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Israel-Basher and Iran Apologist Hagel May Become Defense Secretary

December 18, 2012 6:14 pm 10 comments

Former senator Chuck Hagel in Iraq. Photo: Joint Combat Camera Center Iraq.

Credible and widespread reports that former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) is likely to be nominated by President Barak Obama for Secretary of Defense has rightly shocked Israel’s supporters and those who want to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capacity. Little wonder: Hagel has accrued a record on Capitol Hill as an apologist for Iran and anti-Israel terrorist groups and for relentless hostility to Israel.

In October 2000, when Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Authority (PA) launched a terror war against Israel after rejecting without a counter-offer a plan for Palestinian statehood accepted by Israel, Hagel was one of only four senators who refused to sign a Senate letter in support of Israel.

In July 2001, Hagel was in a minority of only two senators to vote against extending the original Iran-Libya sanctions bill, designed to deny both regimes revenues that would assist their weapons of mass destruction programs.

In November 2001, Hagel was one of only 11 senators who refused to sign a letter urging President George W. Bush not to meet with Yasser Arafat until his forces ended terrorist violence against Israel.

In April 2002, Hagel was one of only 10 senators to oppose banning the the import to America of Iraqi oil until Iraq stopped compensating the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. In November 2003, he failed to vote on the Syria Accountability Act (passed by 89 to 4) imposing sanctions on Syria for its support of terrorism and occupation of Lebanon. In June 2004, Hagel refused to sign a letter urging Bush to highlight Iran’s nuclear program at the G-8 summit.

In July 2006, at the outbreak of the Lebanon war, Hagel argued against giving Israel the time to break Hizballah, urging instead an immediate ceasefire. The following month, he was one of only 12 Senators who  refused to formally call upon the European Union to declare Hizballah a terrorist organization. The same year, he gave an interview to former Middle East negotiator,  Aaron David Miller, which appeared in Miller’s 2008 book, The Much Too Promised Land, in which he said that “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people” on Capitol Hill.

In 2007, Hagel declined to support the bipartisan Iran Counter Proliferation Act aimed at targeting governments and businesses that assist Iran’s nuclear program. The following year, a congressional aide told the Huffington Post that Hagel was “solely responsible” for blocking an Iran sanctions bill.

In 2009, Hagel signed a letter urging President Obama to begin direct negotiations with Hamas, a U.S. designated terrorist group committed in its Charter to the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. Just last week, the Atlantic Council, which Hagel chairs, published an article entitled Israel’s Apartheid Policy, equating Israel with South Africa’s historic racist policy. Hagel also serves on the board of directors of Deutsche Bank, which is currently under probe in Washington for possible violations of sanctions Hagel opposed as senator.

Even staunch Democrats and supporters of Obama and his Middle East policies are alarmed by Hagel. Former New York City Democratic mayor Ed Koch said last week that Hagel, “would be a terrible appointment … most of the Jewish leaders who have expressed themselves [think likewise and would indicate] that President Obama is seeking to put space between Israel and his administration.”

In 2007, when Hagel was considering a presidential bid, even the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) said that Hagel “has a lot of questions to answer about his commitment to Israel.” And though silent now, despite requests for comment on a Hagel nomination, former NJDC executive director, Ira Forman, who headed Obama’s reelection campaign’s outreach to Jewish voters,  said in 2009 – after Hagel was named co-chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board – that “If [Hagel] was taking a policy role, we’d have real concerns” and that the NJDC would oppose his nomination.

If Hagel becomes Defense Secretary it will prove to be dangerous for the interests of both the U.S. and Israel.

Morton A. Klein is National President of the Zionist Organization of American and Dr. Daniel Mandel is Director of the ZOA’s Center Middle East Policy and author of H.V. Evatt & the Establishment of Israel (2004).


  • Eretz will survive. No matter what, it will survive. It will survive in our hearts and our minds even if there is nothing of this earth called “Eretz Yisroel” to stand upon. I hope I live to see the day we do not have to defend it, the day all its peoples all stand together in harmony, in celebration of its diversity.

  • Ronald J Bradley

    This article is absolute rubbish. This is the reason that Israel and the sort of Jews who write this type of rabid articles have no credibility and only anger normal educated people. Please stop this nonsense. Israel must be discussed rationally before Americans can decide to support Israel with their taxes and military resources. Everything that Hagel has said is true and is a source or great concern to a majority of Americans and Europeans. Everyone must talk together and negotiate. We cannot ignore millions of people because Israel hates them. Even J-Street supports Hagel. He is a dedicated and distinguished American. The sort of smear tactics used in this article really tarnish the reputation of Israel and the Jewish supporters of rightwing zealots such as Netanyahu and Lieberman.

    • Ronald Bradley’s comments are hysterical and miss the point of the article.
      The article written just lists the dates and the actions that Hagel undertook that are very supportive of Iran and its genocidal goals and anti Israel. The article also states how many other senators voted in the same way as Hagel did on these issues.
      This is hardly “rabid” it is not “irrational” and it is not “nonsense”.
      It would assist Bradleys rational thought to take into account the facts on the ground, including this list, and stop he himself talking nonsense and being raid.

    • But Mr. Bradley you forgot the bits about 9/11 being a Jewish/CIA conspiracy, that Jews bake unleavened bread with Christian blood and that the Holocaust never happened.

      Smear? Is it a smear to recount the factual voting record of a Senator?

      Then again inconvenient truths are inverted and dismissed in a mind sick and driven with Jew hatred. And your factual counter arguments are….the Jews must surrender to arab slaughter because you and Hagel don’t like them. Tsk tsk.

      Americans support more with their taxes and military those who wish to get rid of Americnas than they do Israel trying defend itself against arab annihilation. Israeli intellectual novelty, capacity and experience supports your military ascendancy.

      But in the final analysis you and your ilk are a waste of breath and are running with other agendas.

  • Obama loves sharia and the Koran and celebrates all the verses that call Jews “pigs and monkeys”….He and Hagel think Muhammad did a great job decapitating 900 unarmed Jews at Quarayza….if he does not pick Hagel….he will pick Rashid Khalidi: those are his two choices.

  • Obama doesn’t give a damn about Israel. Now that he has been re-elected, he can Israel to go to hell. But Israel needs Obama like a hole in the foot. It has thrived long before he came along and will thrive in the future on its own merits and abilities. When the USA wants a partner in the Middle East…who else are they going to turn to: the Arabs?? Yeah….right. They’ll pick your pockets while they’re slapping you o the back, friendly-like.

    • @Richard

      “It (Israel) has thrived long before he came along and will thrive in the future on its own merits and abilities.

      Ha..ha.ha.hoo.hee..hee. Don’t make me laugh@. my sides are splitting. Israel wont survive a week without the US support. That’s way Lobby groups like AIPAC is so important to the survival of Israel. because Israel NEEDS AMERICA.

      • Israel THINKS it needs America. That is another matter. American diplomatic and economic support is not irreplacable.

        Similarly the common American presumption (and which also underlies your comment) is that its support does not render any return dividend. That is a fallacy.

        America gets nothing for the billions and billions it pours into islamic terrorist basket cases like Egypt, ‘palestinians’ and Pakistan.

        When America bercomes hostile to Israel that will be the end of America, not Israel.

  • I just don’t see how this person can even be considered for such a sensitive position in your government. His history vis a vis his hostile position on Israel, his seemingly pro-Iran/terrorist leanings – and it’s all right here in this article – these should absolutely preclude him from ever being considered. What are they thinking?
    I don’t even want to think of what would happen if he gets the appointment – it spells disaster.

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