The Obama Administration has generated more animosity towards Israel than any in memory, and the nomination of Chuck Hagel to the position of secretary of defense will do little mend the fences that have been torn down regarding Israel.http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2013/January/Hagel-Nomination-Faces-Fight-over-Israel-Record/
Hagel’s record of being on the wrong side on issues as Iraq, Iran and Israel will be an interesting test for the upcoming confirmation hearings. Already both Republicans and Democrats have voiced their reservation on Hagel’s past positions that proved to be out of step with what the government was attempting to accomplish.
On Iran in July 2001, 96 senators voted to extend sanctions that were designed to halt Iran for acquiring nuclear capability. Only two senators voted against the measure and Hagel was one of them.
Hagel opposed the surge strategy in Iraq by calling the successful push “the most serious foreign policy blunder in this country since Viet Nam.”
On Israel Hagel said he wasn’t intimidated by what he called “the Jewish lobby” in Washington DC. He also opposes any military plan to keep Iran from achieving nuclear weapons.
There are many in both political parties that are concerned that a potential secretary of defense candidate could be so off the mark on many of the policies concerning defense that turned out to be on target.
Senator Lindsay Graham (R) of South Carolina said, “if confirmed Hagel would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense towards Israel in our nation’s history”. It matter little that Hagel was a republican senator. Hagel’s voting record showed little regard toward Israel.
Christians United for Israel is an extremely pro-Israel organization and is the largest action group in the United States, and the leadership of hundreds of delegates are in the nation’s capitol urging senators to reject Hagel based on his poor support of Israel.
President Barack Obama has personally endorsed Hagel by calling him “a true patriot”, however Obama’s comment revealed little on Hagel’s record on military strategy, particularly on Iraq, Iran or Israel.
Obama’s nomination of Hagel demonstrated that there’s not much concern with making Israel happy after several past missteps that have chilled relationships between the United States and Israel considerably. Relations between the historical allies have been the worst in memory.
With America’s effort to ensure Iran does not become a nuclear power, the position of secretary of defense will be a critical cog in the United States’ ongoing foreign policy.