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Washington - Hagel: "Not One Shred Of Evidence That I'm Anti-Israeli"

Published on: January 7, 2013 06:48 PM
By: Jerusalem Post
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U.S. President Barack Obama (L) reaches out to shake hands with his nominee for new U.S. Secretary of Defense former Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R) after announcing Hagel as his nominee at the White House in Washington January 7, 2013.  REUTERS/Jason Reed U.S. President Barack Obama (L) reaches out to shake hands with his nominee for new U.S. Secretary of Defense former Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R) after announcing Hagel as his nominee at the White House in Washington January 7, 2013.  REUTERS/Jason Reed

Washington - There is “not one shred of evidence that I’m anti-Israeli,” former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel told the Lincoln Journal Star, (http://goo.gl/SjZvy) in an interview published immediately after he was nominated by US President Barack Obama as the next US secretary of defense.

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In his first statements since Obama’s formal announcement, Hagel insisted that an accurate assessment of his record would demonstrate “unequivocal, total support for Israel,” and panned critics for “completely distort[ing]” his positions.

Hagel has been hammered by fellow Republicans and Jewish groups over the past few weeks due to his previous refusal to sign on to a number of pro-Israel policy pronouncements, especially as regards the Iranian nuclear threat and the Hezbollah and Hamas terror groups. Hagel’s commitment to Israel’s security has thus been questioned, made worse by the surfacing of disparaging remarks he once made about the “Jewish lobby” in Washington.

Responding to said criticism, Hagel explained to the Lincoln Journal Star that he “didn’t sign on to certain resolutions and letters because they were counter-productive and didn’t solve a problem.”

“What’s in Israel’s interest,” Hagel stressed, “is to help Israel and the Palestinians find some peaceful way to live together.”

“Israel is in a very, very difficult position,” he added, “No border that touches Israel is always secure. We need to work to help protect Israel so it doesn’t get isolated.”

With respect to Iran, Hagel highlighted that “I have said many times that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism,” and clarified that he previously did not support unilateral sanctions against Tehran “because when it is us alone they don’t work and they just isolate the United States.”

“United Nations sanctions are working. When we just decree something, that doesn’t work.”

Regarding widespread speculation that he faces a tough confirmation battle, Hagel conceded that “I fully recognize that confirmation is up to the Senate. All I ask is a fair hearing, and I will get that. I am very much looking forward to having a full, open, transparent hearing about my qualifications and my record.”

US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Monday reiterated opposition to Hagel’s nomination, and confirmed the move faces “widespread and bipartisan opposition.”

“I am profoundly concerned and disappointed by President Obama’s nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense,” Cantor said.

“Recent reporting has made clear that Senator Hagel’s views and inflammatory statements about Israel are well outside the mainstream and raise well-founded doubts that he can be trusted to manage the special relationship the United States shares with our greatest Middle East ally.”

Content provided as courtesy by The Jerusalem Post


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Read Comments (10)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 07, 2013 at 07:09 PM Barsechel Says:

This will be the big Test for Israel and for Obama. Relations between Israel and Obama will hinge on this one - just a friendly reminder to all our leftwing Democratic Jewish voters - this is what you get for your loyalty to Obama!
There are other well qualified candidate for this job so why did Obama pick ' davka' the most preceived anti Israel candidate? I hope this is a wake up call to all of us,Mr. Obama is no "chaver" to Israel

2

 Jan 07, 2013 at 07:10 PM Facts1 Says:

Another Obama moment.

3

 Jan 07, 2013 at 08:12 PM FrumJew Says:

Reply to #1  
Barsechel Says:

This will be the big Test for Israel and for Obama. Relations between Israel and Obama will hinge on this one - just a friendly reminder to all our leftwing Democratic Jewish voters - this is what you get for your loyalty to Obama!
There are other well qualified candidate for this job so why did Obama pick ' davka' the most preceived anti Israel candidate? I hope this is a wake up call to all of us,Mr. Obama is no "chaver" to Israel

I'm not sure that this is the big test.

Obama leaving Netanyahu in the middle of a conversation to go have dinner with his family was not a disaster for Israel, but it showed Obama's true colors more than anything else he can ever do.

4

 Jan 07, 2013 at 08:45 PM ASimpleJew Says:

This pick is a setup. Push the extreme then "settle" for the one you really want

5

 Jan 07, 2013 at 10:53 PM Nachum Says:

Tol:#1-Mr. Barsechel-When my vote was officially counted on Nov. 6, 2012, I was not voting for the Prime Minister of Israel, but for the President of the United States of America. Obama is not beholden to Netanyahu; it is the other way around. Chuck Hagel is a good and decent person, and a patriot, not withstanding the propaganda and loshon hora, which has been unleashed against him.

6

 Jan 08, 2013 at 12:22 AM Aryeh Says:

Which "Israel" does he support?

7

 Jan 08, 2013 at 12:41 AM Barsechel Says:

Reply to #5  
Nachum Says:

Tol:#1-Mr. Barsechel-When my vote was officially counted on Nov. 6, 2012, I was not voting for the Prime Minister of Israel, but for the President of the United States of America. Obama is not beholden to Netanyahu; it is the other way around. Chuck Hagel is a good and decent person, and a patriot, not withstanding the propaganda and loshon hora, which has been unleashed against him.

You must be living on an other planet then the rest of us please wake up and read up on your facts.

In fact Mr Obama is or should be beholden to Israel as it is the cheapest bullwork against chaos in the middle east. The US has spend trillions on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with very little success the few billion it gives to Israel yearly is probably the best investment they ever made.

8

 Jan 08, 2013 at 11:32 AM Duvid18 Says:

Reply to #5  
Nachum Says:

Tol:#1-Mr. Barsechel-When my vote was officially counted on Nov. 6, 2012, I was not voting for the Prime Minister of Israel, but for the President of the United States of America. Obama is not beholden to Netanyahu; it is the other way around. Chuck Hagel is a good and decent person, and a patriot, not withstanding the propaganda and loshon hora, which has been unleashed against him.

Was the Kool Aid Geshmack? Did you drink arba kosos of it before you voted the way you did? 'nuff said!

9

 Jan 08, 2013 at 12:55 PM MAYERFREUND Says:

What is going on here? lets get to the point is this a big chilul hashem or not?

10

 Jan 08, 2013 at 04:42 PM marcia Says:

Reply to #5  
Nachum Says:

Tol:#1-Mr. Barsechel-When my vote was officially counted on Nov. 6, 2012, I was not voting for the Prime Minister of Israel, but for the President of the United States of America. Obama is not beholden to Netanyahu; it is the other way around. Chuck Hagel is a good and decent person, and a patriot, not withstanding the propaganda and loshon hora, which has been unleashed against him.

No Nachum, U were NOT voting for PM of Israel but what U did do in essence by voting FOR Obama has repercussions that will change the future of the ME. With G-d's help, we will always succeed....

11

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