web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



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

Chuck Hagel

Chuck Hagel

Share Button

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).

Share Button

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.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

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

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Unit 9900 is an intelligence unit that utilizes the unique capabilities of soldiers on the autism spectrum.
Autism in the IDF: Uniquely Talented Soldiers
Latest News Stories
Birkat Cohanim 2014

The Kotel Plaza, the stairs, the Kotel entrance, the roads, everything was packed for Birkat Cohanim – the Priestly Blessing of the People – now imagine if this had been held on top of Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount!

Arab road terrorists often use huge boulders to create obstacle courses in the road to slow down drivers -- and then hurl huge rocks at their hapless victims in the hope of murdering them.

Four Israeli citizens were hurt Thursday in a road terror attack near Tekoa in Gush Etzion.

Arab rioters hurl objects at Israeli security personnel who use pepper spray to quell the violence emanating from the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount.

Israel Police closed access to the Temple Mount to Jews and other non-Muslims on Thursday due to Arab violence.

Text of anti-Semitic flyer distributed to Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine on Passover 2014.

Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine this week were ordered to “register” themselves and their assets.

U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East Martin Indyk is on his way back to the region to revive talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Hebron is proving to be a popular family tourist site during the Passover Holiday.

Hundreds attended the funeral of Police Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrachi, who was slain by terrorists on Passover eve.

A local Jewish merchant was stabbed Monday on the island of Djerba.

The Israeli hi-tech company Matrix has announced it is opening a “massive training center” in Nanjing, China.

Rabbis have been busy with preparations for the traditional Birkat Kohanim, Priestly Blessing, set for Thursday.

The suspect charged in the pre-Passover shooting deaths of three people outside two Kansas Jewish centers is a known white supremacist.

More than 400 people sat down at the first seder this year at the Chabad House of Bangkok, Thailand.

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

PM Binyamin Netanyahu blamed Palestinian Authority incitement for the terrorist murder of a police officer on Passover eve.

The officers had signaled to the Arab driver to pull over. He then rammed into them.

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.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: