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Alan Dershowitz on Chuck Hagel Nomination: “This Was a Great Appointment for Tehran”

January 7, 2013 7:03 pm 10 comments

Alan Dershowitz. Photo:

“No I’m not” said Israel advocate and President Obama supporter Alan Dershowitz, when asked by The Algemeiner if he was surprised by the President’s decision to nominate  former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel for the position of Secretary of Defense. “The President seems determined to do it.”

“I think it’s a mistake,” he added, “I think it makes it more likely that Iran will persist in its efforts to develop nuclear weapons. This will send a message to the Iranian Mullahs of softness, to nominate a man who is opposed to sanctions and who is opposed to the military option.”

“Now, he may be able to change all that when he testifies in front of the Senate,” said Dershowitz optimistically, “but you know, people don’t usually change.”

“It is less important what he (Hagel) really thinks, it is what the Iranians think he thinks,” that is important, added the prominent Democrat. “The Iranians are celebrating this appointment in Tehran, this was a great appointment for Tehran, its a green light or at least a yellow light for them to pursue their nuclear program.”

“I makes it more likely that Iran will actually move towards developing a nuclear program and it makes it more likely that there will have to be a military response. This is a very bad nomination for peace.”

Asked if he feels personally let down, as a backer of Obama’s recent re-election, Dershowitz said, “There is nothing personal involved, I have always said in the beginning that I don’t expect to agree with all of the decisions of all of the people I support, and the President knows I disagree with him on this one.”

“Even if he is not confirmed it is a bad decision,” Dershowitz added, “because it conveys to the Iranians the President’s state of mind, and they will misunderstand it. They will misunderstand this as believing the president does not want to keep the military option on the table, so the nomination itself will set back the cause of peace, even if he is ultimately not confirmed.”

The law professor opined that he doesn’t think Hagel’s nomination will negatively affect the U.S. – Israel relationship. “I don’t think President Obama will allow the Defense Department to make policy with regard to support for Israel’s security,” he said. “President Obama has been so clear, so unequivocal on Israel’s security coming first that I don’t think he would allow Hagel to undercut that. I think if Hagel had his own way, he might very well want to undercut that.”

“I’m available to testify if i’m asked to,” Dershowitz pledged, “and I will continue to express my views in writing and in interviews.”

“I don’t regard my having endorsed the President as a commitment to support all of his decisions, I think a friend owes an obligation to another friend to be honest and to be critical when criticism is warranted. My position is known to the President and I plan to continue to make it known to the President,” he concluded.


  • Alan Dershowitz does the same thing for Obama that he says Obama does for Iran. He says the nominaton of Hagel emboldens Iran to continue its nuclear program Unfettered support for Obama with an occasional wrist slap emboldens Obama in his pro Iran and anti Israel foreign policy.

  • Chuck Hegel has two reasons he was chosen: down-size the armed services, cut budget and blame the result on the Republicans. No wonder China agreed with this, as did Egypt and Iran.

    Obama wants to reduce us to the status of any European country, or Mexico, that is, non-military and broke.

  • We have become so desensitized by the daily onslaught of accusation of Apartheid Israel / Cancer of the Earth, that Hagel’s reference to the Jewish Lobby is hardly the outrage it should be. Would Obama ever nominate someone if they had questioned the loyalty of a Mexican American? An African American? There are so many Lobbyists in Washington, with a lot of power, so for Hagel to single the Jewish Lobby out, and for Obama to choose someone (who has not apologized for it) speaks great volumes about him. And for Dershowitz to give him a pass on this, is inexcusable. Ideology has hijacked one of the greatest Jewish minds – is there any hope???

  • It really disappoints me to think that you of all people being as smart as you are didn’t know what Obama’s thinking was. Being a democrat doesn’t mean you have to vote for someone that you doubt, just because you are a democrat. To me thats just a title to a party. But I’m sure you doubted him very early on. And I assure you this will not be the last disappointment. How about Brenner? Do you remember him saying on T.V. that EL QUDS was the most beautiful place meaning Jerusalem? And Kerry saying all those terrible things about our soldiers. I could go on and on but—Mrs. Caro

  • as a Jew (Canadian) I find it amazing how so called Jewish intellectuals such as Derhowitz, Elie Wiesel, Ed Koch and others who should have known better gave their public vote to Obama. I fear to quote Jeremiah Wright, the chickens have come home to roost. Totally mindblowing how these guys cannot see that Obama chose Hagel because of his views and not despite them.

  • Dimbulb Dershowitz.
    Maybe it’s precisely the message Obama AND Hagel want to send to Iran, and maybe it is the RIGHT message to send.

    It is the message the American people wish to be sent to the people of Iran: It is not the American value set to threaten people, to assassinate their young scientists, to cause them to live in fear so that their leaders are forced to tighten security and possibly weaponize their nuclear material, as a deterrent to Israelamerican threats.

    I don’t recall Dersh being on any ballot that I was able to vote on. Why does anyone give a flying fig what he thinks?

  • To the IsraelLobby:

    Get over it – your best days are over. Nobody fears you anymore. Hope to see an American official meeting with an Iranian counterpart soon.

    In your face!

  • Lawrence Kulak

    If this Chuck Hagel is so set against maintaining security for Israel that he would risk a nuclear holocaust just to keep Israel in danger let him drop dead before he takes office. We do not need any Nazis in the American Government.

  • A.D.: Maybe the message to iran IS what obama intended???

    hagel reflects obama’s true views of Israel and this is the way he thinks he can safely express them without having to take the heat personally.

    you been played and supported the wrong guy; too bad we will all have to learn the hard way…

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