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February 20, 2013 1:00 am

The Hagel Nomination: An Open Letter to Chuck Schumer

avatar by Daniel Pipes

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Sen. Chuck Schumer. Photo: wiki commons.

Dear Chuck,

I write to encourage you to review and reconsider your endorsement of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense. The new information that has appeared since your meeting with him on Jan. 14 suggests that his weak policies vis-à-vis Iran and his reprehensible views toward Israel run even deeper than we realized at that time.

We now know that he referred to Israel’s self-defense in 2006 as a “sickening slaughter.” That he preposterously stated in 2007 that “The State Department has become adjunct to the Israeli Foreign Minister’s office.” That he obnoxiously said in 2010 (according to a paraphrase) that Israel was “risking becoming an apartheid state.

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Rep. Eliot Engel has characterized Hagel’s outlook as having “some kind of endemic hostility toward Israel.” I have written that Hagel “is known for only two foreign policy/defense views: being soft on Iran and hostile to Israel.”

Chuck, you and I go back to our many long dinners and debates in the college dining room in the late 1960s, when your sensible moderation first became evident. A hallmark of your career since then has been consistently to show good sense and courage on Middle Eastern issues.

As you noted with pride in an April 2010 interview, your family name “comes from the word shomer, which means guardian” in Hebrew. You mentioned that your ancestors were guardians of the Jewish ghetto in the Ukraine, adding: “I believe HaShem [God], actually, gave me my name, as one of my roles that is very important in the United States Senate is to be a shomer for Israel. I will continue to be that with every bone in my body.”

You expressed having had “genuine concerns” about Hagel prior to your White House meeting with him; now is the moment for you to follow the dictates of your conscience. I hope you will now come out against the Hagel nomination, a shift that will have profound repercussions for the country and secure your reputation as a shomer for U.S.-Israel relations.

Yours sincerely,


This article was originally published by the National Review Online.

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  • BethesdaDog

    Schumer is a crass opportunist who will sell his people down the river. Just like Feinstein, Boxer, Cardin, and all the others. Just like the silent American Jews during the Holocaust.

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    Senator Schumer,
    Please reconsider your acceptance of Chuck Hagel as a viable candidate for US Secretary of Defense. As your surname means “guardian,” my surname means “descendants.” My two daughters are third-generation survivors of Auschwitz. Their maternal grandparents both survived Auschwitz. However, their three maternal great-uncles did not survive Maidenak. More tzores we Jews do not need. Chuck Hagel is both an anti-Semite and anti-Zionist. Enough information testifying to the latter observation has surfaced in the last two weeks. According to one news outlet, it appears that he may have also received money from at least one terrorist organization if he is willing to share that information with the public. There are other more responsible, honorable, dignified, knowledgeable candidates for this very important position. I hope that you will live up to your name and indeed guard the people of Zion.

  • Avigayil

    Sorry Daniel, it’s not in Chuck’s best interest to buck Obama and that is what he most cares about.