Obama considering incredibly anti-Israel Hagel for Defense Secretary
The former Nebraska senator and Vietnam veteran is considered the frontrunner to replace Leon Panetta and has been known to strongly criticize Israel and the pro-Israel lobby in the US, even calling support for Israel “madness.”
In 2009 he signed a paper urging President Barack Obama to advance a Hamas-Fatah unity government. Hagel also refused to be included in AIPAC’s statements of support of Israel. In a 2006 interview with veteran diplomat Aharon Miller he claimed that “the Jewish lobby” intimidates many Americans.
He has refused to call on the European Union to name Hezbollah – which has killed more Americans than any terrorist group in the world except al-Qaeda – as a terrorist organization. He condemned Israel for defending itself in the Second Lebanon War and said that Israel was harming America’s “true” close ally, Lebanon.
In his Wall Street Journal column, conservative journalist Bret Stephens wrote, “In 2002, a year in which 457 Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks, Mr. Hagel weighed in with the advice that ‘Israel must take steps to show its commitment to peace.’
“This was two years after Yasser Arafat had been offered a state by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David.”
He also opposes any sanctions against Iran and feels they have the right to develop nuclear weapons.