Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Military Space News .




WAR REPORT
Commentary: Hagel and the Israeli lobby
by Arnaud De Borchgrave
Washington (UPI) Jan 4, 2013


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

The vicious campaign to smear Chuck Hagel with an anti-Israel brush and deter U.S. President Barack Obama from nominating him to become the next defense secretary got rolling over year-end holidays.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee relied on the "neocons" and the right wing of the Republican Party to fire the first salvos by raising questions about Hagel's commitment to Israel's security.

The counterattack came fast and furious. Hundreds and then thousands of email messages and tweets followed by the heavy artillery of op-eds by the media commentariat. AIPAC had underestimated the scale of Hagel's media support.

The Jewish lobby countered with bigger guns. Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, questioned Hagel's credentials for the job of defense secretary.

This would indeed be a far cry from Israel's apogee at the U.S. Defense Department when an Israeli defense official once told his U.S. counterpart at the Pentagon, "Your job is to ship the goods and ours is to deliver Congress."

The angry U.S. general involved in the exchange wrote after he retired that the items requested were on a strictly prohibited for export list.

The New York Times' Tom Friedman, who is Jewish, wrote that it's the "Jewish" lobby for Israel that is challenging Hagel, which he calls "disgusting."

Hagel clearly has a huge following.

He is chairman of the Atlantic Council;

co-chairman of the president's Intelligence Board;

a member of the defense secretary's Policy Board;

a member of PBS' Board of Directors;

a distinguished professor in the Practice of National Governance at Georgetown University;

Hagel also racked up a lifetime rating of 84 percent from the American Conservative Union.

He was the first Republican to win a U.S. Senate seat in Nebraska in 24 years. In 2002 he won re-election to the Senate for a second term with 83 percent of the vote, the largest victory in any statewide race in Nebraska history.

In 1967-68, U.S. army sergeant at 21, infantry squad leader in the 9th Infantry Division, Hagel, wounded twice, received two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

Hagel went public with a taboo subject when he said the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people on Capitol Hill, and then added: "I am not an Israeli senator. I'm a U.S. senator."

He was never afraid to speak his mind. In November 2007, he rated the George W. Bush administration "the lowest in capacity, in capability, in consensus -- almost in every area of any presidency in the last 40 years."

In his 2008 book "America: Our Next Chapter -- Tough Questions, Straight Answers," Hagel wrote the U.S. should adopt independent leadership and possibly another political party."

Even though he was for the Iraq War at the beginning, he later described it as "one of the five biggest blunders in U.S. history."

Harvard Professor Stephen Walt wrote in Foreign Policy "the real meaning of the Hagel affair is what it says about the climate inside Washington. Simply put, the question is whether supine and reflexive support for all things Israeli remains a prerequisite for important policy decisions here in the Land of the Free."

Known by this reporter for the past two decades, Hagel has always been supportive of Israel and the U.S. commitment to defend it. But he has been highly critical of Israel's growing settlements in the West Bank, which he said is tantamount to annexation, making a Palestinian state impossible.

In September 1982, as Hagel resigned as deputy administrator for Veterans Affairs over his chief's budget cutting proposals, Israel invaded Lebanon to chase out Palestinian guerrillas and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. In Beirut, at first Israeli soldiers were greeted enthusiastically by the populace. Then disaster struck.

Israeli units had surrounded two Palestinian refugee camps known as Sabra and Shatila. Israeli flares illuminated the camps while Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia systematically slaughtered several hundred refugees (numbers vary from 800 to 3,500).

A U.N. commission pinned the blame on the Israelis for their failure to stop the killing. In 1983, an Israeli commission concluded the Israeli military knew what was going on and stood idly by.

Hagel has always supported the state of Israel and the U.S. commitment to defend it. His criticism has come over what he and many others deem to be the excesses of military occupation.

Hagel is also firmly against any bombing of Iran by the Israeli air force. But there he is not alone as three former Israeli intelligence chiefs -- Mossad, Shin Bet and the military -- who retired in 2011 have said such an action would be a tragic mistake.

Three former U.S. CENTCOM commanders who had the entire Middle East in their theater of operations concurred.

The Hagel controversy is all about Israel and the far-right Likud party agenda -- and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's barely concealed hostility toward U.S. President Barack Obama and contempt for Hagel.

The AIPAC-orchestrated campaign via its neo-conservative yeomanry is now the hot favorite among odds-makers. But then there is the unknown among unknowns -- and the unknown unknowns

It is still AIPAC vs. Obama and the odds-on favorite? AIPAC.

Surrounded by a two-year civil war in Syria, an Islamist dictatorship in Egypt, a bitter enemy in Gaza, and an increasingly shaky monarchy in Jordan, deciding what's best for Israel will be done in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, Israel's economy is thriving in a global economic meltdown. The Jewish state's 2009-12 economic growth of 14.7 percent leads all the advanced countries of the world, followed by Australia with 10.7; Canada 4.8; United States 3.2; Germany 2.7; France 0.3; European Union minus 1.5 percent.

Undeterred by Israel's dangerous geographic neighborhood, 2.9 million tourists came to Israel in 2012 -- a 100,000 increase over 2011.

.


Related Links






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WAR REPORT
Protest against Iraq PM blocks highway to Syria, Jorda
Ramadi, Iraq (AFP) Dec 23, 2012
About 2,000 Iraqi protesters, demanding the ouster of premier Nuri al-Maliki, blocked on Sunday a highway in western Iraq leading to Syria and Jordan, an AFP correspondent reported. The protesters, including local officials, religious and tribal leaders, turned out in Ramadi, the capital of Sunni province of Anbar, to demonstrate against the arrest of nine guards of Finance Minister Rafa al- ... read more


WAR REPORT
Patriot missile troops in Turkey as Syria war worsens

NATO begins deploying Patriot missiles in Turkey

NATO to deploy Patriots in Turkey over next few weeks

U.S. seeks double Israel missile funding

WAR REPORT
Thatcher 'warned France to cut off Exocets in Falklands war'

Raytheon awarded $254.6 million for Tomahawk missile

NATO says Syria regime firing 'Scud-style missiles'

Raytheon awarded contract for SM-2 production

WAR REPORT
US drone strike kills Pakistani warlord: officials

US drone strike kills Pakistani warlord: officials

Iran claims shooting down two US-made RQ-11 drones

Elbit Systems Israel Ministry of Defense Approximately $315 Million

WAR REPORT
China opens its version of GPS to public

Raytheon's US Navy satellite terminals reach Full Rate Production milestone

General Dynamics' 30,000th Combat Search and Rescue Radio Goes to Work for USAF

Europe launches major British military satellite

WAR REPORT
Fused Reality: Blending Reality and Simulation

Russia may soon draft new law on military service for women

Supacat opens Australian design facility

NGC Provides Attitude Heading Reference For Sikorsky's S-76D Helicopter

WAR REPORT
Iraq's seen as major arms buyer by 2020

Pentagon welcomes fiscal deal, warns against cuts

US military braces for sweeping budget cuts

Saudi mulls German tank deal: report

WAR REPORT
Ukraine to tackle frozen conflicts at OSCE

China denies rejecting New York Times journalist visa

Clinton 'raring' to be back at desk next week

Outside View: 10, 9, 8, 7 ..........?

WAR REPORT
Oh, Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree

Britain to fund graphene research efforts

Synthetic and biological nanoparticles combined to produce new metamaterials

Nanocrystals Not Small Enough to Avoid Defects




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement