Fast learner! Hagel’s 112 pages of advance answers contain one reference to Palestinians — firing rockets

on 23 Comments

A Senate Armed Services staffer tells me that Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing will be livestreamed at this address tomorrow morning starting at 9:30.

In the runup to the hearing, 112 pages of Hagel’s responses to “Advance Policy Questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee” have been released. The document includes no references to the peace process, and only one reference to Palestine or Palestinians:

I am proud of the work that the United States has done in support of the ballistic missile defense of Israel and, if confirmed, I will continue to support these efforts. Missile defense is a core area of U.S.-Israel joint cooperation. The importance of these efforts came to the forefront with Israel’s recent Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza. Throughout the eight days of the operation, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) launched over 1,506 rockets into Israel. Focusing only on these that posed a real threat to populated areas, Iron Dome intercepted 421 rockets with an overall intercept rate of approximately 85% – saving the lives of countless Israeli civilians. This highlights the importance of the work that the U.S. is doing with the Israelis on all layers of missile and rocket defense, and if confirmed, I will work to continue and expand this cooperation.

As I often say, Our politics are broken on this issue. There are many supportive references to Israel. John Donnelly at CQ’s executive briefing for defense had this to say about  Hagel’s answers:

He took a hard line on Iran and was supportive of Israel–an area where his past, relatively dovish statements have drawn flak from conservatives: ”I am committed to considering all options to counter Iran and its aggression, and to maintain U.S. support for missile defense systems in Israel. While there is time and space for diplomacy, backed by pressure, the window is closing.”

Jewish Democratic lawmakers are supporting Hagel, by and large. But opposition continues to come from Christian Zionists. The JTA says the push is coordinated by Christians United for Israel:

But conservative pro-Israel opposition remains fierce, bolstered by the pivotal role being played by Christians United For Israel, the Texas-based group founded by Pastor John Hagee.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the first senator to come out against Hagel’s nomination, did so at Hagee’s behest, both men revealed on Monday.

To be continued…

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23 Responses

  1. Scott
    January 30, 2013, 7:13 pm

    CUFI people who came to lobby versus Hagel
    on Monday -Tuesday had their hotels and transportation paid for by a mystery donor. I wonder whether the AIPAC lobbyists feel just a smidge jealous.

  2. James Canning
    January 30, 2013, 7:17 pm

    Perceptive comments. An honest and fair discussion of Israel/Palestine of course is simply not tolerated on Capitol Hill.

  3. Cliff
    January 30, 2013, 8:12 pm


    if this isn’t the best example of the state of American political culture vis a vis Israel and Zionism, i dunno what is

    he’s not even talking, it’s AIPAC/ADL/AJC/SWU/the GOI/etc. talking

  4. Real Jew
    January 30, 2013, 8:34 pm

    Lets hope Hagel has not changed his colors already and is just saying what needs to be said in order to secure his nomination. Im inclined to think the latter. His stances have been clearly stated and defended through out his career and im optimistic if elected he’ll stick to his guns

    • Boston
      January 31, 2013, 7:05 am

      Screw his nomination. If he really wanted to do some good for this nation and the world, he would come out swinging with the truth. Use the live feed to expose the Israel Lobby for what it is and what it does. Have a moment of “j’accuse”.

      • Real Jew
        January 31, 2013, 9:31 pm

        I agree, thats what he should’ve done. thats what everybody expected him to do and thats why we were all excited to hear his nomination. But as im sure your aware, his 180 turn is testament to how ridiculously pro israel the political culture in our country is.

        Personally id rather him do a little initial ass kissing to the lobby and his colleagues, who’s support he needs to get the job, then stand by his values when a serious situation is presented (military intervention wars ect). As opposed to a lobby puppet who you can bet will do whatever his “superiors” want. Just consider who the other candidates were for sec of def.

  5. pipistro
    January 30, 2013, 8:45 pm

    To be continued…

    That’s the problem.

    Nobody dreamed something like: “Well, first, maybe I’m a bit queer, but not willing to be blackmailed.” He’s really pretty quick, though.

  6. Rusty Pipes
    January 30, 2013, 9:35 pm

    The Religious Right did not have their troops well-martialed for the 2012 election for a variety of reasons (one of which was Baptist-Mormon “tension”). This may not be The one issue they would choose to galvanize around for the next four years, but they may perceive it, win or lose, as a chance to kick off the 2016 race (and vet budding politicians’ pandering skills). If someone else is willing to pay for it, even better.

  7. TC1995
    January 30, 2013, 10:50 pm

    The way I look at it, if Hagel has to hold his nose and run through the Zionist script to get confirmed, then *sigh*… so be it. Maybe I’m an optimist, but I do think he’s a principled enough guy to act based on his clearly stated positions when he is indeed in office. I’m as frustrated as everyone else that this nonsense is required to hold serious office in government, but sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war.

  8. CitizenC
    January 31, 2013, 12:56 am

    Stephen Sniegoski challenges the conventional wisdom that Hagel conceded substantially to the neocons in order for his nomination to proceed. He finds that such tactics conceal the deeper underlying struggle between the neocons and the realists. But note his view of Obama’s estimate of the Israel lobby as far more dangerous than the gun lobby and other forces he is taking on.

    A useful analogy is between the Nazis and the non-Nazi German conservatives in the 1930s. The conservatives are not allies in the class struggle, but they are in the medieval-modern struggle where Zionism and Nazism operate

  9. jimmy
    January 31, 2013, 7:59 am

    Over $1 million Spent on Anti-Hagel Advertising

    Anti-Hagel advertising — including tv and newspaper ads, website banner ads, and direct mailing — paid for by the American Future Fund (AFF), the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), Log Cabin Republicans, and Use Your Mandate brings the estimated total to over $1 million, according to Lobe Log’s research.

    This is how it breaks down so far:

    FCC disclosures reveal that television ad buys by Use Your Mandate and Americans for a Strong Defense totaled $109,700.

    The American Future Fund committed to $500,000 in anti-Hagel ad buys.

    ECI’s television commercials in the Washington, DC area cost an estimated $20,000.

    ECI’s January 15 full- page ad in the New York Times cost an estimated $140,000.

    The Log Cabin Republican December 27 full-page ad in the New York Times cost an estimated $140,000.

    The Log Cabin Republican’s January 7 ad in the Washington Post cost an estimated $70,000.

    Use Your Mandate’s direct mail campaign sent out 350,000 mailers at an estimated cost of $150,000.

    Use Your Mandate’s advertising on cost an estimated $5,000.

    The total adds up to an estimated $1,134,700.

    Kind of surprised NYT didnt run ads for free….ah yes but they still love money too

    • Les
      January 31, 2013, 12:05 pm

      The Times does not charge for the hasbara it daily publishes under the guise of news.

    • flyod
      January 31, 2013, 12:22 pm

      these dollars go a long way. it’s not only hagel that this campaign is directed at. want to hold office in the usa? best learn the rules. hagel as exhibit 1..

  10. jimmy
    January 31, 2013, 8:01 am

    it is really not to hard to see …who the enemies of humans are when you see this campaign to derail someone that doesnt care for …..war

  11. Citizen
    January 31, 2013, 8:20 am

    The confirmation hearing will be broadcast live on CSPAN today, at 9:30 AM EST.

    I imagine Hagel will be well-rehearsed to answer most if not all of the questions directed at him today in a way that satisfies those anxious that the status quo be continued with Hagel as Secretary Of State and intimate with the inner Obama. I think he’s agile enough to do so too and won’t look too much like the stiff Mitt Romney with a crash course in hasbara 101 chock full in his head, dancing woodenly to the Zionist Arthur Murray foot prints painted on the wax floor. He will be vetted the whole work day today. That’s a lot of grilling hours. I will be looking for how he handles a few really sly questions baited just so
    and followed up ASAP re scenarios involving Israel and Iran (a subclass issue of the Israel issue), the determining factor for votes needed for confirmation.

  12. Ramzi Jaber
    January 31, 2013, 8:27 am

    Phil, I hate to say I told you so!! AIPAC and the Zionist Lobby never lose.

  13. Citizen
    January 31, 2013, 12:03 pm

    Hagel was just told by Sen Mark Udal (D Col) US has a moral duty in behalf Israel. Hagel agreed. All the questioning in last 15 minutes has been about Israel.

  14. Citizen
    January 31, 2013, 12:15 pm

    Sen Roger Wicker ( R Mississippi) asking Hagen wrt his statement about “the Jewish Lobby.” And “They succeed in this town because of intimidation. which causes us to do dumb things. You have suggested US policy has been the wrong approach because of this lobby. Are You talking about AIPAC?”

    Hagel: “I have never been accused of political expedience; it’s probably got me into trouble. I said I regretted; I should have said ‘pro -Israel Lobby.’ The Much Too Promised Land discusses my position, and ther author, Miller, is Jewish, and he said much of what I’ve said has been taken out of context. He also says I am a strong supporter of Israel.
    I should have said ‘influenced’, not ‘intimidated’.

    • W.Jones
      February 1, 2013, 1:47 am

      “I should have said ‘influenced’, not ‘intimidated’ [because as this hearing shows, who could ever feel intimidated by it?]”

  15. Denis
    January 31, 2013, 12:43 pm

    I think you’re asking a bit much if you expect Hagel to stand up and wave the Palestinian flag during the nomination process.

    I’m watching the hearing as I write this. CH is certainly not balking at Zionist genuflection. You gotta’ do what ya’ gotta’ do. Inohfe and McCain are playing Israel’s bitches. If I was CH, I would have asked them both to confirm whether they are US senators or Israeli senators. That line has not come up yet. Too much attitude at the wrong time gets you no where.

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