Hagel on Israel – In Letters

January 8, 2013 3:23 pm 0 comments

Chuck Hagel.

On the day when President Barack Obama nominated former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel for defense secretary, the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) said that despite expressing concerns about Hagel in the past, it believes 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.”

When it comes to putting pen to paper, where has Hagel previously stood on foreign policy matters pertaining to Israel and the Middle East? In his 2008 book, The Much Too Promised Land, Miller recounted a conversation with Hagel as follows: “The American Israel Public Affairs Committee comes knocking with a pro-Israel letter, Hagel continued, and ‘then you’ll get eighty or ninety senators on it. I don’t think I’ve ever signed one of the letters’—because, he added, they were ‘stupid.’”

Hagel, who served in the Senate from January 1997 to January 2009, was telling Miller the truth about his letter-signing history. Below are the highlights of letters signed by large majorities of the U.S. Senate, noting whether Hagel signed or not. On Monday, Hagel told the Lincoln Journal Star regarding this issue, “I didn’t sign on to certain resolutions and letters because they were counter-productive and didn’t solve a problem.”

MARCH 2009

Letter: Asking President Obama to open direct talks with Hamas leaders

Number of signatories: 10 (former and current policy officials, not only serving U.S. senators)

Hagel: Signed (after he had already left the Senate)

JUNE 2008

Letter: Reiterating Israel’s right to self-defense, calling on the U.S. to stand strongly with Israel at the UN, and urging pressure on Arab states to do more to support Israeli-Palestinian talks

Number of signatories: 77

Hagel: Did not sign

MARCH 2007

Letter: Request for “no direct aid and no contacts with any members of a Palestinian Authority that does not explicitly and unequivocally recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce terror, and accept previous agreements”

Number of signatories: 79

Hagel: Did not sign

AUGUST 2006

Letter: Asking the European Union to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization

Number of signatories: 88

Hagel: Did not sign

DECEMBER 2005

Letter: Asking President George W. Bush to place pressure the Palestinian Authority to ban terrorist groups from participating in Palestinian legislative elections

Number of signatories: 73

Hagel: Did not sign

JUNE 2005

Letter: Supporting Israel’s disengagement from Gaza and calling on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to “act decisively to assert his control over the disparate, armed groups in Gaza and the West Bank”

Number of signatories: 77

Hagel: Did not sign

NOVEMBER 2001

Letter: Asking President Bush not to meet Yasser Arafat until Arafat took steps to end violence against Israel

Number of signatories: 89

Hagel: Did not sign

OCTOBER 2000

Letter: Expressing support for Israel after the start of the Second Intifada

Number of signatories: 96

Hagel: Did not sign

MARCH 1999

Resolution: Opposing the unilateral declaration of an independent state by the Palestinians

Votes in support: 98

Hagel: Voted yes

APRIL 1998

Letter: Asking President Bill Clinton not to pressure Israel into accepting a peace proposal with the Palestinians “which is known to be unacceptable.”

Number of signatories: 81

Hagel: Did not sign

Letters and signatories obtained from the archives of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Jewish Virtual Library.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    JNS.org – Today’s comedy superstars, especially those whose careers are driven by television, may very well owe their success to pioneering Jewish entertainer Milton Berle. Born Mendel Berlinger in Manhattan in 1908, Berle became America’s first small-screen star. Aptly nicknamed “Mr. Television,” he influenced and helped promote the work of hundreds of younger comics. “Milton Berle was deceptively successful and very Jewish,” says Lawrence Epstein, author of The Haunted Smile: The Story of Jewish Comedians in America, published the year [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    JNS.org – Idan Ravin’s friends chipped in to buy him a humble but life-changing bar mitzvah gift—a basketball hoop his father attached to the roof of his garage. Little did his friends know that years later, he would be the personal trainer of National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, and Stephen Curry. Ravin’s new book, “The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Head of Basketball’s Best Players,” details his rise from a Jewish upbringing [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs 10 New Hollywood Movies That Aim to Show Support for Israel (SATIRE)

    10 New Hollywood Movies That Aim to Show Support for Israel (SATIRE)

    Ten major film studios are currently in production on projects that promote a decidedly pro-Israeli narrative. In famously liberal Hollywood, such a development has left mouths agape and set tongues a wagging. Since the Jewish State began defending itself from the thousands of rockets that Hamas has hurled at it – as well as ongoing terror attacks and murders, the overwhelming number of Tinseltown’s producers, directors, actors, and studio moguls have remained indifferent to the plight of millions of Israeli [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Israel Sports So Close: Israeli Judoka Loses Crown in World Cup Final, Finishes With Silver (VIDEO)

    So Close: Israeli Judoka Loses Crown in World Cup Final, Finishes With Silver (VIDEO)

    Israeli Judoka Yarden Gerbi (63kg), 25, of Netanya, on Thursday lost the final round at the Judo World Cup, and her world title to Clarisse Agbegnenou of France, at a match held in Russia. “I have mixed feelings,” Gerbi told Israeli Army radio. But, “I shouldn’t assume that I’d win the world Judo championship twice in a row,” she admitted. Gerbi won gold in Rio De Janeiro last year. “When I made my decision, I knew it was going to [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity Surviving the Holocaust by Hiding Their Faith (REVIEW)

    Surviving the Holocaust by Hiding Their Faith (REVIEW)

    “Jews Out!” was just the name of a child’s game that three little girls played in World War II Europe. But all is not as it seems because the three girls were Jewish, but hiding their true identities. In award-winning author R. D. Rosen’s riveting non-fiction work, Such Good Girls, “Jews Out!” wasn’t a game; it was a struggle for survival. The girls, Sophie, Flora, and Carla, grew up at a time and a place that did not allow them [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities Twenty Years On, the Real and Radical Legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

    Twenty Years On, the Real and Radical Legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

    JNS.org – “He was part hippie, part yippie, part beatnik, and part New Age,” wrote Elli Wohlgelernter in a Jerusalem Post eulogy in 1994, following the Oct. 20 passing of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Twenty years later, more robust accounts of Carlebach’s life have come to the surface. Earlier this year, Natan Ophir published the book Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Life, Mission & Legacy. This past summer, Rabbi Shlomo Katz’s The Soul of Jerusalem hit the shelves. But even the authors will admit [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Music Beatlemania Invades the Gaza Strip (SATIRE)

    Beatlemania Invades the Gaza Strip (SATIRE)

    As Hamas loses its grip on power in the Gaza Strip as a result of war, poverty and disillusionment, the Islamist terrorist group has developed an ingenious way to raise the morale of the 1.7 million Palestinian Arabs it was elected to serve. While currently focused on delivering a rocket into every Israeli home, Hamas has not left its own people behind. To gently wipe away the tears of children strategically placed inside kindergartens as human shields, the Hamas Interior Ministry [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    In a strong statement that challenges the historic divide between Christianity and Judaism, Pope Francis recently proclaimed, “Inside every Christian is a Jew.” But if you look at Renaissance artworks that depict Jesus, you will not find any evidence of a Jew inside the Christianized Jesus — even though the Gospels in the New Testament tell us that Jesus was Jewish to the core. Getting that point across to the public is a daunting task, as I learned in interviews I [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.