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Monday, January 7, 2013

Senator Lindsey Graham Slams Chuck Hagel Appointment - The Chuck Hagel Nomination: The Nominee's Record

Senator Lindsey Graham
Source: Arutz Sheva
By Elad Benari

Chuck Hagel as the United States' Secretary of Defense would be "the most antagonistic Secretary of Defense toward the state of Israel" in U.S. history, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) charged on Sunday.

Speaking during CNN's "State of the Union" program, Graham called the former Republican Nebraska Senator an “in-your-face” nomination” and someone who is “out of the mainstream” of thinking on foreign policy issues.

President Barack Obama is set to nominate Hagel as Secretary of Defense on Monday or Tuesday, reports over the weekend indicated.

“Chuck Hagel, if confirmed to be the Secretary of Defense, would be the most antagonistic Secretary of Defense toward the state of Israel in our nation’s history," Graham told CNN.

“Not only has he said you should directly negotiate with Iran, sanctions won’t work, that Israel should directly negotiate with the Hamas organization, a terrorist group that lobs thousands of rockets into Israel, he also was one of 12 senators who refused to sign a letter to the European Union that Hizbullah should be designated as a terrorist organization," he added.

“He has long severed his ties with the Republican Party. This is an in-your-face nomination by the president," Graham said. "And it looks like the second term of Barack Obama is going to be an in-your-face term."

The Republican Jewish Coalition, along with countless others, has cited a long list of Hagel’s anti-Israel policies, asserting that his nomination would “be a slap in the face for every American who is concerned about the safety of Israel.”

Obama has defended Hagel's record, saying he "is somebody who has done extraordinary work both in the United States Senate, somebody who served this country with valor in Vietnam. And is somebody who's currently serving on my intelligence advisory board and doing an outstanding job."

Amnon Lord, a leading political commentator at the Makor Rishon and Maariv newspapers, opined Sunday that if Obama succeeds in appointing Hagel as Secretary of Defense, Israel will have to face Iran on its own.

"A guy like Chuck Hagel apparently intends to defend the shores of Florida and deploy Arrow and Iron Dome systems in Washington," he wrote sarcastically.

"If Hagel's appointment turns into reality, Israel is apparently on its own in the Iranian matter," Lord stated. "The defense establishment's long honeymoon with its American counterpart may also be over. And yet, the diplomatic warfare and economic sanctions are under the purview of the Secretary of State, and John Kerry will want to prove himself as an activist. So politically, it's not over yet."

The Chuck Hagel Nomination: The Nominee's Record

Source: Arutz Sheva
By Jerry Sobol

What is Chuck Hagel's record with regard to Israel and the Middle East? See below and decide if you want to do something about it.

Former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel is President Barack Hussein Obama's choice for the position of Secretary of Defense.

Here is the record I researched for the controversial nominee:
In 2009, Hagel signed a letter urging President Obama to begin direct negotiations with Hamas, a U.S. designated terrorist group committed in its Charter to the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews.

In 2008, Hagel was “solely responsible” for blocking an Iran sanctions bill (Seth Colter Walls, ‘Dems Blame Senate GOP For Blocking Iran Sanctions Bill,’ Huffington Post,March 10, 2008).

In a 2006 interview with former Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller, Hagel said that “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people” on Capitol Hill (‘Hagel named to intelligence board,’ Jewish Telegraphic Agency, October 29, 2009).

In August 2006, Hagel was one of only 12 Senators who refused to formally call upon the European Union to designate as a terrorist organization Hizballah, which in 1983 murdered 242 U.S. marines in Beirut ('NJDC Criticizes Senators for Refusing to Call on EU to add Hezbollah to List of Terrorist Organizations,' National Jewish Democratic Council press release, August 7, 2006).

In July 2006, at the outbreak of the Lebanon war, Hagel argued against giving Israel the time to break Hizballah, urging instead an immediate ceasefire (‘Key Republican breaks with Bush on Mideast,’, July 31, 2006).

December 2005: Hagel was one of only 27 senators who refused to sign a letter to President Bush urging him to pressure the Palestinian Authority (PA) to ban terrorist groups from participating in Palestinian legislative elections.

June 2004, Hagel refused to sign a letter urging President Bush to highlight Iran's nuclear program at the G-8 summit and was one of only two senators in to vote against renewal of the Libya-Iran sanctions act.

November 2001: Hagel was one of only 11 senators who refused to sign a letter urging President Bush not to meet with the late Yasser Arafat until his forces ended the violence against Israel.

In July 2001, Hagel was one of only two senators to vote against extending the original Iranian sanctions bill.

October 2000: Hagel was one of only four senators who refused to sign a Senate letter in support of Israel.

We are living in a great time. Unlike the not too distant past, when you had a gripe or a cause, the best you could do was get out a letter or write one to the editor. Today one person can instantaneously communicate with others.

It allows large groups of likeminded people to act in concert petitioning their Congressmen for or against a particular legislation or issue.

Such is the issue of potential Secretary of Defense. This is not your basic Democrat/Republican Tango. The Hagel nomination is a bipartisan issue. For friends of Israel it’s important that you locate the phone numbers of your state in the chart here. Leave a short message stating you oppose the Hagel nomination. if you agree
Reprinted, with some changes in order of presentation, from Israeli Advoate blog

Jerry Sobol - The writer has a B.A. Degree in 20th century European History and a Masters in International Relations from The City College of New York. He is a staunch Zionist and has been writing articles on Israel and Jewish concerns for 40 years, blogs at Israeli Advocate.

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