Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Ehud Barak Heads to Washington Amid Skepticism Over Hagel Nomination

January 9, 2013 12:13 pm 3 comments

Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Photo: Huffington Post.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak will arrive in Washington Wednesday for discussions with high level officials, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, on bi-lateral security issues.

The visit comes just days after U.S. President Barack Obama nominated Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary.

Many in the American Jewish community and in Israel have expressed concerns over Hagel’s record on Israel.

On Tuesday Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said,”Because of his statements in the past, and his stance toward Israel, we are worried.”

According to reports in Israeli media, the Israeli government’s main concern is over Hagel’s stance on Iran. As a senator Hagel objected to sanctions being imposed on Iran and has also made statements in the past that voiced opposition to any military action against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

Israel’s Walla news reported that Barak has a relationship with Hagel, though it was unclear what that relationship constituted or whether the two would meet during Barak’s visit.

According to an article in Maariv, American sources involved in Hagel’s appointment suggested that it could become a weapon against Netanyahu in the run-up to Israeli elections. “Hagel is anti-Bibi and anti-Likud, so his appointment could be damaging for Likud, but he has friendly and warm ties with Barak.”

Arik Elman, an Israeli political consultant and Algemeiner blogger said he doubted it would have any influence on the election. “I’m not at all certain this will in any way affect the campaign. The campaign here is developing according to its own internal logic.”

The article further states that the White House is worried that Netanyahu will work to sabotage Hagel’s confirmation and has reached out to major Jewish organizations hoping that they will brief Netanyahu. The White House has promised that Hagel is no loose cannon, and claims that he’s not anti-Israel and he will tow the Obama line according to the report.

The article says that, in fact, an AIPAC delegation is headed to Israel to discuss Obama’s appointments with Netanyahu. AIPAC has thus far declined to involve itself publicly in the debate over Hagel, citing its long-standing tradition of not involving itself in confirmation battles.

Barak’s office issued a statement Wednesday saying that “The minister will meet with senior officials in the administration as well as the heads of the defense and intelligence establishments,” but declined to comment further on his visit.

In a recent statement released by his office Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that he believes U.S.-Israeli security ties are “closer than ever” under President Obama, and “we have every confidence that those relations will continue to grow.”

3 Comments

  • Ehud Barak, it will not help as the president has Muslim Brotherhood on his staff.

  • The White House claims that Hagel is not anti-Israel, but he is anti-Israel and pro-Iran; one of the tiny few in the Republican party. Hagel has sympathies for Hamas. Hagel might tow the Obama line (I am not sure there is much distance between this president and Hagel) yet there is a reason Obama selected Senator Hagel.

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    Let me be honest and aboveboard. This selection of Chuck Hegel is a travesty and a sham. It will jeopardize Israel’s security. Concerns about Hegel’s past statements regarding Israel are well documented. My hope is that the committees interviewing him will discover the truth and he will be rejected outright.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Music US & Canada Musician Carlos Santana Maintains Upcoming Israel Concert With ‘Open Heart’ Despite Pressure From BDS Activists (VIDEO)

    Musician Carlos Santana Maintains Upcoming Israel Concert With ‘Open Heart’ Despite Pressure From BDS Activists (VIDEO)

    After supporters of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement failed to pressure rock superstar Carlos Santana into cancelling his upcoming concert in Tel Aivv, the guitarist said in a video message on Thursday that he is excited to return to Israel and promote a “musical message of peace, love and an end to conflict.” “The band and I will bring our open hearts and musical energy that will resonate with your soul long after the last song has been […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Music Coldplay Begins Concert With Broadcast of Charlie Chaplin’s Iconic Speech in ‘The Great Dictator’

    Coldplay Begins Concert With Broadcast of Charlie Chaplin’s Iconic Speech in ‘The Great Dictator’

    British rock band Coldplay started its set at the Glastonburg Festival on Sunday by broadcasting excerpts of the iconic speech Charlie Chaplin delivered in The Great Dictator, the 1940 political satire in which the famous filmmaker/movie star played a Jewish barber. “I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone,” Chaplin begins his address. “I should like to help everyone, if possible, Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Two Decades Before Cleveland’s First NBA Title, LeBron James Walked Onto a JCC Court

    Two Decades Before Cleveland’s First NBA Title, LeBron James Walked Onto a JCC Court

    JNS.org – The seed for the city of Cleveland’s first professional championship in a major sport in 52 years may have been planted at the Shaw Jewish Community Center on White Pond Drive in Akron, Ohio, nearly 20 years ago. That’s when a tall, lanky kid from Akron named LeBron James walked onto the hardwood court and changed the game of basketball forever. Coach Keith Dambrot, now the head basketball coach at the University of Akron, conducted those sessions that attracted […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    JNS.org – In 2008, Yoram Honig was a producer and director living in Jerusalem, fresh off his first international hit, when the Jerusalem Development Authority (JDA) came to him with a challenge: build a film industry from scratch in Israel’s capital. “When we started here, was nothing in Jerusalem,” he said during an interview in his office in the Talbiya neighborhood. Now, the Jerusalem Film and Television Fund, which Honig heads as an arm of the JDA, pumps 9 million shekels […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas will wear a leotard bearing Hebrew lettering when she competes at the P&G Gymnastics Championships over the weekend. Douglas’ Swarovski-outlined outfit will feature the Hebrew word “Elohim,” meaning God, on its left sleeve. The Hebrew detailing honors the athlete’s “rich heritage of faith,” according to apparel manufacturer GK Elite, which produced the leotard and released a preview of it on Wednesday. The company said Douglas’ sister, Joyelle “Joy” Douglas, created the Hebrew design. The outcome of the P&G Championships will help […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    Britain’s world heavyweight champion, Taylor Fury, should be banned from boxing for making Nazi-like comments, a former world champion from the Ukraine said on Thursday, ahead of their upcoming match. “I was in shock at his statements about women, the gay community, and when he got to the Jewish people, he sounded like Hitler,” Wladimir Klitschko told British media, according to Reuters. “We cannot have a champion like that. Either he needs to be shut up or shut down in the ring, or […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Hanoch Hecht just made television history; but, unfortunately, he couldn’t have his rugelach and eat it too. Hecht became the first rabbi to compete on the hit show “Chopped,” where contestants are forced to use four random ingredients in their recipes, and have 20-30 minutes to create an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. A contestant is eliminated after each round. Hecht, 32, said that while the dishes and utensils were new, the kitchen was not kosher, so he couldn’t taste […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Music Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox singer and entertainer Lipa Schmeltzer is starring in a new Pepsi Max commercial for the company’s campaign in Israel. The commercial begins with a bunch of Jewish men eating at a restaurant, when Schmeltzer walks in and tries to decide what to order. An employee at the obviously Israeli eatery offers him a variety of foods, but the entertainer in the end decides on a bottle of Pepsi. Everyone in the restaurant then joins him, drinking Pepsi Max and dancing to […]

    Read more →