Elliott Abrams calls Chuck Hagel an anti-Semite

Israel/Palestine
on 48 Comments

It’s happening. The Hagel nomination is fostering a discussion of Israel policy. Well, the start of one anyway. But it turns out you’re only supposed to be for Israel.

Hagel has denied that he doesn’t love Israel. From Politico:

Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, told the Lincoln Journal-Star he had been “hanging out there in no-man’s land unable to respond to charges, falsehoods and distortions” without the ability to respond while Republicans and foreign policy hawks “completely distorted” his record on Iran and Israel. There is “not one shred of evidence that I’m anti-Israeli, not one [Senate] vote that matters that hurt Israel,” Hagel said. 

But so what if he isn’t pro-Israel? The Institute for Middle East Understanding sent out two smart statements, from Yousef Munayyer of the Palestine Center and Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada, on this score.

Munayyer: ‘The most disturbing thing about the debate over Chuck Hagel’s nomination has been the “pro-Israel” framing. Instead of responding to allegations that Hagel is not “pro-Israel” enough by directly refuting them, the proper reaction should be to ask, “so what if he isn’t?” The notion that cabinet officials must be sufficiently pro-Israel to be appointable is one of the reasons the rest of the world doubts our ability to evenhandedly mediate Israeli-Palestinian peace.’

Abunimah:‘To understand how extraordinary this obsession with Israel is, just imagine the uproar if any senator raised objections to a US cabinet nominee over, say their “commitment” to Canada, France or Turkey, even though those countries, unlike Israel, are actually NATO allies.

All Things Considered just aired a segment featuring Elliott Abrams of the Council on Foreign Relations (who lied to Congress during Iran-Contra), saying that Chuck Hagel appears to be an anti-Semite, for a pattern of comments, about the Jewish lobby and Israel. Host Melissa Block challenged Abrams:

Block: You consider him to be an anti-Semite?

Abrams: I think if you look at the statements by Hagel and then you look at the statements by the Nebraksa Jewish community, about his unresponsiveness to them, his dismissal of them, his hostility to them, I don’t understand really how you can reach any other conclusion, that he seems to have some kind of problem with Jews.

Abrams offered as evidence of anti-Semitism, Hagel’s suggestion that supporters of Israel are not loyal to the United States. Interesting issue. Hagel said to Aaron David Miller:

‘I’m a United States senator. I’m not an Israeli senator. I support Israel, but my first interest is I take an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States, not to a president, not to a party, not to Israel.”

But Abrams wrote in his book Faith or Fear (1997)

Outside the land of Israel, there can be no doubt that Jews, faithful to the covenant between God and Abraham, are to stand apart from the nation in which they live. It is the very nature of being Jewish to be apart–except in Israel–from the rest of the population….

I wish Melissa Block asked Abrams what he meant by that (I tried to ask him when he was in the Bush White House; he never responded). And boy, look at the comments at NPR below. People aren’t on Abrams’s side.

Bob Potter • an hour ago So I guess every person who doesn’t 100% approve of the actions of Israel’s government is an anti-Semite. I guess I’m an anti-Semite too, then.

chuck thompson 38 minutes ago Indeed. I was about to say something very similar. If disagreeing with aggressive Israeli policy, particularly where foreign policy and building settlements are concerned, constitutes antisemitism, then America is far more antisemitic than I ever imagined…. including, I guess, myself.

Zach Stewart • 43 minutes ago Seriously, the charge of “antisemitism” gets thrown at those critical of Israel’s right-wing so much these days, it is starting to not mean anything anymore. With all of his Iran-Contra baggage, Abrams isn’t exactly the go-to guy for smart foreign policy advice either.

Ben Townsend • 4 minutes ago − I listened to the comments from Mr. Abrams with an increasing sense of incredulity. As he attacked Mr. Hagel for being soft on Iran, I could not help but remember that Mr. Abrams himself conspired with others in the Reagan administration to sell US missiles secretly to Iran, in violation of US law. It concerned me that NPR did not note his background more accurately in the story.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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48 Responses

  1. Les
    January 7, 2013, 6:57 pm

    All Things Considered has 11 comments, all unfavorable to Abrams.

  2. chinese box
    January 7, 2013, 6:58 pm

    Ridiculous.

    Behold the new McCarthyism: accusing people (baselessly) of anti-semitism.

  3. American
    January 7, 2013, 7:03 pm

    ‘Instead of responding to allegations that Hagel is not “pro-Israel” enough by directly refuting them, the proper reaction should be to ask, “so what if he isn’t?”
    >>>>

    That should be the proper reaction. That reaction gaining traction is the way to begin to walk back the politicos getting away with selling US foreign policy to foreign interest groups in the US.

  4. Tzombo
    January 7, 2013, 7:08 pm

    “The notion that cabinet officials must be sufficiently pro-Israel to be appointable is one of the reasons the rest of the world doubts our ability to evenhandedly mediate Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

    We don’t doubt. There’s no room for doubt, really.

  5. American
    January 7, 2013, 7:12 pm

    Your predictions may be coming true Phil….the Israel issue looks like it’s making to the public after all.
    On the msnbc news segment on Hagel tonight they put up his statement below and played the video clip of that speech.

    “‘I’m a United States senator. I’m not an Israeli senator. I support Israel, but my first interest is I take an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States, not to a president, not to a party, not to Israel.”

    I’d call that a big step. I can’t remember ever, before this Hagel fight, anyone on a msm regular news program allowing anything to suggest that literally everyone especially our leadership didn’t support Israel totally.

    • Les
      January 7, 2013, 7:55 pm

      You can bet former Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Charles Schumer would never make such a statement to their constituents.

    • ToivoS
      January 7, 2013, 8:09 pm

      It is important that nbc is putting that quote out there. Lindsay Graham is right — that is a big in your face statement for any Israel firster. Implicitly, the President of the US just endorsed the man that made that statement. Now I do hope that millions of Americans will notice.

    • W.Jones
      January 8, 2013, 1:54 am

      I still think it’s comical that Netanyahu gave his speech to the Senate and every senator applauded everything he said no matter how ridiculous or biased almost 30 times. And that he talked about democracy and a young lady got beat up in the room for protesting him.
      LOLZ

      Even Stalin would have had protestors taken outside before being sent to Siberia. Plus, I expect applause sometimes waited to the end.

    • tree
      January 8, 2013, 2:58 pm

      I’d call that a big step.

      I’d call it an even bigger one. Of course,the fact that one even has to point out that Senators are not elected to serve Israel shows the sorry state of our present political discourse, but I find the other elements of Hagel’s statement to be just as refreshing and important to acknowledge.

      …my first interest is I take an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States, NOT to a president, NOT to a party …

      …and Hagel has shown some of that independence in bucking his party and President when he opposed the Iraq “surge” in 2007, and when he called for an immediate ceasefire to save civilian lives during the 2006 Israel-Labanon War when both his President (Bush) and his party (Republican) was against a ceasefire. I’m mildly optimistic that he will carry that independence and concern for the Constitution forward into his new role, but aware that the lot and legacy of politicians is to disappoint.

  6. Rusty Pipes
    January 7, 2013, 8:34 pm

    In writing fiction, when creating a character, it is more effective to show than tell. For example, rather than describing a character as paranoid, showing the character responding to other characters and the environment with paranoia. Rather than making a speech about the tactics and influence of the Israel Lobby, Obama has given the Israel Lobby a platform to display its tactics and influence in broad daylight. All without saying a word against them. The American public can draw its own conclusions.

    • Philip Weiss
      January 7, 2013, 9:25 pm

      Here’s hoping you’re right Rusty

      • Brewer
        January 8, 2013, 1:13 am

        Hear hear and, dammit, hear again. After a thousand disappointments I don’t usually allow myself to hope for “turning points” but, dammit, tonight, a bottle of wine and thinking the thought will be great. Maybe what my associate predicted about second term might just be correct.

    • radii
      January 7, 2013, 9:44 pm

      I think the American public has drawn the conclusion already that israel is a problem and the 70% Jewish support for Obama in the election and Obama’s confidence in nominating Hagel are evidence. American Jews declared with that vote that they are Americans first. The American public overall wants israel put in their place … israel and their lobby will not dictate to us what wars we fight and if American Fifth Columnists are for israel-first they will now be publicly called out for it.

  7. Ramzi Jaber
    January 7, 2013, 8:48 pm

    Watch out for the aipac 1-2 punch since they see they are losing: one punch supports and one punch attacks. Just like I predicted:

    - BOX Sen. Hagel in as an anti-semite
    - Force him to OVER-COMPENSATE “not one shred of evidence that I’m anti-Israeli”
    - Then the UNSHAKEABLE support statement follows

    Here we go again………

  8. jimmy
    January 7, 2013, 8:56 pm

    I have one more suggestion for all that are tried on the US congress falling all over themselves for the Israelis

    write scathing letters to them… like graham and ask them to resign and move to their favorite country…seeing that dont care about the USA….

    maybe someone that knows how could actually make a fake ..one way ticket to isreal and show their US passport canceled

  9. atime forpeace
    January 7, 2013, 9:03 pm

    Arnaud DeBorchgrave had this to say this morning writing for united press international.

    “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.”

    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.

    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.”

  10. piotr
    January 7, 2013, 9:17 pm

    Sadly, the fact that Hagel can survive while spouting nonsense “my first interest is I take an oath of office …” is because Americans cannot reconcile themselves with the said truth that our Founding Fathers were idiots: “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world”: it was George Washington’s Farewell Address to us. The inaugural pledge of Thomas Jefferson was no less clear: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations—entangling alliances with none.”

    More subtle minds can grasp that this “wisdom” is sorely obsolete. Commerce with Iran? Friendship? Why not war! And what is this fetish about being honest? But try to tell it to simple people in Nebraska.

  11. American
    January 7, 2013, 9:31 pm

    ”Outside the land of Israel, there can be no doubt that Jews, faithful to the covenant between God and Abraham, are to stand apart from the nation in which they live. It is the very nature of being Jewish to be apart–except in Israel–from the rest of the population….”‘

    I had seen this quote from Abrams books before. I would also like to hear him have to say what he meant by this. The stand apart ”from the nation in which they live” is straight out of the old canards. I could see maybe saying stand apart from ‘ other poeple’ or other people’s cultures, like some Quaker or other religious sect….but apart from the nation?…and he was involved in the nation’s government? Freaky.

  12. jimmy
    January 7, 2013, 9:38 pm

    hey elliot ..what do ya think of these people

    1. NEW YORK — Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting in New York that the new GOP majority in the House will “serve as a check” on the Obama administration, a statement unusual for its blunt disagreement with U.S. policy delivered directly to a foreign leader.

    “Eric stressed that the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the Administration and what has been, up until this point, one party rule in Washington,” read a statement from Cantor’s office on the one-on-one meeting. “He made clear that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other.”

    And Michelle Bachman’s take…
    ” I am convinced in my heart and in my mind that if the United States fails to stand with Israel, that is the end of the United States . . . [W]e have to show that we are inextricably entwined, that as a nation we have been blessed because of our relationship with Israel, and if we reject Israel, then there is a curse that comes into play. And my husband and I are both Christians, and we believe very strongly the verse from Genesis [Genesis 12:3], we believe very strongly that nations also receive blessings as they bless Israel. It is a strong and beautiful principle.

    According to Sen Graham Hagel is an enemy of Israel…..

    Senator Lindsey Graham was more blunt in his opposition to Hagel on CNN. The South Carolina Republican called Hagel an “in your face nomination,” and said he “would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense towards the state of Israel in our nation’s history.”

    and this

    But some Israeli sources have said they don’t care too much about Hagel’s views on Israel – US policy towards Israel won’t fundamentally change with or without him. They are primarily concerned about his less belligerent views on Iran.

    But the Israeli’s would be upset about virtually any nominee on those grounds, given the fact that the Netanyahu government went so far as to consider provoking unnecessary war with Iran in an attempt to indirectly drag the US into bombing Iran.

    It’s interesting to note that members of Congress like Lindsey Graham are more loyal to Israel even after it tried to surreptitiously drag the US into war, than they are to a longtime member of their own party.

  13. radii
    January 7, 2013, 9:39 pm

    In American football parlance what Obama did was a pump-fake* – it freezes the defense. By nominating Hagel at this time, when MSNBC feels they can air the Hagel “I’m not an israeli senator” clip, Obama has effectively frozen his opposition – and exposed them. They are all caught flat-footed for a moment and are now a step or two behind his offense. Now people like felon Elliot Abrams are caught like a deer-in-the-headlights awaiting the inevitable touchdown to follow since they can not block or intercept it.
    *also used in LaCrosse to freeze a goalie

  14. Klaus Bloemker
    January 7, 2013, 11:14 pm

    The US problem with Israel manifests itself in the ‘United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’ in Washington. – Why does the US have a memorial for the victims of a crime commited by Germany (and its collaborators) during WW2?
    The Holocaust crimes were none of America’s business.

    The establishment of this Holocaust Museum laid the groundwork for the moral
    anti-Semite (=Nazi) attacks against critics of Israel and the Israel/Jewish lobby.

    • lysias
      January 8, 2013, 10:54 am

      D.C. still has no Slavery Museum, no Museum of the Genocide of the American Indians.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 8, 2013, 12:22 pm

        “D.C. still has no Slavery Museum, no Museum of the Genocide of the American Indians.”
        ————————-
        Does it have a Memorial for the slave laborers of the Soviet Gulags?
        Well, America wasn’t in the business of running Gulags in Siberia.
        Why should it have a memorial for these people?

      • Kratoklastes
        January 8, 2013, 5:17 pm

        I think you missed Lysias’ point, Klaus Bloemker: to the extent that memorials of sympathy or contrition for genocide are desirable, it would make far more sense for the US government to erect them for the victims of its own programs of extermination and oppression. In other words, he’s on the same page as you, but making the point more directly.

        Not only did the US government play no significant part in the actions of the German government’s behaviour during WWII (therefore owing nothing to the victims of the German government)… far worse, there are uncompensated descendants of the unmemorialised victims of the US government’s own campaigns of race-hate and genocide.

  15. andrew r
    January 7, 2013, 11:46 pm

    Abunimah:‘To understand how extraordinary this obsession with Israel is, just imagine the uproar if any senator raised objections to a US cabinet nominee over, say their “commitment” to Canada, France or Turkey, even though those countries, unlike Israel, are actually NATO allies.

    Although the obsession with Israel is extraordinary, it’s not really that inexplicable. Canada, France and Turkey aren’t going anywhere; Israel is under danger of decolonization which is portrayed in popular media as “destruction.” They aren’t talking about Palestinian refugees migrating back to rebuild their old villages; the Arabs are being likened to Nazis who want to destroy a Jewish country for racist or religious reasons.

    It’s a package deal: US military intervention is always against a bad guy, because it defeated the bad guys in WWII. And since Israel was created by their victims, whom we can take the credit for saving, it’s part of constructing that narrative. Now, Israel and the US have a common enemy: Arab regimes allied with the Soviet Union one day and Islamic terrorists the next. And of course rogue states who sponsor terrorism and happen to be developing WMDs.

    The obsession with Israel is really self-love, as it’s part of the ritual of reliving the Glory Days over and over. Given the general apathy or outright approval of US military killings across western Asia, I’d expect with Hagel the Obama administration will continue to be what it was.

    • Boston
      January 8, 2013, 8:11 am

      “The obsession with Israel is really self-love, as it’s part of the ritual of reliving the Glory Days over and over”.

      Nope. It is due to a decades long propaganda campaign aimed at the American public and, more importantly, a bribery/blackmail hi-jacking of the US Congress by the Lobby

  16. Brewer
    January 8, 2013, 1:23 am

    Maybe time to review one of the seminal articles on Abrams and the Israel first obsession. If anyone hasn’t read it, please do and realize that Abrams learned nothing from Iran/Contra.
    The Gaza Bombshell.
    link to vanityfair.com

  17. eGuard
    January 8, 2013, 3:16 am

    Writes NYT, editorial: The opponents [neocons, hard-line pro-Israel interest groups and some Republican senators] are worried that Mr. Hagel will not be sufficiently in lock step with the current Israeli government
    link to nytimes.com? Such bad writing, it must be covering some thruth.

    First check how NYT squeezes in “current” Israeli govt. Just to be safe later on? Obama starts Sunday January 20th (formally, inauguration celebrated Monday 21st), his new cabinet to follow. And on Tuesday 22 January: Israel chooses. NYT, Hagel’s job will have no overlap with current Israeli government.

    And what does that “lock step” mean? If any “lock step” is required, written this way, Israel setting the pace and US is to follow. NYT says: the US defense secretary is to follow Israel.

  18. HPH
    January 8, 2013, 3:16 am

    I looked at the comments at the NPR site. At this time, there are 52 comments. All express various forms of antipathy towards Elliott Abrams. Furthermore, the NPR news-slanters, such as Robert Siegel, could learn that some of the antipathy also targets NPR.

  19. eGuard
    January 8, 2013, 5:06 am

    This is from the NPR transcript, quite in the beginning.

    ABRAMS: There’s an incident [in 1990] where he’s trying to close down the USO site in Haifa, Israel, where a lot of American ships were visiting. And he says to the Jewish organization that is trying to keep it open: Let the Jews pay for it. There’s a pattern here and it’s a very troubling pattern.

    BLOCK: The comment that you attribute the Chuck Hagel, about the USO in Haifa, did not come directly from Chuck Hagel, is that correct? It was through someone who was talking to a reporter, paraphrasing what she said Chuck Hagel had told her.

    ABRAMS: It is what she said Chuck Hagel had told her, that’s right.

    The story was (1) published January 3, 2013 4:51 pm, (2) debunked by HuffPo Steve Clemons on 01/06/2013 9:54 pm, and (3) later copied by Abrams into his post at Jan 7, 2013, 12:00 am. link to huffingtonpost.com

    So the very first “proof” of Hagel being anti-Semitic was already dead & buried when Abrams mentioned it on NPR. And the interviewer, Melissa Block, hit him with that.

  20. bijou
    January 8, 2013, 9:12 am

    Here is a great comment from the NPR site:

    Eliot Abrams is 100% correct. How dare Hagel say he is a US senator, not an Israeli senator? That is anti-Semitic.

    Sure, Eliot Abrams was involved with selling US arms to Iran, and lied to Congress about US-sponsored death squads in Central America, but the important thing is that Chuck Hagel doesn’t want to bomb Iran back to the Stone Age, so that’s both anti-Semitic and imprudent.

    More like this please!

  21. seafoid
    January 8, 2013, 9:52 am

    Every time the bots call someone an antisemite the word loses another fraction of its power.

    • RoHa
      January 8, 2013, 9:18 pm

      They seem to be intent on making it a badge of honour!

      Stand up for truth, justice, decency, and you are an anit-Semite.

  22. pipistro
    January 8, 2013, 11:07 am

    Playing the anti-Semite card, these days, is turning from plainly preposterous into sickening. I think the world (at least, part of) should look forward to the moment US Jewry will generally hold off people like Eliot Abrams. I can’t define Jewish identity – I’m not able to – but reading opinions like “it is the very nature of being Jewish to be apart–except in Israel–from the rest of the population”, is definitely disgusting.
    How much I’d like seeing everyone widely take a stand on this. Singling out him, while saying: he’s out of it. To begin with. Then we could keep on talking of equality – be it one, two or three states – in Palestine.

    “The rest of the world doubts our ability to evenhandedly mediate Israeli-Palestinian peace.” (Munayyer)

    Indeed.

    • pabelmont
      January 8, 2013, 12:08 pm

      “It is the very nature of being Jewish to be apart–except in Israel–from the rest of the population….”

      What’s this “except in Israel” stuff? In Israel, are not the Jews apart from the rest (the Palestinians, the African laborers and refugees) (to say nothing of the Ashkenazis setting themselves apart from the Mizrahis, Ethiopeans, etc.) ??

      • Mooser
        January 8, 2013, 12:55 pm

        “It is the very nature of being Jewish to be apart–except in Israel–from the rest of the population….”

        That’s it, just invert reality! Whatever it takes to get the Ziocaine flowing.
        However, I do thank Mr. Abrams for his being Jewish nature, and keeping himself austerely aloof from US politics. Like my Rabbi always said, ‘you keep your nose and your yad buried in Torah, and you’ll stay out of trouble’. If only I had heeded his wise advice!

      • pipistro
        January 8, 2013, 12:57 pm

        1) I got it.
        2) This entails that one knows the “very nature of being Jewish”, and, above all, the relevant divide among Jews and all the others.
        3) Isn’t it a bit anti-Semitic? Well, I thought we were all of the same human kind.
        4) Isn’t it better start from the latter assumption? At least in order to bring peace among the different peoples. (And we risk to go definitely off topic, insofar as Elliot Abrams seems not too concerned about this.)
        5) Someone should underline point 3 to Abrams.

      • eljay
        January 8, 2013, 2:08 pm

        >> What’s this “except in Israel” stuff? In Israel, are not the Jews apart from the rest … (to say nothing of the Ashkenazis setting themselves apart from the Mizrahis, Ethiopeans, etc.) ??

        Though they may be apart physically in Israel, they remain united in spirit / culture / tribe / collective / nation by virtue of being in the Jewish State of the Promised Land of Greater Israel – the Land Cleansed Of People To Make Room For People From Other Lands.

      • tree
        January 8, 2013, 3:47 pm

        You’ve got a good point there. But I suspect that Abrams can’t admit that most Jews in Israel, where they are the dominant force, choose to “be apart”. It goes against the victim narrative that he seeks to cultivate.

      • seafoid
        January 8, 2013, 5:24 pm

        Naftali Bennett is going to be the star of the Israeli election.
        Let’s see AIPAC spin that. He wants to annex 60% of the West Bank. Great advertisement for Jewish peacemaking. Super. Most popular with the under 30s because he’s “clean”.

        link to thedailybeast.com

        So Israelis want to move on beyond Oslo. They don’t understand the protection Oslo gives them. It’s like demolishing one of the supporting walls of your house to let more air in. WTF.

  23. weindeb
    January 8, 2013, 11:07 am

    The very fact that Elliot Abrams is associated with the Council on Foreign Relations should tell you something about the Council. This vile man, absolutely awash in Central American blood, is a liar and a cheat, treasonous in defying a Congressional ruling (the Bohlen Amendment), and an escapee from prison through a foolish Presidential pardon from Bush elder. And this is the person attacking former Senator Hagel. Incredible! Elliot Abrams is a cynic of proven disloyalty to this country who continues to thirst for the blood of others. The man’s a walking emetic.

    • tree
      January 8, 2013, 3:42 pm

      You’re being much too kind to Abrams, and giving emetics a bad name. Abrams is a prime example of the utter sickness of what passes for political thought in our country.

  24. seafoid
    January 8, 2013, 12:32 pm

    “Outside the land of Israel, there can be no doubt that Jews, faithful to the covenant between God and Abraham, are to stand apart from the nation in which they live”

    And dropping half a billion dollars of munitions of Gaza in one week is consistent with the covenant with God, is it ?

  25. Rania
    January 8, 2013, 7:19 pm

    From today’s issue of The Onion:

    link to theonion.com

  26. Carowhat
    January 9, 2013, 1:22 am

    If the senate fails to confirm Hagel for not loving Israel enough, Obama should nominate Benjamin Netanyahu for the post. This way we won’t end up with a Secretary of Defense who is torn between the neocon requirement to always put Israel first and the human desire to be loyal to the country of one’s birth.

  27. doug
    January 9, 2013, 9:33 am

    Laura Rozen writes in “The Back Channel”

    Abrams, the former Bush White House Middle East advisor, called Hagel an anti Semite in an interview with NPR’s All Things Considered. The accusation was widely lambasted on social media sites after the interview aired. Asked by Al-Monitor what evidence he has to support his accusation, Abrams did not respond.

    Abrams’ wife Rachel Abrams is a founding board member of the Emergency Committee for Israel, a Bill Kristol–led, GOP group at the center of the anti-Hagel campaign. ECI previously ran TV ads against President Obama’s 2012 reelection.

    Read more: link to backchannel.al-monitor.com

    Abrams is a laughingstock on Rozen’s twitter feed.

  28. seafoid
    January 10, 2013, 10:13 am

    So Eliot Abrams calling Hagel an antitermite didn’t cut the mustard.

    que sorpresa !

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