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Report: Despite Controversial Israel Policy, Chuck Hagel Is Frontrunner for Defense Secretary Position

December 13, 2012 1:59 pm 14 comments

Chuck Hagel. Photo: Wikipedia

CNN is reporting that Sen. Chuck Hagel has met with both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and is the front runner for the Secretary of Defense position soon to be vacated by Leon Panetta.

One Democratic source familiar with the process told CNN Hagel is “the frontrunner.” Another Democrat with knowledge of the process told CNN Hagel’s nomination is “almost a done deal.”

As The Algemeiner reported last month, Hagel’s policy towards Israel has been roundly criticized .

“He is one of the most hostile critics of Israel that has ever been in the Senate,” Morton Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America told The Algemeiner bluntly.

A few years ago the NJDC outlined Hagel’s record on Israel:

  • 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]

An article posted to the Republican Jewish Coalition’s website last week details Hagel’s murky Israel record (keep in mind that Hagel is a Republican). The article stated 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.”


  • Does anyone know why Leon Panetta is stepping down after only two years in office? Or why the President is apparently appointing a Rebublican to replace him? Serious answers only, please.


    • AlyssaFirst of all in reference to the first cemmont made: delegitimizating is not a word. Perhaps some people should be slapped with a dictionary as well. Second of all I found this entire article to be a great and well written piece on the current Occupy movement. Seems as if no one these days really truly stops to think of all the opportunities this great nation has provided them with. Instead too many people have the notion that freedom is free.


  • Most of the comments cited in the article have nothing to do with Israel but Hagel’s insistence on supporting terrorists worldwide (Arafat, Hezbollah, CAIR). As such, he would be a good Secretary of Defense as he would have no opposition from the enemy.

    • Jeff Blankfort

      Nothing to do with Israel? Hexbollah did not exist until Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982, an invasion that had the support of many Shia in Southern Lebanon who were tired of having the PLO use their turf to wage its fight against Israel, believing that after driving out the PLO, Israel would then withdraw.

      When it didn’t and Israeli soldiers began treating the Lebanese as if they were Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, that is, without any respect, the Lebanese resistance was born with Hezbollah as its main component, backed by Iran and Syria. The rest is history. Not only does it have the support of virtually all of Lebanese’s Shia population, but also a major segment of the Maronite community with whom it won 55% of the popular vote in the last election.

      This latter is a taboo subject in the US media but it explains why the EU, which is aware of it, is not about to declare it to be a “terrorist” organization. That, and the fact, that Hezbollah has not targeted members of the EU and does not see Europe as its enemy.

  • The only time Hagel is not ranting against the Jewish lobby is when he is sleeping. He is a Nebraskan Rashid Khalidi…

  • Since he will be Secretary of Defense for the United States, his main priority will be what is in the best strategic interest for the US NOT Israel. Why should any American find this offensive?

    • Jeff Blankfort

      This argument merely exposes, for the record,those who put Israel’s interests before those of the United States and those who don’t. Someday, it is likely, if things keep going the way they are,that distinction will become important.

  • Israel has no alternative now but to do what serves them, not the U.S.

  • What else cud’ one expect with an Islamophile President; and the irony is/was that 70% of Jews voted for Obama; now they’re getting what they didn’t vote for.

  • Why not give American Jews the middle finger?

  • Jeff Blankfort

    If Obama had any backbone, he would appoint Hagel, a decorated US combat veteran who is a genuine American patriot a qualification of which is NOT putting the interests of a foreign country, namely Israel, and the desires of its supporters, a miniscule portion of American society, before those of his native land.

    Since the organized establishment of that miniscule portion hits far above its weight, it is more than likely that Obama will back down and appoint another bootlicker, one that meets Morton Klein’s approval, to do the job.

  • E Pluribus Beagle

    All the more reason why Obama will give him the job. Expect the first day for him to unravel military support of Israel. Israel should counter with withdrawing from the F-35 program and all cooperative development with Patriot-3 and UAV development.

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