web analytics
June 30, 2015 / 13 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
Fortress Rachel (Rachel's Tomb)
Netanyahu Warns World Leaders to Take A Stand on Terrorism in Israel
Latest News Stories
BDS campaigners in France protest Orange company's business link with Israeli-based Partner Communications.

The agreement does not mean that Orange is leaving Israel, despite wrong headlines elsewhere.

jordan

ISIS executioners the past 12 months have murdered 3,000 people, including 86 women and 74 children.

A past Tzohar summer conference in Jerusalem.

The Tzohar rabbinic organization is focusing on how Anglo immigrants “fit” into Israel’s mosaic this summer.

Fortress Rachel (Rachel's Tomb)

PM Binyamin Netanyahu warned world leaders they must take a stand against terror in Israel as well.

Two US churches vote on BDS anti-Semitic motions today. One is to vote Wednesday. Millions could be affected.

Israel’s government approves new security fencing along its eastern border.

The father of a critically injured victim of Monday’s road terror attack in Binyamin asks people to pray for his son.

Some Chareidi men fishing on the beach, near the Ashdod port.

Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Yekutiel Rapp, 66, is struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in Crown Heights.

Jews in Ukraine are without one of their life-saving Hatzolah ambulances after an arsonist targeted the vehicle Sunday.

Four Israelis hurt Monday night in a driveby terror attack by terrorists near Shvut Rachel.

Egypt’s Attorney General Hisham Barakat was assassinated Monday in a car bombing in Cairo.

The boat was boarded by Israel’s Shayetet 13 special forces after it refused to turn away from breaching the blockade on Gaza.

Rabbi Riskin is pleased and honored to continue to serve the residents of Efrat…

Some 1,000 rally Monday at the UNHRC offices in Geneva to show support for Israel.

If the wind blows in the wrong direction, Israelis will need gas masks to stay alive.

More Articles from Jacob Kamaras
Ambassador Meir Shlomo

“Texans share a lot of the same attitude as Israelis, that we say what we think and we think what we say, and that makes it much easier to communicate,” he says.

“I haven’t changed my policy,” Netanyahu said. “I never retracted my speech at Bar-Ilan University six years ago calling for a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes a Jewish state.”

Most agree that replacing Foxman, who will retire in July 2015, is no small task for one of the highest-profile American Jewish organizations.

While advancing its own goals, IAC is placing a priority on partnering with the American Jewish organizations that preceded its existence.

The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

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 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.

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: