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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chuck Hagel on Docket for Defense Secretary Quite Troubling

Nadene Goldfoot
High on the list to fill the opening for Defense Secretary is Chuck Hagel which is causing many in the American Jewish community to feel nervous.  Both Caroline Glick and Bret Stephens have written about this.
Charles Timothy Hagel, age 66 (born October 4, 1946) in North Platte, Nebraska is a former US Republican Senator from Nebraska.  He is now a professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown U.  Since 2009 he has served as chairman of the Atlantic Council and co-chairman of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board.

You might think that because he is a former Republican senator that he is sympathetic towards Israel, but it doesn't seem to be the case.  He has a "Jewish problem."  He has this idea that the "Jewish Lobby" intimidates a lot of people in Washington.  Fact is, there is no "Jewish Lobby."  What there is that he must be accusing is AIPAC, which is the only group supporting Israel who bothers to educate people with accurate facts.  People involved in any "Jewish Lobby" or "Israel Lobby" includes non Jews like Christian Zionists.  Not all Jews are members of AIPAC.  To many people who are not in the "know", Zionist is a dirty word.  All it means is that they support the right of Israel's existence.

Nebraska is not a very heavily populated Jewish state.  I'm surprised to hear that there are about 6,100 Jews in the state of only 1.8 million people, so Hagal probably has not met many or knows much about Jews.  His family, stemming from Catholic Poland and Germany,  could have even raised him without hearing kind words about Jews. He is now Episcopalian, but attitudes often linger.   He might even have this in mind thinking that legislators who might be friendly with AIPAC are doing so out of fear and not out of political conviction.  He has been most emphatic in saying, "I'm a US Senator, not an Israeli Senator," as he stated to US diplomat Aaron David Miller in 2006.  He told him he supported Israel but...but his first interest isn't Israel."  One could feel that he is thinking that Jews all have dual loyalty and is questioning that.  I might add that Jews should be involved more in the current events and past history of the problems Israel is facing and be more informed than others, but this isn't always the case.  For those of us who are such students, we will be supportive of Israel.  This doesn't mean we will turn against our home country, the USA.  He shouldn't have to worry.  Israel and the USA are still allies having common beliefs and goals in life.

Hagel served in Vietnam in the army infantry and became Sergeant from 1967-68, the same period of Israel Six Day War in 1967.  He was highly decorated.  When he returned home he became a radio newscaster and talk show host in Omaha while attending college using the GI Bill.  Then he was hired as a staffer for a congressman in Nebraska for 4 years, and then -as a real lobbyist for Firestone Tire and Rubber Co.  The next job was as an organizer for Ronald Reagan.  Following positions got him into the Veteran's Administration and becoming involved with the Agent Orange issue.  He concludes that we should have never been involved in Iraq and was highly against the Bush administration for that.   "In July 2006, Hagel criticized the Bush administration on its handling of the Israel-Lebanon issue saying "The sickening slaughter on both sides must end and it must end now. President Bush must call for an immediate cease-fire. This madness must stop"  I always note that no one ever speaks out against the Palestinians for bombarding Israel since 2001 with mortars, missiles and rockets, but let Israel finally and belatedly turn about and defend themselves  after warnings after warnings, and it's all ..."stop Israel."

There are situations that give us lots of pause about Mr. Hagel.  In 2002, two years after Yasser Arafat was offered a state by PM Ehud Barak at Camp David, after 457 Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks, Hagel said that "Israel must take steps to show its commitment to peace."    Not the Palestinians?  There is no one more interested or deserving of peace than Israel.  No one is more under the microscope than this tiny state of almost 6 million Jews and 1.4 million Arabs.  No one has been more hated because of religious bias than Jews.  For 2,000 years Jews have been without their homeland living under other's laws and being scapegoats in every situation.  Hagel has the audacity to remind Israel that they should show that they want peace?  Perhaps that's because in past dealings with the Palestinians, it has always been Israel who has given in to ceding land for peace.  Not once have the Palestinians ever given into anything important to Israel.  They have refused the opportunities offered to them since 1948 to have their own state.

He did it again in 2006 in his senate speech where he said, "The US and Israel must understand that it is not in their long-term interests to allow themselves to become isolated in the Middle East and the world."  The world has never been pro-Jews, as far as I can see.  History speaks of this.  The Holocaust is a good example as well.  The Middle East is made up mostly of 48-49 Muslim majority countries whose Islam religion has become radically against Jews to the point of their head religious leaders having fatwas to kill all Jews due to their newly found political dogma.  They're all for apartheid, exclusion of Jews, which they then turn around and accuse Jews of being.  Since they dominate much of the UN, there is no sense thinking they'll be better friends than Jordan has been.   At least Mubarak of Egypt was keeping the peace, but we saw to that, didn't we,  in not supporting him even vocally?  Now the Muslim Brotherhood, with a charter to destroy Israel, is at the helm with Morsi.  So who tipped the scales in Egypt?  Not Israel.  At least the Egyptians were getting lots of tourism coming from Israel to help their economy.

Obama, who disagreed with Netanyahu on camera over the 1967 border,  seems to be intent on choosing people that are not friendly with Israel.  Hagel is one.  John Kerry, Democrat, possible next Secretary of State,  is another.

Reference: Wall Street Journal, Stephens:  Chuck Hagel's Jewish Problem-"the would-be secretary of defense has some curious views" by Bret Stephens.
Added 12/19/12 from Front Page:

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