Jewish Groups Mobilize Against Chuck Hagel
Neocons say potential defense chief is anti-Israel
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Dec 19, 2012 2:39 PM CST
Chuck Hagel is seen in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

(Newser) – Neoconservatives have come out in force against rumored prospective Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, accusing him of being an enemy of Israel. "We will make sure every American knows he is an anti-Semite," a GOP Senate aide told the Weekly Standard last week. The controversy centers around a phrase the former Nebraska senator once uttered: "The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here." Bret Stephens at the Wall Street Journal yesterday decried Hagel's line as "the usual slur on Jewish-Americans: Dual loyalty" between Israel and the US.

A number of Jewish advocacy groups are urging Congress to oppose Hagel, the New York Times reports, hoping to scare the White House into picking someone else. But Dana Milbank at the Washington Post thinks the argument is overblown. In context, Hagel's remarks make sense—he was explaining why he didn't sign "stupid" letters from AIPAC. "I support Israel," he said. "But my first interest is I take an oath of office" to the US. Milbank thinks the attempt to discredit him is "particularly egregious" because Hagel is "among the best and bravest public servants," and "exactly the sort of person to head the Pentagon."

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Showing 3 of 72 comments
Dec 21, 2012 1:56 AM CST
Chuck Hagel is loathe to use a war option. Good for him! It's easy for Hagel's party to pick on him. Most of them have never been to war. Perhaps those Republicans would like to sign up for military duty to find out what war is about.
Dec 20, 2012 11:01 AM CST
If he is anti Israel, I hope he gets the job.
Dec 20, 2012 10:24 AM CST
Maybe Hagel is just being realistic. The Israelis are a rogue nation that rejects every sensible call for restraint and peace initiatives. I am in no way anti-Jewish and my many NY Jewish friends would agree. I am anti-genocidal Zionists that kill 100 arabs for every Israeli killed. Just look at the statistics over the past twenty years. The Israelis threaten all challengers with battle ready nuclear weapons. We need to cut all support for these racist aggressors. Vote for Hagel and a balanced approach to the constantly disrupted Mid East.