Could the Israel lobby’s unending battle to stop Hagel hurt the lobby?

on 38 Comments

I thought the Chuck Hagel battle was over, that Chuck Schumer saying Hagel “convinced me he had changed his views” on Israel meant that the nomination is a slam dunk. But The New York Times reports that “secret donors” are financing the fight against Chuck Hagel on the right, and they don’t care if they lose. The Times downplays the Israel lobby angle, but it’s in there:

Sheldon Adelson.. is so invested in the fight over Mr. Hagel that he has reached out directly to Republican Senators to urge them to hold the line against his confirmation, which would be almost impossible to stop against six Republican “yes” votes and a unified Democratic caucus.

Given the more than $100 million he donated to the anti-Obama effort last year, no lawmakers need to be reminded of his importance to their future endeavors. People briefed on his involvement said Mr. Adelson, chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation and a longtime supporter of Israel, was calling in conjunction with the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group he has financed for several year…

“This is the first big cabinet fight since Bolton,” said Michael Goldfarb, a strategist for a conservative group opposed to Mr. Hagel called the Emergency Committee for Israel and a founder of a conservative Web site called The Washington Free Beacon, which is running a steady stream of anti-Hagel news articles.


The Times also reports that a mysterious group called Use Your Mandate that is attacking Hagel for his anti-gay slurs of years gone by (which he has apologized for) has a connection to the Emergency Committee for Israel.

Even if the groups lose, the Times reports, they will make sure that Obama spends a lot of political capital. Translation: he will have to make a lot of promises to pro-Israel groups.

I wonder if this strategy will work. Going after Hagel could hurt the lobby. Two items. First, a great cartoon at Politico by Matt Wuerker is pretty direct:


Matt Wuerker at Politico
Matt Wuerker at Politico


And then, remember what Adelson stands for? NBC News:

But while Adelson and Gingrich have bonded on the issue of a hawkish Mideast policy, especially over the threat of a nuclear Iran, some of the casino mogul’s comments could prove embarrassing.  In a talk to an Israeli group in July, 2010, Adelson said he wished he had served in the Israeli Army rather than the U.S. military—and that he hoped his young son would come back to Israel and “be a sniper for the IDF,” a reference to the Israel Defense Forces. (YouTube video of speech)  “I am not Israeli. The uniform that I wore in the military, unfortunately, was not an Israeli uniform.  It was an American uniform, although my wife was in the IDF and one of my daughters was in the IDF … our two little boys, one of whom will be bar mitzvahed tomorrow, hopefully he’ll come back– his hobby is shooting — and he’ll come back and be a sniper for the IDF,” Adelson said at the event.

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38 Responses

  1. yourstruly
    January 27, 2013, 1:01 pm

    today’s LA Times

    “Mahony legacy among Latinos may be tarnished’ –

    the pope?

    no longer infallible?

    justice for palestine?

    no longer impossible?

  2. traintosiberia
    January 27, 2013, 2:09 pm

    SChumer is saying in essence that he and Adelson have same concern and same projects.Its all about Israel. But he has convinced himself that Hagel is good for Israel while Adelson hasn’t be able to veer round to that view. Its not democracy or transparency or patriotism at play here . Even the identical twins don’t have same pulse and blood pressure every day.Even the sons and daughters have different ideas how to best manage the health and estate of ailing fathers . Nobody should fool themselves that Charles Schumer any less guilty than Adelson is . Support for Hagel in future runs the risk of being interpreted as the weakening of the Lobby.It is not. Support by Schumer runs the risk of being interpreted as an example of loyalty to American interest rather than to Israel by self proclaimed Zionist . It is not.

  3. American
    January 27, 2013, 2:20 pm

    I just want the I -Firsters to keep it up….let out all the stops..make the fight even bigger. Louder boys, louder, louder!

  4. yonah fredman
    January 27, 2013, 2:55 pm

    Obviously this headline is confusing. The Israel lobby has decided to give Hagel a pass. The right wing of the Israel lobby has decided to make a stink about him despite their realization that it is a lost battle. To say, “The Israel lobby’s unending battle to stop Hagel” is to lie. The Israel lobby, as in, the mainstream of the lobby, is not battling to stop Hagel. There is an element within the lobby that is doing unending battle. That element is hurting the lobby as a whole, pursuing a lost cause.

    “Could the extremist/republican wing of the Israel lobby’s unending battle to stop Hagel hurt the lobby as a whole”, would be the accurate headline.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 27, 2013, 4:53 pm

      yonah, just because the lobby announced 50 times in a week they’re staying out of this fight doesn’t mean they are. it just means they want us to think they are.

      Israel advocates with past ties to AIPAC are all over the smear Hagel campaign

      • yonah fredman
        January 27, 2013, 5:22 pm

        Israel, as in Bibi, has decided not to fight Hagel. Part of the Israel lobby has decided to make the confirmation difficult. They will not stop it. But like the Jews for Romney campaign that failed, they feel putting up a fight has value within itself, that will pay off in the long run.

        This is part of the problem with the term Israel lobby.
        Adelson is not the Israel lobby, the neo conservatives per se are not the Israeli lobby. They are part of the lobby. A very specific part of the lobby. Not the mainstream of the lobby.

        Schumer is a senator and the mainstream of the lobby. Dershowitz is the mainstream of the lobby. Adelson is not.

        Bibi opposed Obama and supported Romney. The lobby did not oppose Obama and support Romney. Koch is mainstream lobby and being independent of the lobby he can say that Obama’s appointment of Hagel is against Israel’s interests and in fact he represents the feeling of the mainstream of the lobby. But the mainstream of the lobby is not putting up a fight. They don’t believe they can win and therefore they are not putting up a fight.

        The lobby thus is not a singular entity in some sense and that is why the use of the term is misleading at times and certainly its use in this context is totally confusing.

        And no, Kathleen, Adelson is not the mainstream of the lobby. He is the right wing republican neoconservative wing of the lobby.

      • Blank State
        January 27, 2013, 10:55 pm

        “Dershowitz is the mainstream of the lobby”

        And he’s an arrogant loud-mouthed racist pig.

        Thats just dandy, Yonah. Your honesty is commendable.

      • dbroncos
        January 27, 2013, 11:27 pm

        @yonah friedman

        “Israel, as in Bibi, has decided not to fight Hagel.”

        Wow. The presumption in this statement is breathtaking. Perhaps yonah could explain the circumstances in which it would be appropriate for Netayahu, the leader of a small, desert country in the ME, to decide it was his priveledge to weigh in on who the President of the United States should or should not be appointing to Secretary of Defense.

      • Nevada Ned
        January 28, 2013, 1:54 am

        How can Yonah Freeman proclaim so confidently that “Adelson is not the mainstream of the lobby”. In last November’s election, Adelson coughed up $100M or so to his favored candidates. That’s a helluva lot of money. That makes him the largest pro-Israel donor in the country.

        It’s true that Adelson is ideologically more extreme than some other people, but he donates so much money that he defines what the Israel lobby is and does. For example, he is the main underwriter of Birthright, and his free right-wing newspaper in Israel helped to drive Maariv into bankruptcy.

        For all I know, AIPAC and Adelson may have decided to run a good cop/bad cop routine, with AIPAC being the good cop while Adelson finances the bad cop (Emergency Committee for Israel). Or maybe the two factions couldn’t reach agreement and decided to go their own separate ways. There is no way to decide between these two alternatives, based on public information. Meanwhile, I’m taking Yonah Freedman’s confident assertions with a grain of salt.

      • Hostage
        January 28, 2013, 5:02 am

        Bibi, has decided not to fight Hagel. . . . Adelson is not the Israel lobby

        LoL! But Adelson runs the “Bibi” lobby. I don’t think “Bibi” can afford to declare his independence from Adselson and Israel Hayom just yet.

      • justicewillprevail
        January 28, 2013, 11:10 am

        Yep, they are so arrogant, so presumptuous, that they want some kudos for not intervening in their normal take-no-prisoners, do-as-we-say-or-we-will-sack-you mode. But wait, they haven’t finished yet. Expect scurrilous rumours, numerous op-eds and all manner of innuendo whenever a decision has to be taken. These people don’t relent, and will look for other ways to undermine Hagel, or at least lean on him with some offers he can’t refuse.

      • pabelmont
        January 27, 2013, 7:58 pm

        Annie: If, indeed, the LOBBY said 50 times (enough times to be widely noticed, that is) that it is keeping out of the fight, then it is making itself NOTICED as a PLAYER CLAIMING to have decided not to play. This is not the same as hiding, or saying, “Who, me?” It is playing as a PLAYER. And it is getting noticed. I’d supposed they’d “lay low”. (Did they really? Who, what, when, where, and did the MSM pick it up? LOBBY calling attention to itself?)

      • Annie Robbins
        January 28, 2013, 2:33 am

        I’d supposed they’d “lay low”. (Did they really? Who, what, when, where, and did the MSM pick it up? LOBBY calling attention to itself?)

        seriously? try googling “aipac staying out of hagel”

        Pro-Israel Lobby, AIPAC, Sitting Out Hagel Fight – The Daily Beast…/pro-israel-lobby-aipac-sitting-out-hagel-fi...
        Jan 7, 2013 – Pro-Israel Lobby AIPAC Sitting Out Hagel Fight … the traditional pro-Israel groups sitting out this fight, newer organizations aren’t staying quiet.
        Why AIPAC Won’t Fight Hagel – The Daily Beast…/why-aipac-won-t-fight-hagel.html
        Jan 14, 2013 – former AIPAC foreign policy director Steve Rosen … its various Beltway lobbying arms, the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is “sitting out” the Hagel fight. … Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email …
        AIPAC’s Uncertain Role in the Upcoming Hagel Nomination – Jeffrey ……/aipacs…in…hagel…/266876/
        Jan 7, 2013 – I’ll have more on the nomination of Chuck Hagel later, but just one note for the moment: There’s an assumption out there that AIPAC, the most …
        Jan 14, 2013 – The nation’s premier Israel lobby group AIPAC is publicly staying silent … Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is sitting the Chuck Hagel fight out.
        PJ Media » Speaking Volumes: AIPAC Silent on … Chuck Hagel?
        Jan 15, 2013 – However, AIPAC’s decision to stay quiet says more about Obama … terrorists operating out of Lebanon, Hagel said: “This madness must stop.
        AIPAC Sitting Out Hagel Fight | Drudge Retort
        Jan 8, 2013 – The Daily Beast: Opponent of Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be secretary of … AIPAC would prefer to stay out of the front page limelight on this …
        Is AIPAC winning or losing in Hagel fight? | Capital J | JTA – Jewish ……/is-aipac-winning-or-losing-in-hagel-fight
        Jan 16, 2013 – But that’s not stopping the pundits from debating whether the Hagel fight is turning out to be a win or a loss for AIPAC. With Hagel’s chances …
        Sundown: AIPAC To Avoid Hagel Showdown – Tablet Magazine…/sundown-aipac-to-avoid-hagel-showdo...
        Jan 7, 2013 – AIPAC, the influential pro-Israel lobbying group, is reported to be staying out of the fight over Chuck Hagel’s nomination for secretary of defense …
        Defense industry remains mum on Hagel – AIPAC won’t contest …
        Jan 8, 2013 – … REMAINS MUM ON HAGEL: Defense industry lobbyists are staying largely … AIPAC WON’T CONTEST HAGEL: Top pro-Israel group American Israel … Lindsey Mask of Crosswind is based out of the firm’s Capitol Hill office.

        and that’s just the first page. (i edited out our coverage. we made it on there of course.)

    • Kathleen
      January 27, 2013, 4:57 pm

      What would you call Adelson…if not the “mainstream’.

      If Schumer could have opposed Hagel with out stirring it up he would have. Not a doubt in my mind. Too much of a bright spotlight on the I lobby now

      • Citizen
        January 28, 2013, 5:50 am

        @ Kathleen

        I imagine we will see Schumer when CSPAN broadcasts the Hagel vetting in congress next Thursday.

    • ToivoS
      January 27, 2013, 7:34 pm

      Yonah the headline is not a lie. Rightwing and leftwing Zionists have a common goal. Sometimes the right takes the lead, sometimes the left but they share in the spoils. The massacre at Dar Yassin was carried out by the Irgun gang. But Ben Gurion certainly did not return that real estate, once the Palestinians were exterminated, to any of the survivors. It is today Jewish only real estate.

      The moderate Zionists in the lobby may be keeping their powder dry but we all know as does our Congress, that they are there and will reassert themselves once things cool down a bit. The rightists are just carrying the water for today.

      It is similar to the deception that there are significant differences between Likud and Labor inside Israel. They both are working towards WB annexation just in different ways.

      • yonah fredman
        January 28, 2013, 12:25 pm

        Toivo s. – firstly, Dir Yassin was an atrocity and a massacre, but it was not an extermination. use whatever words you want, but cross from reporting to propaganda when you do so.

        i did not declare the death of the israel lobby. i assume hagel will be confirmed and the right wing of the lobby is flexing its muscles to keep obama on the straight and narrow. if you wish to describe this action/desire as reflecting the entire lobby flexing its muscles, then you are being accurate. my gut tells me that the lobby decided to let hagel through and to call it an unending battle implies the lobby wishes to win, which it does not. it wants to make obama sweat.

    • Bill in Maryland
      January 27, 2013, 9:47 pm

      As MJ Rosenberg, an excellent source on the machinations of AIPAC and the Israel lobby, explains it, AIPAC is still against the Hagel nomination but has to operate in the dark. AIPAC must keep its fingerprints off the Hagel opposition effort so as to not alienate Democrats. Max Blumenthal talks about this “shadow war” here, and also tweets how Christians United For Israel (CUFI) is going to do the dirty anti-Hagel work for AIPAC.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 28, 2013, 2:21 am

        tweets how Christians United For Israel (CUFI) is going to do the dirty anti-Hagel work for AIPAC.

        i’m so shocked! bill, speaking of CUFI..checkout Why Christian Conservatives Oppose Chuck Hagel’s Nomination By Jordan Sekulow:

        son of Jay Sekulow

        Sekulow is speculated to have been one of the “Four Horsemen” who “engineered” the nomination of Chief Justice John G. Roberts to the Supreme Court.[4] In 2007, Sekulow endorsed Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.[5][4] He has opposed the building of an Islamic center near the site of the World Trade Center.[6][7][8]

        Sekulow has argued in front of the United States Supreme Court multiple times throughout his career. The first was in 1987, involving Jews for Jesus and their clash with Los Angeles International Airport’s policy against free speech….
        Jay Sekulow was born in Brooklyn, New York…Sekulow was raised Jewish, but converted to Christianity in college and is now a Messianic Jew.[24] His youngest brother Scott is the founder and Rabbi of the Messianic Jewish Congregation Beth Adonai in Atlanta, Georgia.[25]

      • Annie Robbins
        January 28, 2013, 2:27 am

        bill, re max’s shadow war..alex covered that on mondoweiss, and then some.

    • dbroncos
      January 27, 2013, 11:15 pm

      @yonah friedman

      “The Israel lobby, as in, the mainstream of the lobby, is not battling to stop Hagel.”

      Good point, yonah. But isn’t it true that the “mainstream of the lobby”, or the mainstream of Jewish opinion for that matter, isn’t really what’s driving the Israel First agenda. Super rich Jewish donors (Saban, Adelson, Bronfman, etc…) get what they pay for – a compliant Congress and White House. Both the rank and file of Israel Lobby emplyees and Jewish voters (who voted 70% for Obama) simply don’t count for much in this equation. Sometimes this issue gets confused as we see the media conflate “Jewish voters” and “Jewish support” with Jewish money when it is ladled out by the tens of millions by a handful of Jewish billionaires.

      • American
        January 28, 2013, 9:14 am

        “Sometimes this issue gets confused as we see the media conflate “Jewish voters” and “Jewish support” with Jewish money when it is ladled out by the tens of millions by a handful of Jewish billionaires.”..dbronco

        Seems the opposite to me…I think the media stays away from linking Jews to Adelson. The Zios are the ones that trumpet The Jews linkage but I haven’t seen that filter into the msm. Don’t think I’ve heard AIPAC called the Jewish Lobby in the msm.

      • Citizen
        January 30, 2013, 6:18 am

        @ American

        I see both. The main media does continually conflate “Jewish voters” with “Jewish support” or Jewish donors. But it also stays away from linking Jews to Adelson–he’s been such a big donor the media could not ignore him, and did bring him up during the campaign, but rarely did it identify Adelson as a Jew, and never as a Zionist with a declared single interest: Israel.

      • American
        February 1, 2013, 3:36 pm

        @ citizen

        Well yea, I’ve seen references to Jewish– about Jewish voters or the Jewish vote in elections. I can’t remember anything ever said about the Jewish lobby–only heard it called AIPAC until just recently quoting Hagel about it…..maybe there has been more and I didn’t notice

  5. Krauss
    January 27, 2013, 3:34 pm

    A small detail, perhaps insignificant, but still notable to me.
    Notice that in the cartoon from Politico, the phrase ‘Jewish lobby’ has been replaced by the much milder ‘pro-Israel lobby’. That is quite remarkable. After all, using the phrase ‘Jewish lobby’ would just be to quote him verbatim; it wouldn’t be the cartoonist’s own phrase.

    Self-censorship or, perhaps more likely, scared editors?

  6. Annie Robbins
    January 27, 2013, 4:49 pm

    what a funny cartoon!

  7. JeffB
    January 27, 2013, 7:09 pm

    I think there is a bit of confusion here.

    There is an Israeli Lobby which consists of Americans who want strong relations with Israel. Hegel made peace with them.

    There is a lobby that wants war with Iran. Sheldon Adelson originally went after Romney until Romney agreed to more or less promise war with Iran. Hegel and Obama are both opposed to that. That’s not really the Israeli lobby though there are a lot of members of the Israeli lobby in the pro-war with Iran column, Adelson being one of them. No question that lobby attacking Obama this openly is a very risky play.

    This lobby if already much Republican. The Democratic party under Obama has more or less adopted the old “realist” school of foreign policy while the Republicans have become hawks. I don’t think the Israeli lobby is going to want to get identify too much with this. Ultimately Israel right now enjoys broad bipartisan support with stronger support from American Jews and stronger support from Christian Zionists. I don’t see any reason they would want to damage that over Hegel. So I suspect what happens is mainstream Jewish groups distance themselves from the Hegel issue.

    Israel can be somewhat more hawkish than American Jews but they can’t be attacking the policies that 85% support. But even if I’m wrong and they do let this play out, becoming partisan probably means they lose influence. Like how the NRA went from non-partisan to partisan and thus lost influence or how environmental groups lost influence when they went partisan in the other direction. But it doesn’t definitely mean that, the energy companies since they went partisan have done rather well.

    I don’t see any reason they would take that chance, so my money is still on Adelson end up isolated.

  8. piotr
    January 27, 2013, 8:10 pm

    I actually do not get it. At what juncture “Jewish lobby” became a harsh term, as oppose to “Israel lobby”? I missed that.

    On the other hand, my reading skills are only so-so, I tend to read to quickly and then I am surprised: why Washington Free Bacon devotes so much space to Jewish concerns? Checking once more: beacon seems more kosher than bacon.

    Then, another mystery. A group connected to ECI. ECI is an astroturf for anonymizing money of some fat cats who wish to purchase political ads. From Terkel’s article: “Other LGBT groups are criticizing Use Your Mandate for keeping its donors and participants secret.” Aha, so ECI cannot be used because they pretent to be Zio crazy rather than LGBT fanatics. So we have Zionist Pierrot, gay Arlequin and other sock puppets spending surprisingly real money.

  9. talknic
    January 27, 2013, 8:23 pm

    In answer to the question … Yes!

    Eventually it becomes so f&*^%$g annoying folk begin to ask why the door continues to squeak

  10. American
    January 28, 2013, 9:06 am

    Here’s another cartoon in the UK Sunday Times. And the paper refuses to ‘apologize’ for it. The Holocaust machine is losing it’s censorship power. …

    UK paper posts anti-Israel cartoon on Holocaust day
    The Sunday Times marked Holocaust Memorial Day in a less-than-traditional manner, running a virulently anti-Israel cartoon depicting a big-nosed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu paving a wall with the blood and limbs of writhing Palestinians.
    The cartoon included a caption beneath the image entitled “Israeli elections- will cementing peace continue?” Drawn by Gerald Scarfe, the cartoon appeared in the national paper on Sunday.
    “This cartoon would be offensive at any time of the year, but to publish it on International Holocaust Remembrance Day is sickening and expresses a deeply troubling mindset,” said European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor. “This insensitivity demands an immediate apology from both the cartoonist and the paper’s editors.”
    The Sunday Times defended its cartoon in response to charges of anti-Semitism. “This is a typically robust cartoon by Gerald Scarfe,” a spokesman for the weekly said. “The Sunday Times firmly believes that it is not anti-Semitic. It is aimed squarely at Mr Netanyahu and his policies, not at Israel, let alone at Jewish people”

  11. Gryfin
    January 28, 2013, 9:30 am

    Although I’m not pleased to say this, the tactics of the Israel Lobby appear to have an effective Win/Win strategy to them.

    First, if successful in preventing Hagel’s nomination, they will have achieved their objective. That’s a win.

    But, if that doesn’t happen, then the deluge of personal smear heaped on Hagel reflexively prompts his supporters to trumpet his unending support for Israel. The Lobby smirks and withholds approval until sufficient fealty is demonstrated. That’s also a win.

  12. MarkF
    January 28, 2013, 10:03 am

    As long as the mainstream media & liberal commentators classify these shmucks as conservatives, we’ll never be able to deleverage ourselves from them. We need to shove a wedge in there and continue to beat them up as neocons. Rachel Maddow called out the ads and said she felt they were conservative groups running the ads. At least Ezra Klein can differentiate and label them for who they are on MSNBC.

    I think we need to break that bond and isolate them. And not just using a stupid “realist” tag for those who are not neocons. You win the battle when you get Fox News to dump the neocons in favor of conservatives.

  13. American
    January 28, 2013, 11:58 am

    Evidently Holocaust Day was not uneventful among the political set. The Jewish outrage over this seems to be whether it is permissable to say anyone who aligned with Germany did some otherwise good things for his own country/people. I don’t see Mussolini as swell guy, how many dictators are.. and don’t like Berlusconi at all ….but Mussolini did do some good things for the Italians . This looks like typical over reaction and misrepsentation to me based on what Berlusconi actually said.

    Berlusconi defends Mussolini for allying with Hitler
    Prominent Jewish leaders condemn former Italian premier, as does candidate for local elections, who pledges he will seek to have Berlusconi prosecuted over comments made on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
    Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi praised Benito Mussolini for “having done good” despite the Fascist dictator’s anti-Jewish laws, immediately sparking expressions of outrage as Europe on Sunday held memorial services for International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
    Berlusconi also defended Mussolini for allying himself with Hitler, saying he likely reasoned that it would be better to be on the winning side. ”
    Berlusconi added that “within this alliance came the imposition of the fight against, and extermination of, the Jews. Thus, the racial laws are the worst fault of Mussolini, who, in so many other aspects, did good.”

    This comment was interesting…

    Berlusconi on Mussolini
    By mariella radaelli
    27 Jan 2013
    Hi, I am an Italian Journalist (Mariella Radaelli) and a reader of Haaretz. I am very anti-Berlusconi but I have to break this to you: Berlusconi didn’t defend Mussolini for allying himself with Hitler. It’s not correct. I don’t know who wrote this article. Berlusconi condemned the anti-Jewish laws. He only said- but it wasn’t the right moment to say this, today January 27- that Mussolini also did good things for Italy, in his first years of dictatorships (he meant that fact Mussolini created a pension system for Italians and things like that…). I think Berlusconi had better not to quote the good things Mussolini did, just as a form of respect of the Jewish people, but I also think that it’s very dangerous to report the false. Best Regards Mariella Radaelli”

    • piotr
      January 28, 2013, 3:34 pm

      Mussolini was a good guy: friend of Jabotynsky, lover of Jewish people (at least some of them, one mistress in particular) and so on, but of course slipped now and then. Author of excellent quotes that fit very well Zionist ethos like “every man needs his little war” and “everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state”.

  14. William deB. Mills
    January 28, 2013, 1:01 pm

    AIPAC is not the “Israeli lobby;” it supports a very specific vision of Israel – religious state, not democracy; expansionist; based on apartheid or putting Palestinians in “Indian reservations,” or whatever term you want for citizenship based on ethnicity; a security policy of superiority over all other regional states.
    That is a set of policies that the wave of refugees from Nazi expansionism and citizenship based on ethnicity would have found unsettling, I suspect.

    That leads to your excellent question about the possibility that the Hagel confirmation battle might weaken AIPAC. Obama made what now appears to have been a fundamental strategic error early in his first administration by avoiding a battle with Likudniks by allowing them to veto his nomination of Charles Freeman as Chairman of the National Intelligence Council (a foreign policy advisory position to the President). The sight of the new, incredibly popular president allowing a foreign lobby to veto his choice of adviser showed clearly how easily he could be manipulated and set the tone for Netanyahu’s subsequent behavior.

    Now, Obama has a second chance. This time will he have the guts to lay out a clear foreign policy position and defend it against a foreign faction? It seems to me that the answer to your question depends greatly on the answer to this one.

    • Citizen
      January 28, 2013, 5:50 pm

      Especially since he’s now in his presumably last term of office and can afford to rock the boat more–although I heard Schumer is pushing to amend to allow more than 2 terms of a POTUS.

  15. Citizen
    January 29, 2013, 7:47 pm

    Chris Matthews show segment on 1-29-13 is talking about the groups popping up with TV ads against Hagel. None of the donors are being disclosed. Even Maddow said they should name who they are, and especially the ad billing itself as supporting Gays & Lesbians (and Israel of course) and insinuating the donors are Democrats. Bill Kristol must be feverishly working 24/7 to stop Hagel. Matthews says he supports Hagel.

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