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.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Education Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    JNS.org – My wife Suzy and I will never forget our wedding day. It was not just the uplifting ceremony and beautiful party that left an indelible mark. Some life-altering advice that we received from one of our guests informed and shaped our lives from that day forward. My high school teacher, Rabbi Moshe Yagid, pulled us aside just before the chuppah and challenged us to choose one mitzvah that would be the foundation of our marriage and our lives. He explained [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    JNS.org – Influenced by his Jewish upbringing and a summer on a kibbutz, basketball coach David Blatt is embarking on his highest-profile challenge yet: coaching LeBron James, the four-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player who has made waves for returning to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. After guiding Israel’s storied Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball franchise to its 51st Israeli league championship and 6th Euroleague title this past season, Blatt landed the Cavaliers head-coaching job in June. Just weeks later, [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    JNS.org – At the turn of the century, a young Jewish immigrant arrived in New York. So begins the history of many American Jewish families. It is 27-year-old Albert Allaham’s story, too, with a few unusual twists. Albert’s “century” is the 21st—he arrived almost 100 years after the massive waves of European Jewish immigration. Rather than coming from a small town along the Danube river, his shtetl was Damascus. His first American business was not a pushcart on the Lower East [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    Did you know that in the entire Bible, only one birthday is mentioned and it is that of Pharaoh? And did you know that according to some scientists, by accepting Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, it is impossible to prove or disprove that the sun is the gravitational center of our solar system? In his new book, REBBE, best-selling author Joseph Telushkin reveals many surprising and sometimes shocking details as he chronicles the life and teachings of the charismatic Rabbi [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Mitzvos New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    JNS.org – Omelet sandwich: 5 shekels. Iced coffee: 5 shekels. Tuna sandwich: 5 shekels. Fresh-squeezed orange juice: 5 shekels. Cheese bureka: 5 shekels. There’s plenty more on the Cofizz menu, but you get the idea. Dani Mizrahi and Amir Amshalm, two Israeli men in their early 30s, asked themselves: Why not launch a take-out food joint in busy neighborhoods around Jerusalem where everything—and that means everything—goes for five shekels, or about $1.50. They’d seen the concept take off in Tel Aviv, where [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    The new FX Network drama Tyrant was shot entirely in Israel, just 10 miles north of Tel Aviv, Bloomberg News reported last Tuesday. Tyrant follows the life of an Arab dictator’s second son Barry, played by Adam Rayner, who reluctantly returns home to the Middle Eastern nation of his birth to join the family business away from his suburban life in America. The elaborate set production for the primetime drama included a crew of 300 and a reported cost of over $3 million [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Skokie, Il-born 25-year-old Erin Heatherton (Erin Heather Bubley) is rocking the modeling world. And in a new interview accompanying a cover spread for Miami’s Ocean Drive magazine, she says Jewish moms are “constantly trying to set her up with their sons.” Imagine that – who would have thought? “The moms, they’re doing what they do. It doesn’t matter what country they live in, what city – grandmothers, too,” she admitted. “But I’m probably going to do that too one day.” Heatherton was [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Israel First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    Some 15 Turkish university professors and lecturers will take part in a first of its kind seminar at Holocaust museum Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies starting next week. The trip is especially significant as Holocaust denial is rampant in the Arab world. A Palestinian professor was recently forced to resign after he led a trip to the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz. Participants in the week-long program at Yad Vashem will experience in-depth tours of the museum’s archives and [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.