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January 30, 2013 12:12 pm

Chuck Hagel in 2003: Israel “Keeping the Palestinians Caged Up Like Animals”

avatar by Max Elstein Keisler

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Chuck Hagel on Israel in 2003.

A recently surfaced article about Chuck Hagel in the Lincoln Journal Star quotes the defense secretary nominee as saying Israel is keeping the “Palestinians caged up like animals.”

The article, dating to January 12, 2003, covered  a speech Hagel delivered at the Lincoln Pius X high school. Hagel told the audience that the struggle between Israel and the Palestinians has a connection with the Iraq issue, and the rest of the Arab world, warning of “severe consequences” if the US was inactive.

Following Hagel’s nomination, criticism has been raised over his remarks on the “Jewish lobby,” his opposition to Iran sanctions, and his homophobic comments about a US ambassador.

Hagel has received support from across the aisle from prominent Democratic Jewish congress members such as Chuck Schumer and Barbara Boxer. Schumer described the controversial nominee as “forthcoming and sincere.” But his own party has been less willing to support him. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said that she believes Hagel “has a difficult time understanding that Israel is our ally.”

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  • Michael

    if you go back to the Oslo accords most of Israel was bending over backwards to unite with Palestinians. there were many groups and individuals who worked very hard to build bonds between Jews and Arabs. then Arafat ימש started the intafeda when he didn’t get everything he demanded (no matter that he was offered 90% and not living up to any of it) and Israelis saw that even their most devoted Arab neighbors turned on them not just some nameless stranger but specifically those who went in and improved the lives for those living in the Arab villages. wonton violent attacks on (even) unarmed Israeli civilians has a 90% approval rate on the Arab “street” and yet Israel supplies most gas,electricity,&water not just to hostile Arabs in Judea and Samaria but in Gaza. the security wall and checkpoints are the least any country on earth would do when faced with such violence and threats of violence.

  • Jerry Hersch

    What would Algemeiner call communities neighborhoods and even a nation surrounded by barbwire and walls..and further divided by security zones which allow no entry ?

    • Lee

      A Jewish ghetto or a Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria. You might want to take a trip to Israel some day because there is no place there like you just described, except for some Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

      • Jerry Hersch

        The entirety of the “Palestinian” west bank has Israeli security zones and off-limit areas–and yes I have been there living with both Jews and Arabs. Lee, in how many visits have you stayed with non-Jews..Palestinians or Isreali Arabs…or even with a Jewish family of non-European descent.