President Obama is considering former Senator Chuck Hagel for a top national security post, likely Secretary of Defense.


"Israel's Staunchest Ally?" - President Obama is considering former Senator Chuck Hagel for a top national security post, likely Secretary of Defense.(Rjchq).A report from Reuters has now confirmed what Foreign Policy‘s Josh Rogin had discovered last month.Rogin reported that Hagel was “being vetted.”
Presumably, that vetting process includes consultations with a range of interested parties. And presumably, that includes pro-Israel advocates. Let’s hope that anyone on the receiving end of such a query responds forthrightly that for the President to elevate Hagel to a position of trust would be construed as a gesture of indifference – if not outright contempt – toward Jewish Americans and every American who supports a strong U.S.-Israel alliance.
In the past, Jewish leaders have made their concerns about Hagel clear. The last time President Obama had to pick a new Defense Secretary, in 2010, a report by the Washington Jewish Week included red-flag quotes from numerous community sources – including pro-Obama Democrats:
D.C. Jewish community professional who is in contact with the White House: “I have to think that the mainstream Jewish communal organizations would have meaningful problems with it
Washington PAC Director and former AIPAC Executive Director Morris Amitay: “Hagel would be in a position to reinforce the worst aspects of the administration’s current Middle East policies, which would be very dangerous for Israel
A longtime Jewish political operative: “Given his long, questionable record and the clear problems his nomination would cause — not to mention the volumes of criticism by other Democrats for his rank hostility to Israel — it is hard to believe that the White House would want to make such a risky choice at precisely the time we are asking the Israeli to ‘trust us’ on Iran and the Arab-Israeli conflict.”
Democratic operative who campaigned for Obama in the Jewish community: “If he was in fact appointed, I would find his appointment difficult to reconcile with my views of the administration.”
In fact, some of the most forceful criticism of Hagel’s record on issues of concern to American Jews and other pro-Israel Americans has come from the National Jewish Democratic Council, “the national voice of Jewish Democrats.”
When Hagel considered running for President in 2007, NJDC signaled that they planned to call him to account for a record that included numerous departures from the pro-Israel mainstream. To wit:
  • In August 2006, Hagel was one of only 12 Senators who refused to write the EU asking them to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
  • In October 2000, Hagel was one of only 4 Senators who refused to sign a Senate letter in support of Israel.
  • In November 2001, Hagel was one of only 11 Senators who refused to sign a letter urging President Bush not to meet with the late Yasir Arafat until his forces ended the violence against Israel.
  • In December 2005, Hagel was one of only 27 who refused to sign a letter to President Bush to pressure the Palestinian Authority to ban terrorist groups from participating in Palestinian legislative elections.
  • In June 2004, Hagel refused to sign a letter urging President Bush to highlight Iran’s nuclear program at the G-8 summit.

And here’s what the anti-Israel group, CAIR wrote in praise of Hagel: “Potential presidential candidates for 2008, like Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Joe Biden and Newt Gingrich, were falling all over themselves to express their support for Israel. The only exception to that rule was Senator Chuck Hagel…” [Council on American-Islamic Relations, 8/28/06]
And Hagel’s history of pronouncements and other actions is, if anything, even more alarming. Hagel wrote in a 2002 op-ed in the Washington Post that the President Bush erred in refusing to meet with Yassir Arafat and that Arafat and his support for terrorism against Israel were not the real issue.
He wrote: “…we cannot hold the Middle East peace process hostage by making Yasser Arafat the issue…. Palestinian reformers cannot promote a democratic agenda for change while both the Israeli military occupation and settlement activity continue.”
With respect to Iran, Hagel has argued that, “Whether we like it or not, there will be no peace or stability in the Middle East without Iran’s participation.And he has explicitly ruled out the military option Obama has supposedly ‘kept on the table.
In a devastating 2010 post on Commentary’s blog, Jennifer Rubin called attention to more problematic items in Hagel’s record.
  • “In 2006, when Hezbollah’s attacks provoked Israeli retaliation and the war in Lebanon, Hagel screeched for the president to demand an immediate cease-fire, arguing it was essential in order to ‘enhance America’s image and give us the trust and credibility to lead a lasting and sustained peace effort in the Middle East.’ Our credibility, in his eyes, depends on the United States’s preventing Israel from defending itself.”
  • In 2009, “Hagel signed a letter urging Obama to open direct negotiations with Hamas…
  • “In 2007 Hagel wanted to open direct, unconditional talks with Iran. (“It could create a historic new dynamic in US-Iran relations, in part forcing the Iranians to react to the possibility of better relations with the West.”).
  • In 2007 he voted against designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.”
  • In 2008, Hagel single-handedly killed an Iran sanctions bill in the waning days of the congressional session. (The bill in question was actually sponsored by then-Senator Obama!)

Rubin went on to quote an account of an incident that suggested Hagel’s stances reflected not just substantive disagreements – but also more visceral sentiment:
In an interview quoted in Aaron David Miller’s book on the peace process called The Much Too Promised Land, Hagel said: “The political reality is that … the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here.”
Hagel then described a meeting he had in New York with a group of supporters of Israel, one of whom suggested Hagel wasn’t supportive enough of Israel.
said he responded: “Let me clear something up here if there’s any doubt in your mind. I’m a United States Senator. I’m not an Israeli senator. I’m a United States Senator. I support Israel. But my first interest is, I take an oath of office to the constitution of the United States. Not to a president, not to a party, not to Israel.”Hmmmm......Obama: "But I’m also mindful of the proverb, “A man is judged by his deeds, not his words.” So if you want to know where my heart lies, look no further than what I have done — to stand up for Israel."Read the full story here.
I sincerely did not think I would hear Hegel's name for a while. I'm shocked, but I should not be because this is the exact idea of Zbigniew Brzezinski who is like a God at PBS and the media and obviously that means he has the ear of Obama

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