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March 5, 2013 12:40 pm

Hagel and Barak Embrace In First Official Greeting

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Photo: Monica A. King.

Newly minted U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel welcomed outgoing Israeli Secretary of Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, his first official interaction with his Israeli counterpart since taking the helm at the Pentagon.

Hagel greeted Barak on the steps of the Pentagon entrance before an honor guard shortly after 10 am local time giving the Israeli minister an informal salute.

The two embraced and then walked into the building for discussions that are expected to focus on Iran’s nuclear program, Syria’s raging civil war and President Barack Obama’s planned visit to Israel later this month.

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Much of the difficulties Hagel faced in being confirmed as secretary of defense centered around previous comments and actions about Israel and the “Jewish lobby.”

Israeli officials have made sure to diffuse any tension that might have arisen, with Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, congratulating Hagel immediately after he was confirmed, issuing a statement that read in part that relations between the two countries “will grow stronger still as our countries continue to meet common challenges to our security.”

Speaking at AIPAC on Sunday Barak congratulated Hagel, saying, “He will no doubt serve his country in the same way in which he served both on the battlefield and in congress.”

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  • lawrence kulak

    lets cut to the chase. why in heavens name would Obama appoint a man to such an important cabinet position who hates gays. Obama was very close with gay people in chicago and there are plenty of rumors jutting about regarding his ‘bisexulity’ or ‘metro-sexuality’. More simply put though, any bigoted person would seem to be severely off limits to this politically correct President, so where’s the rub? Its gottta have something to do with Israel and the concessions which Obama may be intending to extract from them later on.
    Obama may be playing the ‘Iran card’ trying to distract those on the Israel side who may be concerned that he is trying to ‘punish’ Israel by installing Hagel. However, by showing that HE is in charge, Obama may be using a strategy of allaying Israel’s fears and posing for now as its protector (vis-a-vis Iran) Down the road, however, watch out because it will be pay back time. And we all know what that payback means – giving up Jewish land. Forget it guys, we have to depend upon Hashem and the ability which he has given us. Israel can destroy Iran without US assistance.

  • Lawrence kulak

    A few casual observations for the under-affiliated:

    -Barak makes an characteristically goyish gesture by flaterring a Jews hater because Barak himself is an alientated traitorous jew.

    – It is impossible to get a leopard to change its spots. Hagel will force himself to grin and embrace Jewish diplomats but it will be like Esav’s embrace of Yaakov. In the case of Barak it is more like Esav hugging Esav.

    – The reason Obama appointed somebody like Hagel is perhaps to try to fool the Jewish people into thinking he is their friend. When Obama appears to be giving directions to Hagel to be harder on Iran (as is the direction that the administration seems to be going) it will appear that Obama is Israel’s friend. The real truth, however, is that Obama is just friendlier toward Israel than Amalek (ie. with friends like these…..)

    -take a good hard look at Hagel’s face. If he appears to be sick its probably because he wishes that he could hasten to the business of destroying Israel but his hand is being restrained by Obama (who in turn is being restrained by G-d)

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