future?

ZIM may not call on the Port of Oakland again, certainly not until the ILWU 10 has a contract and guarantees to unload ZIM ships. Other shipping companies wary of the port’s unreliability may also consider the same.

One of dozens of Jewish graves on the Mount of Olives desecrated by Arabs on the second day of Rosh HaShanna, Sept.26, 2014.

Dozens of Jewish graves and gravestones on the Mount of Olives were desecrated during Rosh HaShanna.

President Barack Obama walks along the Colonnade of the White House on his way to the Oval Office.

An intruder actually made it to the East Room of the White House earlier this month, much farther than previously reported.

Netanyahu at UN GA

The following is the speech delivered by PM Netanyahu at the United Nations General Assembly on September 29, 2014:

The new Jewish Temple will offer millions of pilgrims underground parking, according to a new plan that just received the endorsement of hundreds of supporters who put their money where their faith is.

Subject to government approval, EL AL will place its “LY” code on select JetBlue flights to and from JFK and Newark, which will presumably expand the options for EL AL customers throughout the United States.

The Oklahoman called it a bizarre coincidence. On Friday, a second man was arrested for threatening to behead a coworker.

ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran all share a fanatic ideology, Israeli PM Netanyahu warned the UN General Assembly on Monday. No freedom or tolerance.

Melissa Harris-Perry says forgot about the beheading. Muslims really are funny.

European rabbi slams assault on Jewish ritual practice as “key tool for anti-Semites.”

Israel and the Palestinian Authority cannot even agree to move their clocks back on the same day.

PLO member and PA spokesperson Saeb Erekat ridiculed state dept. spokesperson for Abbas criticism

A 24-year-old Israeli math teacher is suspected of supporting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror organization.

Three Syrian children wounded Saturday night in a lethal mortar shell attack in a courtyard where they were playing were brought to the Rebecca Sieff (Ziv) Hospital in Safed (Tsfat) for medical treatment. A 7-year-old boy was in serious condition with chest wounds and a broken hand; a 10-year-old boy was also in serious condition […]

It’s one hell of a pinpoint operation. Numerous civilians and a few militants were killed Sunday as US-led forces bombed grain silos and mills in Syria.

More Articles from Jacob Kamaras
Jacob Ostreicher

News of Ostreicher’s escape from Bolivia broke Dec. 16, and little was known about the circumstances of his return to America until actor Sean Penn told the Associated Press on Dec. 18 that he was with Ostreicher following a “humanitarian operation” to free the Jewish businessman “from the corrupt prosecution and imprisonment he was suffering in Bolivia.”

Former President George W. Bush (Credit: White House photo/Eric Draper)

Former president George W. Bush made a surprise appearance at the 50th anniversary tribute gala of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations last week in New York, saying Iran cannot be trusted when it claims its nuclear program has peaceful intentions.

The “red line” associated with Iran’s nuclear program or Syria’s use of chemical weapons has sparked an ongoing international debate, in which both Israeli and Diaspora Jews have made their voices heard. But a debate that hits closer to home for American Jews is about where Jewish federations in their communities draw the line on funding programs associated with varying opinions about Israel.

During the discussions that led to the hiring of former Ohio congressman Eric Fingerhut as the next president and CEO of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, an item Fingerhut says was non-negotiable for both parties was Hillel’s usage of its staff, resources, and reach to fulfill its stated commitment to the support of Israel.

June 28 will mark the start of the 23rd annual Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, Poland, whose closing event is a concert that routinely draws 20,000-25,000 people and exemplifies the re-emerging broad appeal of Jewish culture in a country that was home to three million Jews who died in the Holocaust.

In the wake of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s new demands on Israel following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent apology to Turkey for the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla incident, Netanyahu has come under fire by some Israeli leaders. Israel’s raid on the ship that was ostensibly attempting to bring aid to Palestinians in Gaza left nine Turkish citizens dead. Those Turks reportedly attacked Israeli soldiers on board.

President Obama on Monday nominated former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel, who has been criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike for his record on Israel, as his new secretary of defense.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/hagel-amid-criticism-over-israel-views-nominated-for-defense-secretary/2013/01/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: