Hagel prostrates himself before the lobby, gets votes

The drama around Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Secretary of Defense seems to be heading into its predictable third act. While much attention has been given to Hagel’s heterodox views (for D.C.) on the Middle East, and the threat that several Democrats might oppose his nomination over Israel, both the nominee and the party seem to be getting in line behind the President (and conveniently the lobby).

Politico is reporting this morning on a letter Hagel sent to California Sen. Barbara Boxer answering her concerns regarding his views on U.S. policy towards Iran and Israel, the Israel lobby, as well as issues pertaining to women and gays and lesbians in the military. You can read Hagel’s letter here. In it he does an about face on several positions to move towards the conventional wisdom in Washington. The most glaring example is the issue of sanctions against Iran, where Hagel had previously argued against unilateral U.S. sanctions in favor of multilaterial action. No longer. From the letter:

I have long supported economic sanctions that are applied in concert with allies and partners. I strongly supported the Obama Administation’s approach which has brought to bear unprecedented multilateral sanctions on Iran, including UN Council Resolution 1929. Regarding unilateral sanctions, I have told the President I completely support his policy on Iran. I agree that with Iran’s continued rejection of diplomatic overtures, further effective sanctions, both multilateral and unilateral — may be necessary and I will support the President.

Hagel also apologized for using the term “Jewish lobby” and promised the special relationship is in safe hands if he is confirmed:

As to my use of the phrase “Jewish lobby” to describe those who advocate for a strong U.S.-Israeli relationship, I’ve acknowledged that this was a very poor choice of words. I’ve said so publicly and I regret saying it. I used that terminology only once, in an interview. I recognize that this kind of language can be construed as anti-Israel.  I know the pro-Israel lobby is comprised of both Jewish and non-Jewish Americans. In the Senate, I was a strong supporter of Defense appropriations, which provided enduring support for Israel’s security. Most Americans, myself included, are overwhelmingly supportive of a strong U.S.-Israel strategic and security relationship.

Hagel proves his pro-Israel bona fides by promising to deepen military cooperation with Israel and repeating a beltway mantra as American as baseball and apple cake:

America’s relationship with Israel is one that is fundamentally built on our nations shared values, common interests and democratic ideals. The Middle East is undergoing dramatic and historic changes, ones which surround Israel with tremendous uncertainty. We are working together daily, hand in hand, in unprecedented ways, to counter old, new and emerging mutual threats. I fully intend to expand the depth and breadth of U.S.-Israel cooperation.

Caving to political pressure sure pays quick dividends. Following the letter, Boxer annoucned she is on board with the Hagel nomination. Charles Schumer also announced he will support Hagel following similar outreach. From the New York Times:

Of deepest concern to Mr. Schumer and many Israel advocacy groups, are Mr. Hagel’s positions on the nuclear threat posed by Iran, particularly his suggestions in the past that a military strike against Iran would be counterproductive. It is a position that is out of step with the Obama administration, which became increasingly hawkish on Iran during the 2012 campaign.

“On Iran, Senator Hagel rejected a strategy of containment and expressed the need to keep all options on the table in confronting that country,” Mr. Schumer said. “But he didn’t stop there. In our conversation, Senator Hagel made a crystal-clear promise that he would do ‘whatever it takes’ to stop Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons, including the use of military force.”

As a senator from Nebraska, Mr. Hagel voted against several rounds of sanctions against Iran that ultimately passed the Senate, citing unilateral sanctions are ineffective. On this matter too, Mr. Schumer seemed to find comfort. “Senator Hagel clarified that he ‘completely’ supports President Obama’s current sanctions against Iran,” Mr. Schumer said. “He added that further unilateral sanctions against Iran could be effective and necessary.”

On nearly every other issue that Mr. Schumer brought up with Mr. Hagel — his views on the militant Islamist groups Hezbollah and Hamas, his prior comments about gays, his use of the term “Jewish lobby” to refer to Israel advocacy groups — all seemed to be tamped down in the meeting.

“I know some will question whether Senator Hagel’s assurances are merely attempts to quiet critics as he seeks confirmation to this critical post,” Mr. Schumer said. “But I don’t think so. Senator Hagel realizes the situation in the Middle East has changed, with Israel in a dramatically more endangered position than it was even five years ago.”

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in American Jewish Community, Iran, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics

{ 133 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Ramzi Jaber says:

    Thanks Adam for teaching me a new word, PROSTRATE! Very befitting. So is PROSTITUTE! That’s what hagel did, prostrate and prostitute himself. Sold his soul to the ZIONIST LOBBY.

  2. MRW says:

    Call me cynical, but I smell an engineered face-saving play in all this, just to dial everyone’s over-the-top reactions down. And why? Because this was starting to resonate bigtime in Fly-Over-Country; Jews and Christians in Nebraska were pissed, for example. NE’s Jewish orgs issued sharply worded statements against the anti-Hagel DC and NY crowd. The Forward, I think, reported it. Vets are pissed. Resentment, real resentment, rising.

    • Ellen says:

      That could be part of it. Flyover country did have a progressive tradition at one time. And many still do like to think of themselves as independent thinkers. And yes, the heartland is angry, real angry about their elected officials prostrating themselves first to the interest of a foreign country.

      But from reports, it appears that Hagel had to go kiss the ring and promise to say the right things re Israel and be willing to send Americans to their death in battle against Iran. All that to first make Schumer, Corker and Grahm (all East coast senators) happy.

      With that they say they will likely approve him. But flyover country is still angry.

    • iamuglow says:

      I agree. The worst thing about Hagel for the IL was all the talk about IL. They were going to lose this battle.

  3. David Samel says:

    As Adam says, this is an entirely “predictable third act.” Whether and to what extent Hagel actually exerts any positive influence in the Obama Administration remains to be seen in the fourth act. Skepticism remains appropriate. Still, I think it’s been a big deal. I can’t remember another major nominee who pissed off so many in the Israel lobby. It pierced the lobby’s cloak of invulnerability and omnipotence.

  4. Dan Crowther says:

    Maybe it’s because I’m a “hard leftist” but I can’t help but thinking that this “fight over Chuck Hagel” is an intentional distraction from, oh I don’t know, the massive expansion into Asia and Africa by the US via drones, special forces and violent dissident groups. Seems to me, once again, this “Israelification” of the conversation is really convenient. I mean, how much press has Wyden’s letter to Barry gotten – the one where he asks O what the F his “disposition matrix” is all about? We’re now supporting the French as they invade Mali – no press. We won’t even mention the total blackout on what’s happening in Iraq – here and elsewhere- since the US left; nope, we’re talking about Israel, “the american jewish establishment” and so on. Like I said, convenient.

    • Citizen says:

      @ Ctowther
      You think the PTB cannot multitask?

    • American says:

      “nope, we’re talking about Israel, “the american jewish establishment” and so on. Like I said, convenient.”..Dan Crowther

      Er….that is because mondowiessnet is about the Jewish Establishment-Jews- Zionism and Israel/US.
      I think you want foreignpolicy.com—go back out turn right and it’s two blocks down on the left.

      • Hostage says:

        I think you want foreignpolicy.com—go back out turn right and it’s two blocks down on the left.

        No, I get their daily AFPAK, Flashpoints, & etc. Those just make a sane person more depressed.

  5. ahhiyawa says:

    Hagel’s schmoozing is absolutely necessary to provide cover for the greatest cowards (congressmen) in the universe to confirm his nomination. Those who think nominees should say it like it is, or heaven’s forbid flim flam the world’s greatest flim flam artists will never see the change they ardently hope for.

    Nothing is more deadly in politics than the unvarnished truth. A popular Russian saying regarding the former USSR’s organ’s of disinformation is stunningly apt regarding US governance in real time:

    “v Pravde net izvestiy, v Izvestiyakh net pravdy.”
    In the Truth there is no news, and in the News there is no truth.

    Platitudes change nothing. There will be no war and Zionists are doubly right to be troubled with Obama’s appointments to State, Pentagon and the CIA.

    • Hagel’s schmoozing is absolutely necessary to provide cover for the greatest cowards (congressmen) in the universe to confirm his nomination. Those who think nominees should say it like it is, or heaven’s forbid flim flam the world’s greatest flim flam artists will never see the change they ardently hope for.

      Nothing is more deadly in politics than the unvarnished truth….. There will be no war and Zionists are doubly right to be troubled with Obama’s appointments to State, Pentagon and the CIA.

      i completely agree. it seems there are very few of us here on the thread who do. well, american here: link to mondoweiss.net

      my own personal theory is that the lobby saw the writing on the wall, that he was going to be nominated and that the big fight occurring (which was guaranteed to only expand by the lobby not kowtowing) would simply expose the nightflower to the american public, to exposure in which it can then not bloom privately anymore.

      people were figuring out (or were bound to figure out very shortly) the lobby was behind this fight. link to mondoweiss.net

      note in max’s coverage, in israel:

      Bombarded with questions from reporters about their opinion of the Hagel nomination, each candidate studiously refused to issue any criticism.

      also, each of schumers point in the nyt coverage :

      “On Iran, Senator Hagel rejected a strategy of containment and expressed the need to keep all options on the table in confronting that country,” Mr. Schumer said.

      word for word re containment Mr. Hagel might need to fully reject that strategy as reported here from the nyt report the day before: link to mondoweiss.net

      and with schumer’s acceptance this says to me they are hushing the fight and obama will ge this way. it doesn’t say to me hagel is a different man, it just says he knows how to play the game. and i don’t think it’s the lobby’s game (the lobby wanted him gone, out, finito) it’s the game in the senate to pass confirmation as you stated to provide cover for the greatest cowards (congressmen) in the universe to confirm his nomination.

      • American says:

        @annie

        I agree and think you have been calling it right all along.
        This is show, O & H giving them what they want to hear.
        The zios and lobby get to face save a bit but will this change Hagel’s views or what he does as Sec of Def?…..don’t think so.
        Hagel will be the same as was in the senate…..could be more so cause once he’s in he doesn’t answer to anyone but O.

        Will be interesting however to see how hard they go at the Israel question in the hearings….they might go hard to flex muscle for the Lobby or they might not want to stir more controversy about the Israel bit.

        • Citizen says:

          LOL
          As American put it on another recent thread here: You can take the boy out of the Heartland, but you can’t take the Heartland out of the boy. I think that when Obama and Hagel walked together around the Holy Land they both nodded a lot to each other’s comments. Or was a Schumer stoolie walking right behind them?

      • hophmi says:

        Yes, but the lobby was not behind this fight. The hard right of the GOP was. You heard nothing from AIPAC.

        • Ellen says:

          hop, the hard right of the GOP does the talking for the lobby, just as Dem Senators such as Schumer, the self proclaimed guardian of Israel.

          link to nypost.com

          AIPAC does not need to say a word when their boys and girls in the Capitol do all the walking and talking for them. Heck, that is what they are paid to do!

        • hophmi says:

          In point of fact, Ellen, that’s not true. I know many, many people involved. They believe in picking their battles. People like Bill Kristol think everything needs to be a federal production.

          Chuck Schumer is a Senator from NY. He takes the position his constituents would want him to take.

          “AIPAC does not need to say a word when their boys and girls in the Capitol do all the walking and talking for them. Heck, that is what they are paid to do!”

          It’s like I keep saying, you’re obsessed with Israel, and because of that, you don’t see any complexity here. The fact is that there is a lot about Chuck Hagel people don’t like. Starting with the fact that he’s a Republican, moving on to the fact that he’s yet another white guy, moving on to the fact that he’s a bit of a blowhard, moving on to the fact that most Americans do not like when Senators oppose active wars, etc., etc. Israel is a component, but it’s far from the only thing wrong with Hagel.

      • Kathleen says:

        “the nightflower” has been exposed even though Jane Harman and other Israel firsters were successful at shutting down the Aipac espionage investigation and 9 time delayed trial. I gauge this by phone calls into the talk news shows Diane Rehm Talk of the Nation, Washington Journal the increase in callers who are far more aware of the facts in regard to the influence of the I lobby. Far more aware since Carters book ‘Peace Not Apartheid” and Walt and Mearsheimers book.

        • hophmi says:

          You can keep calling it a nightflower to ignore the fact that the vast majority of Americans support a strong US-Israel relationship. There’s no nightflower necessary. It’s not controversial.

        • seanmcbride says:

          I know many non-Jewish Americans, and the vast majority of them think about Israel not at all — many issues are of much greater importance to them — especially their immediate economic interests.

          Many pro-Israel activists have talked themselves into the false belief that most Americans are passionate supporters of Israel — a perfect example of how messianic psychology and self-hypnosis can warp and distort one’s understanding of the world. Messianic movements usually self-destruct because they are reality-challenged.

        • Citizen says:

          @ hophmi

          The fact is the vast majority of Americans could not care less about Israel. Also, the results of past polls on the subject are the result of the questions asked, that is, exactly how those questions are worded. A real poll with detailed questions, would show the amount of aid given Israel is the converse of how little priority most Americans give Israel.

        • marc b. says:

          The fact is the vast majority of Americans could not care less about Israel.

          bullseye. ‘the vast majority of americans’ don’t spend 30 seconds a week considering the state of affairs in mexico or canada. why would ‘the vast majority of americans’ give a sh*t about israel? that’s the crux of the problem for brand israel, and its support in the continental US: 3000 miles wide, a centimeter deep.

        • American says:

          @ hoppie

          You don’t get and will never get American thinking and opinion. Most Americans are *indifferent* to Israel. If the subject of Israel comes up among people who aren’t political and aren’t informed then people think of the country associated with Jews and the holocaust, if they are old enough to have read anything about it and it’s oh yeah, oh hum, very shallow interest even then, something about something happened eons ago. If informed people are asked about Israel then you get what you get here. The only US Non Jews that *care* about Israel are a few religious and the Christo Evangels who want to french fry you if you don’t convert before the great coming.

          If you ask 10,000 people if they think *anything*, I don’t care what it is, should be treated fairly or even handedly the huge majority will say yes.
          70% of Americans said that when asked about what should be done about I/P and the US handling of I/P. They want NO favortism shown to either side..they want fairness. ONLY 21% of Americans favor taking Israel’s side, which basically indcludes whatever zionist Jews, Christo Zios and those who have no clue.

          What you and those like you fail to get is this 71% of the Americans said this *despite* the loads of propaganda they have been fed for decades on Israel. What do you think they would have said on some of the other questions– like whether or not the US or UN should defend Israel if it’s attacked–(and to that question only 50% of Americans said they would be in favor of that)—if all Americans actually knew what some of us know? Hum?
          You and Oren and the Ari’s can whistle thru the graveyard telling yourselves and each other about how Americans’s love Israel.
          You are in for a big surprise if the fat lady ever sings.
          Your chickens will never hatch. The support is a whisp of smoke.

          This WPOP by Univ of Maryland, Kenney Center, is probably the only creditible poll on earth. This was done in 2008, imagine what the opinions are now Israel as knowledge about the real facts of I/P have grown so much in the past few years.

          International Poll: Most Publics–including Americans–Oppose Taking Sides in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

          July 1, 2008
          Israeli, Palestinian, American and Arab Leaders All Get Low Marks On Efforts to Resolve Conflict

          Most Favor UN Playing Robust Role in Peace Enforcement

          Country-by-Country Summaries (PDF)
          Questionnaire/methodology (PDF)
          Press Release (PDF)
          Full PDF Version
          Dataset for Download (SPSS format)

          A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 18 countries finds that in 14 of them people mostly say their government should not take sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Just three countries favor taking the Palestinian side (Egypt, Iran, and Turkey) and one is divided (India). No country favors taking Israel’s side, including the United States, where 71 percent favor taking neither side.

          Asked to evaluate how well a number of key actors are doing their part to resolve the conflict, none of them get good grades, including Israel, the Palestinians, the United States, and the Arab countries. On average across all the countries polled, none of the actors receives good grades from more than 3 in 10. Interestingly, Americans are divided as to whether the United States is doing its part.

          Publics in most countries favor the United Nations offering to play a robust role in support of a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Nearly all publics would favor the UN saying that, if the parties come to a peace agreement, the UN would send a peacekeeping force to enforce it. Most publics would also favor the UN offering to provide security guarantees to both Israel and the Arab countries should a peace agreement be reached.

          “Publics around the world are not cheering for either side and want their governments to take an even-handed approach,” said Steven Kull, director of WorldPublicOpinion.org. “All of the key actors are seen as failing to do their part to break the impasse and most want the UN Security Council to step in and offer peacekeeping forces and even security guarantees to help resolve the conflict.”

          The poll of 18,792 respondents was conducted between January 10 and May 6, 2008 by WorldPublicOpinion.org, a collaborative research project involving research centers from around the world and managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. Margins of error range from +/-2 to 4 percent.

          Interviews were conducted in 18 countries, including most of the largest nations -China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Russia–as well as Mexico, Peru, Britain, France, Spain, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Thailand and South Korea. Not all questions were asked in all countries. In addition, most of the questions were asked in the Palestinian Territories. The nations included represent 60 percent of the world population.

          Publics Support Even-Handed Approach to Conflict

          Asked how their country should approach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 14 out of 18 publics preferred taking neither side. On average, 58 percent say that their country should not take either side, while just 20 percent favor siding with the Palestinians and 7 percent say that their country should take Israel’s side.

          In eight of the countries this was a large majority–seven in 10 or more–including Mexicans (88%), South Koreans (82%), Britons (79%), the French (79%), Peruvians (76%), the Chinese (74%), Americans (71%), and Ukrainians (69%).

          Only in a few predominantly Muslim countries do most favor taking the side of the Palestinians. Robust majorities take this position in Egypt (86%) and Iran (63%), as does a modest plurality in Turkey (42% Palestinians’ side, 38% neither side). However two other predominantly Muslim countries primarily favor taking neither side–Azerbaijan (54%) and Indonesia (43%).

          In no country does a majority favor taking Israel’s side. The largest percentages favoring taking Israel’s side are Indians (24%), Americans (21%), and Nigerians (15%).

          Negative Reviews of Israel, Palestinians, US, Arab Countries, Quartet

          World publics give low marks to all the various parties who play a major role in trying to resolve the conflict. Respondents were asked to evaluate how well each party is “doing its part,” in “the effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” In nearly all cases publics give poor grades to Israel, the Palestinians, the United States, or the Arab countries.

          Israel

          Israel receives the worst ratings, with most saying they are not doing their part very well in 13 out of 15 countries asked. On average, 54 percent say it is not doing its part well (31% not very, 23% not at all) while just 22 percent say it is (5% very, 17% somewhat).

          Negative ratings of Israel are not confined to predominantly Muslim publics–the largest majorities saying Israel is not doing its part well include Egypt (88%), South Korea (69%), Indonesia (66%), France (64%), the United States (59%), Azerbaijan (59%), Mexico (57%), and Great Britain (57%).

          Only in India do more say that Israel is doing its part than do not (35% to 25%), while the Chinese are divided (41% to 39%).

          In addition, the Palestinians were asked to evaluate Israel (though they are not included in the averages). Not surprisingly, 81 percent say that Israel is not doing its part well (61%, not at all well). Just 13 percent say that it is (4% very well).

          link to worldpublicopinion.org

        • chinese box says:

          the vast majority of Americans support a strong US-Israel relationship. There’s no nightflower necessary. It’s not controversial.

          That’s rich, coming from someone who feels the need to spend all their free time feverishly posting hasbara messages on Mondo. Yawn.

        • There’s no nightflower necessary.

          hops, have you read mj rosenberg’s Praise The Lord: AIPAC Is Losing
          link to mjayrosenberg.com

          AIPAC does not have to issue directives from its headquarters in Washington to convey its desires.

          In fact, it usually doesn’t. It never likes to leave fingerprints and still manages to get what it wants because policymakers, media people, etc., know what its preferences are without public pronouncements. ……..

          Between 1993 and 1995 I worked for a member of the House Appropriations Committee. That is the body that writes the legislation that provides the money after its Subcommittee on Foreign Operations submits its recommendations which are then quickly approved and, after adoption by the full House and Senate, go to the president for his signature.

          Here is how it works. AIPAC provides each staffer on the subcommittee with legislative “language” that spells out precisely what it wants for Israel and the amount of dollars it wants for each provision. The language helpfully arrives in electronic form so the staffer does not have to do anything but drop it into a letter that each legislator writes to the chairman of the committee. Each staffer receives the same “wish list” from AIPAC ensuring that each member of the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations will be requesting the same thing.

          Invariably there are extra items to be requested, above and beyond the usual provisions, which AIPAC hands out as gifts to members of the committee it particularly favors. That member will be the only one asking for this “goody” for Israel and can then claim credit for it. That credit can then be cashed in the form of contributions from donors associated with the lobby for the legislator’s next campaign

          The key point is that this is all done in the dark. No member of the Appropriations Committee would ever admit that all they do in crafting the Israel aid package is drop in Israel’s request, as composed and delivered by AIPAC. If a current staffer ever made the mistake of stating publicly that this is how it is done, she would not be a staffer for long. The bottom line is that AIPAC’s direct role is kept secret. In fact, I don’t think anyone has ever described this process until right now.

          Achieving passage of the Israel aid package is AIPAC’s most public initiative. Nonetheless, it pretends that the aid legislation simply arises from the will of Congress and the president as a popular manifestation of admiration for Israel.

          Needless to say, it does the same thing on its other signature annual achievement: piling sanction after sanction on Iran. It does the same with its lesser efforts like all those resolutions supporting Israel’s wars on Gaza, condemning Palestinian actions and commending Israeli prime ministers for their supposed efforts to achieve peace or combat terrorism. All these arise from AIPAC’s offices, are delivered to Capitol Hill and then are passed with hardly a dissenting voice, all without AIPAC claiming credit for itself. In fact, it invariably hails Congress for doing the work it itself actually did…..

          Remember, I was the fortunate recipient of the 1982 memo from Steve Rosen, then AIPAC’s deputy director…..that said the following. Rosen sent it to me on my very first day working at the organization.

          It read, in its entirety: “A lobby is like a night flower: It thrives in the dark and dies in the light.”

          hophmi likes to pretends the aid legislation simply arises from the will of Congress and the president as a popular manifestation of admiration for Israel, but we know better.

      • HPH says:

        I agree with Annie. This was really Sen. Hagel coming to the rescue of Sen. Schumer after he had put himself in an untenable position by doing the biding of AIPAC.

        • seanmcbride says:

          HPH,

          I agree with Annie. This was really Sen. Hagel coming to the rescue of Sen. Schumer after he had put himself in an untenable position by doing the biding of AIPAC.

          My gut instinct about Barack Obama, based on reading his public statements on Mideast politics, is that he basically shares the same views on Israel as Andrew Sullivan, James Fallows, Phil Weiss, Stephen Walt, Chas Freeman and other thought leaders who share their perspective on this issue.

          Obama has selected Chuck Hagel for SecDef precisely because Hagel is part of that school of realist thinking. At the moment Obama is patiently waiting for the opportunity to flip the current the US/Israeli relationship — and history is on his side. The Israel lobby is on the verge of writing itself out of the American script.

        • Sibiriak says:

          seanmcbride:

          At the moment Obama is patiently waiting for the opportunity to flip the current the US/Israeli relationship — and history is on his side. The Israel lobby is on the verge of writing itself out of the American script.

          I see at most only a slight moderation of the bi-partisan pro-expansionist-Israel policy; and the Greater Jewish-Israel lobby will still have a major role to play.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Sibiriak,

          I see at most only a slight moderation of the bi-partisan pro-expansionist-Israel policy; and the Greater Jewish-Israel lobby will still have a major role to play.

          You may be right — things may go on indefinitely in the future in the same way that they have gone on in the past.

          But one should also be aware that history is often driven by sudden and radical disruptive change — powerful tectonic forces gather beneath the surface of reality and then BOOM! — you get a major earthquake and live in an entirely different world.

          Strange tensions in US/Israeli relations have been accumulating and escalating for quite some time now, with verbal attacks by pro-Israel activists on leading Americans becoming increasingly hysterical and threatening. This is a situation that seems ripe for radical disruptive change — one day the world looks one way, the next day the world looks completely different — it is permanently changed.

          If you accept the premise that Israel is increasingly assuming the character of a messianic and xenophobic ethno-religious nationalist cult — and this truth seems obvious to many people — it would be reasonable to foresee the possibility that Israel’s relations with the rest of the world, including the United States, could be suddenly and permanently derailed.

  6. Jim Holstun says:

    Mercy, it appears that Max Ajl was right about Hagel all along. Quel surpris! Well, I’m sure that Obama’s next nominee for this or that will be the genuine pro-Palestinian, anti-Occupation article.

  7. American says:

    I still say disregard the ‘lip service’ to the Israel guard dogs in congress.
    Pretty clear his ‘presentation’ was suggested by the WH.
    Once Hagel is in, he’s in.

    • sardelapasti says:

      American: “Once Hagel is in, he’s in.”
      Yes, so what?

      The Hagel pre-appointment controversy was very useful. Thanks to all players and one wishes it would have gone on for a long time to inflict some damage to the Zionists. But once the nomination is official, what’s the interest there?

      Is anyone here seriously thinking that bringing Hagel (and, don’t forget, the Abominable Kerry as his teammate) may change anything wrt Hilary and Gates and, first and and foremost, Obama and his bosses?

      • American says:

        sardelapasti says:

        But once the nomination is official, what’s the interest there?>>>>>

        The interest there is once he’s in –is there are recommendations he can make, kinks he can throw or doors he can shut on some of Israel’s intrusiveness in US defense bizness……if O let’s him. And Hagel’s saying all options on the table re Iran or anyone else doesnt’ mean jack shit….every SOD is going to say that, every US prez is going to say that, no official or leader of any country is ever not going to say that.

        Get over thinking some kind of Gandhi is ever going to run the US–won’t happen, take small favors where you can get them.

        • sardelapasti says:

          American: “The interest there is once he’s in –is there are recommendations he can make, kinks he can throw or doors he can shut on some of Israel’s intrusiveness in US defense bizness……if O let’s him”
          Well, he won’t. Not because of course Obama’s owners won’t let him, but because Obama’s owners are the same as his. Also, the Obama policy is one of open fascism and aggression. That’s why he needs both Kerry and Hagel, once kind-of-objectors, now at the vanguard of militasry intervention.

          “Get over thinking some kind of Gandhi is ever going to run the US…” Gandhi? What a horrible thought. Get over the thought that there are ever small favors when it is obvious there won’t be any. I am not objecting to people consoling themselves with illusion, mind you, but it should on a case by case basis.

        • Citizen says:

          @ American

          Hear, hear!

      • Sibiriak says:

        sardelapasti :

        Is anyone here seriously thinking that bringing Hagel (and, don’t forget, the Abominable Kerry as his teammate) may change anything wrt Hilary and Gates and, first and and foremost, Obama and his bosses?

        Wishful thinking abounds here, imo.

  8. chris_k says:

    Great article as always, but the wording can be interpreted as conventional diplomacy and not have ramifications on his policies. There’s no reason for Hagel to have an argument about the phrase “Jewish lobby” in his situation, even if one can argue that the confrontation over the issue is appropriate. Hagel has always pandered to Israel in general terms as in the last quote. As for sanctions and negotiations, the phrase “with Iran’s continued rejection of diplomatic overtures” gives him an out, since he’s not opposing negotiations with that position. It’s a half-truth since Iran has rejected some and accepted others. Triangulation brings half truths and vague potential for progress that usually doesn’t pan out.

  9. American says:

    This is funny. I just spoke to Boxer’s office and said I had been following the controversy about Hagel’s Israel problem and understood Boxer was concerned about his lack of loyalty to Israel. The aide immediately told me Boxer was supporting Hagel…read me her latest spiel on it. I then asked why Israel should have anything to do with the appointment of a US Sec of Defense or any other US official. The aide said ‘he couldn’t answer that”. So finally I asked if the Jewish Lobby (yea I used Jewish Lobby) had anything to do with some senators objections to Hagel and if they were aware of how their loyalty to the foreign country of Israel ‘appeared’ to American public……zing!
    The aide said ‘he really couldn’t answer that”….lol
    I did get the sense they have gotten lot of calls on this, whether pro or con who knows, and they had a ‘canned response’ in place to give everyone.

    I think will call Schumer next , see if I get the same spiel.

    • Les says:

      By now you may have heard the news that Schumer will support Hagel’s nomination. What both Boxer and Schumer should be asked is who on their staff do they assign to represent their constituents while the Senators are representing the government of Israel. You might also like to make sure that no US taxpayer dollars are being spent when they are representing a foreign power.

    • Ellen says:

      It is admirable that you take the time to make the calls. The aids in those offices answering the phones are mostly very young interns. And often over their head. But the calls are important and noted.

      After watching Graham’s despicable CNN interview
      link to dailycaller.com

      I have been thinking about calling his office as well and asking why his priorities are faithfulness to a foreign country, as was demonstrated in that interview.

      And would he exactly qualify his repeated statements that Hagel is out of the mainstream. What exactly about Hagel is not mainstream? What was so “in your face ” about the nomination?

      Does he work for the United States or the Knesset?

      Would Lindsay Graham (McCain’s mini-me) answer those questions?

      • American says:

        “I have been thinking about calling his office as well and asking why his priorities are faithfulness to a foreign country, as was demonstrated in that interview.”

        Do it. As an American you have a right/duty to question/ inquire about any politicians in this country that appear to be serving a foreign country.
        Do it, do it, do it.
        Probably the reason I couldn’t get thru to Schumer office is the zios and AIPAC members are burning up his phone lines now that he’s announced his support for Hagel. Either that, or Netanyahu and his aides are clogging up his phones in a big pow wow…lol.

        • Ellen says:

          American, I’ve registered my calls. These aids take all kinds of calls all day and sometimes from nut cases. So one has to be kind to whoever is tasked with answering that phone. I asked if my opinion would be registered and assured it would be.

          Have you called Corker yet? AIPAC loves him and visits his often often and early.

          link to washingtonpost.com

      • ritzl says:

        Interesting point, Ellen. Maybe it’s time to start asking American’s questions to the 90 or so Senators who are NOT Jewish. Question their loyalty. They all [most] spout the same nonsense and give Israel the veto on these confirmations.

        Gig the rest of ‘em. That’s by definition NOT antisemitic, yet raises the same clarifying issue(s), and maybe more importantly, (should they feel compelled enough to answer) raises them publicly in the presence of a broader audience/voter base.

        • American says:

          ritzl says:

          Interesting point, Ellen. Maybe it’s time to start asking American’s questions to the 90 or so Senators who are NOT Jewish. Question their loyalty. They all [most] spout the same nonsense and give Israel the veto on these confirmations. “>>>>>

          Ask them ALL…..their Loyalty is the Question.
          And we have plenty of reason and mountains of evidence to question their loyalty.
          If I had nothing else to do in my life..and I already spend way too much time on this…I would be traveling the country following the campaign trails and putting this question to every politician right in front of the voters he is appealing to for their votes. Force them to answer in public who they represent, the US and them or Israel. And if they pull the ‘ally’ and asset crap, that’s easy to shoot down, just ask them for one real thing Israel has done for the US in the ME…one thing….for the 1.4 trillion they have collected from Americans since 1956—there isn’t one. And you can finish them off with the USS Liberty and US Marine Commander Barrow’s letter to the US Military Command about the Israeli IDF trying to endanger the lives of US Marines in Beruit and a few other choice examples.
          This is how we could get rid of these cretins…by ‘trapping’ them in public in front of Americans who they want to elect them.

        • ritzl says:

          Yeah, I understand and very much agree. But you also have to consider where the shame-able majority lies, and, how to avoid interminable (and unwinable/disastrous/diffusing/postponing, imo) digressions of the “Antisemitism!!!” variety and its myriad sub-digressions.

          In any event, here’s the SASC membership from the last Congress. Sub Kaine for Webb, Brown’s gone but Warren probably won’t replace him, so there may be one or two other new members, each side.

          link to armed-services.senate.gov

          I just want to reiterate how much I agree with, and admire you for, what you’ve started here.

        • ritzl says:

          Couldn’t edit, so in no way did I mean to state or imply that Jewish Senators (particularly Levin) are not responsive to valid arguments, even wrt Israel. I was just trying to point out where the politics may align for us “outsiders” who might want to narrow our advocacy for max effect.

          Sorry. Hastily written.

        • American says:

          ritzl says:

          Yeah, I understand and very much agree. But you also have to consider where the shame-able majority lies, and, how to avoid interminable (and unwinable/disastrous/diffusing/postponing, imo) digressions of the “Antisemitism!!!” variety and its myriad sub-digressions.>>>>

          My position is ….there isn’t enough *real* anti semitism in the US to fill even one movie theater and I’m not gonna cow tow to the anti semite fear mongering cause all that does is ..1)reinforce it in Jewish minds and..2) help the zio censorship efforts. It needs to be thrown out there and laughed at for what it is. Do you hear the Cuban Lobby saying they are afraid of Anti Cubans-ism and being holocausted by those who oppose their Cuban Lobby agenda? When any American Hyphen political group gets into politics and acts as a lobby or political party they can’t claim special ethnic or religious protection—they can’t say don’t any other Americans fight or criticize our agenda or us because we’re Jewish or Cuban or Christian or whatever… they get the same ‘political’ fights and questioning as everyone else.
          Don’t let them use and confuse anti semitism with what this issue is about—it is about *Foreign Lobbies* of any kind, made of up of Americans or not, influencing US government policies. This one just happens to be Jewish related and if they want to be’ political players’ for foreign country’s interest then they need to be… ‘normalized’ …to the fact that they can and will be criticized or opposed (without being frigging holocausted) by those who don’t agree with their agenda or policies just like the NRA and every other lobby group.

        • ritzl says:

          @American Totally (and I mean, again, TOTALLY) understand. I’m just posing the “discretion is the better part of valor” question/tack. There is little actual antisemitism out there, but there is a huge credence to/of “j’accuse.”

          Enough cred and/or enforced, propabagate-able “discuss-ability” to make it obscure the point you raise and that you’re making, to the point of imperception (is that a word?).

      • Taxi says:

        Hahahaha – good one American! I love the energized citizen in you. Your fearless practice of freedom of speech. Keep bringing us your dial-a-politician adventures will ya! I sure do enjoy ‘em.

        Sometimes direct truth tickles my funny bone – anyone else around here get that too?

    • peeesss says:

      Hagel’s capitulation to the Lobby was to be expected. But kneeling before Schumer , the “Guardian” of Israel he has proclaimed himself, is beyond pathetic. Others have noted that with Hagel aboard Obama now has the perfect “anti-war” cabinet member to support and implement more onerous sanctions and , more likely, a military strike on Iran. Actually the statement that US and Israel’s “shared values” is the reason for US/Israel cooperartion is not without foundation. “Shared values” include illegal detention, extra judicial targeting, {assassinations}, illegal drone attacks, overt and covert economic and military strikes, torture and the “Supreme” crime of aggression . The Israeli occupation of Palestine has been condemned numerous times by the UN as illegal and yet has continued with US support, economically, militarily and diplomatically. The US and Israel have been condemned by the World Court . {US for blockade of Nicaragua}. Shared values indeed.

    • Kathleen says:

      American I agree with Ellen always worth it to take the time to call their offices or email them and ask for a response. Your point (andrew Sullivan and others have also made the point” questioning why a Secretary of Defense or any other official’s loyalty to Israel should even be part of the equation. This is the point that I do think we should all be hammering on.

      So sad to watch, read Hagel grovel to a foreign lobby. Telling. And let’s keep hoping, praying and pushing that Hagel stands on what he really thinks when he hopefully gets in

      • American says:

        I think Hagel will, can’t see him becoming a Lobby stooge….but we also have to remember O sets the policy not Hagel. So whatever Hagel says will be ‘advice’ and ‘imput’ to O. I don’t think his real views are gonna change….or the Lobby influence his imput to O.

        The goal right now is for him to get in—–for several reasons besides Israel. There’s nothing the zios can do once he’s in except to complain to O about whatever he does and O isn’t going to ask Hagel to resign over anything they say—-or he would never have nominated him to begin with.
        I dont care what Hagel is saying to placate the I Firsters, his views on Israel/ME/I-P aren’t going to change because of that—-if anything his attitude toward ‘The Lobby” will harden even more.

  10. seafoid says:

    “Hagel also apologized for using the term “Jewish lobby””

    In front of Schumer ?

    Look at the haaretz headlines

    link to haaretz.com

    “Hagel secures key senator’s support by vowing to do ‘whatever it takes’ on Iran
    Jewish New York Senator Charles Schumer says ‘prepared to vote’ for confirmation of Hagel as Secretary of Defense, removing major obstacle in Senate.

    Hagel: ‘I intend to expand the depth and breadth of U.S.-Israel cooperation’

    Hagel: Israel’s Jewish identity is non-negotiable issue in any Mideast deal ”

    What a crock . Anyone who says there is a Jewish clique at the heart of US foreign policy is called an antisemite. And there is Schumer rogering Hagel in broad DC daylight.

    The Muslim world knows all this very well.

    BTW Israel’s Jewish identity is non negotiable. It is a very disturbed identity .

  11. seafoid says:

    “America’s relationship with Israel is one that is fundamentally built on our nations shared values, common interests and democratic ideals.”

    Israel won’t be democratic for much longer, not with people like Bennett and Danon calling the shots.

  12. American says:

    Was put on eternal on hold at Schumer’s office, will try again.
    Meanwhile called my Senator Hagan’s office cause I saw on her site she “had questions” on Hagel’s Israel and Iran’ positions. This was even funnier than Boxer’s office. I started off by saying I had seen the Senators questions about Hagel on her site and wanted to know what on earth the foreign country of Israel should have to do with a US Sec of Defense selection. So I got connected with “someone who answer my question.” You should have heard the hemming and hawing that ensued!!!….the tongue tied aide in the hot seat started off trying to say something about the Senator’s concerns about Hagel comments about a lobby (she couldn’t bring herself to say Jewish lobby..lol) and babbled to such an extent that I can’t even say what she said cause she trying to not to say anything. So I helped her out and said yes, I know all about the Jewish lobby comment and the intimidation by the Lobby in congress and what was controversial about Hagel saying that because everyone who follow US foreign policy knows all about the Jewish Lobby and what they do and even The Forward, the premier Jewish newspaper called AIPAC the Jewish Lobby. So then I asked her again if she could explain why Israel should have anything with US Sec of Def.. She said well, the Senator just has questions that reflect constituents concerns. So I asked if Senator Hagan concerns about her constituents concerns was because she relied on Jewish constituents or the Jewish Lobby’s support for her political career or donations to the Dem party. The aide’s response—dead silence. So I continued saying I don’t think those of you in Washington are aware of the growing resentment in the Americans public of Israel and of our politicians apparent loyalty to a foreign country and their placing it on par with their duty to the US, the country they live in and are suppose to represent. I went on about the general reaction during the election to two candidates for US president campaigning on who loved the foreign country of Israel more and how Orwellian it was and so on and so forth. I sensed the aide was sinking lower and lower in her chair so I finally said thank you so much for taking my opinion on this and I’ll be sharing your response with other concerned citizens in my community. LOL
    This is getting more and more hilarious… I’m going to keep calling some others.
    One thing the responses I get tells me is that if these politicians were ever confronted in ‘public in front of a ‘average American audience’ about their Israel fetish they would wilt like a weed….they just don’t have a defense or even an explanation as to why they are literally acting as representatives for a foreign country –except that they are indeed doing so because of the Lobby, either fear of it or depending on it for their political careers and since they can’t admit that–they are left babbling with no logical or coherent answer.

    • i love these phone calls you’re making american!

      • American says:

        @ annie

        It’s fun..try it.
        I read a long time ago on my I/P journey about Senator Rockefeller, I believe it was ( in a book from the CNI) saying that politicians in Dc got thousand of phone calls from The Lobby on any little thing that might affect Israel. And hardly ever got any from constituents that might oppose some Israel bill because regular Americans never knew about them since they didn’t have any organization like the Lobby to keep them informed about what was going on in congress.

        Well now we got the net and MW…so go get ‘em.

        • john h says:

          Now that’s being real American, you’re sure living up to your name!

        • Citizen says:

          I received this response from my senator (five hours ago), an actual mummy, reelected once again due to fact his Florida’s competition were devoid of even a mummy’s motion and none had an IQ over 79:

          Dear Mister _________:

          Thank you for contacting me about the nomination of Chuck Hagel to serve as Secretary of Defense.

          Chuck Hagel is a solid former U.S. Senator, a dedicated public servant, and a patriot. I believe he is qualified to be Secretary of Defense, and I support his nomination.

          I appreciate your input on this issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further concerns.

          Sincerely,
          Bill Nelson

    • ritzl says:

      Great stuff, American!

    • MRW says:

      @American,

      Her constituent concerns? According to the Jewish Virtual Library, the total number of Jewish constituents in 2011 in a state of 9,535,483 is 30,675, or 0.3%. How has she been on getting jobs for the remaining 99.7%?

      • hophmi says:

        Or maybe there are actually some Christians who support Israel too. No, it’s just the Jews, right American?

        Obsession.

        • hophmi, there are more ways to support israel than trashing hagel. just because a christian might support israel doesn’t mean they are going to react like pavlov’s dog to this neocon smear campaign. you act like all israel supporters are joined at the hip.

          the average christian supporter of israel is going to see right thru this ugly attempt at manipulation.

        • marc b. says:

          Obsession.

          righto. but thankfully you’re here to ‘correct’ every logical and factual error made about eretz israel, not that you’re obsessive about such matters. and, yes, there are christians who support israel, too. it just happens that a significant portion of those christians, whom the GOI has chosen to align itself with, also support israel because it will be the site of a biblical conflagration ending the world, transporting them (not you) to the divine mothership (most of these supporters couldn’t find lebanon or jordan on a map, never mind distinguish between the WB and Gstrip.). with friends like that . . .

        • john h says:

          The average ones might, but that doesn’t include Christian Zionists who fantasise they are joined at the hip.

        • hophmi says:

          I was responding to American’s call to an NC senator asking her about how many Jews she has in her district, as if only Jews support a strong US-Israel alliance.

        • Mooser says:

          “Or maybe there are actually some Christians who support Israel too.”

          Hophmi, really, as one Jew to another, is that any recommendation for the idea? Those people will believe anything if you package it right. They ain’t got no +15!

        • hophmi says:

          All I’m saying is that asking a Senator in NC how many Jews are there is a dumb question that misses the point and ignores the reality, which is that most Americans support the US-Israel relationship, as shown by every public poll taken on that question over the last 25 years.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          “which is that most Americans support the US-Israel relationship, as shown by every public poll taken on that question over the last 25 years.”

          Ha! First off, let’s not pretend there isn’t a tremendous amount of pressure involved in these questions, secondly, that “support” is rhetorical only. Same thing with americans who say they are “conservative” ( almost 40%) but then want more money spent on education, less on the military and so on.

          People “support” Israel in those polls to the extent they don’t want to be seen as “anti-semitic”

        • seanmcbride says:

          Mooser,

          You might be surprised by how many Christians beat you by 3o or 40 points in the IQ department — but they don’t brag about it.

        • marc b. says:

          People “support” Israel in those polls to the extent they don’t want to be seen as “anti-semitic”

          that and they don’t know what the f*ck the issues are. the next time they have one of these polls the follow up to ‘do you support israel’ should be ‘what year was oslo I signed?’ or ‘what year were the camp david accords signed?’ if they can’t answer at least one of those questions correctly then what does their position on israel really mean? ‘do you support israel?’ in this country the answer to that question is about as profound as a response to ‘do you support peace’ or ‘do you think that communism is bad’. for most just a conditioned reflex is all.

        • Chu says:

          I cant tell you from personal experience that more and more Christians have contempt for the Israeli death machine as it gobbles up the remaining Palestinian lands.

        • hophmi says:

          I can tell you from empirical data that that simply isn’t true.

        • Citizen says:

          It should be a law that with the publication of any public poll results, the entire list of poll questions should be simultaneously published.

        • john h says:

          As they all should.

        • Ellen says:

          OMG, the ‘ole hasbarim is dragged out. The polls! The polls! The wishes of the American people, blah blah….Get a grip.

          Most people in the US don’t even know where Israel is, let alone even care one iota about it. Especially in North Carolina, which has almost no Jews. (South Carolina is a bit different with one of the original Jewish communities of North America including one of the first temples in the “holy city” of Charleston, which had synagogues and churches, but forbade Catholics in the early days.)

          Can you source those polls?

          Who writes the polls and for what purpose? What are the questions?

        • ritzl says:

          Right Annie. One of the angry themes of the reflexive “patriotic” crowd down here (deep South) is the encroaching-yet-ever-intangible “one world government.” I think it actually trumps the “moral values” stuff among a good many.

          Gawd, throw in the realization that we actually are being overtly manipulated by (that their kids are being sent to die for) a little country in the ME and Poof!!, there goes the pro-Israel component of that reflexiveness.

        • ritzl says:

          @Dan Crowther Too, if it’s the oft cited Gallup poll on “Who do you support…?” (it’s cited because it has a legit and lengthy history of being asked in the same way), the preface to the question is “Based on what you hear or have heard”… “Who do you support…?

          It’s a media effectiveness question, not a legitimate issue preference question.

          Same with the newer Iran questions in that poll set.

          It’s been a few years since I looked at this Gallup “Israel support” poll, so I may not remember this correctly, but those prefaces did stand out at that time.

        • Rusty Pipes says:

          Sean, I assume Mooser’s references to the +15 claim is a joke. Otherwise, how could he reconcile that with the knowledge that the f***in’ stupidest guy in Washington is Jewish?

          As far as bragging goes, even though Christian doctrine may list pride as a vice, the rank and file (whatever their IQs may be) violate it just as much as the other vices.

        • German Lefty says:

          Results of the 2012 Chicago Council Survey of American Public Opinion and U.S. Foreign Policy
          link to thechicagocouncil.org
          Page 31:
          “Percentage who think the United States should do each of the following in
          the Middle East conflict.
          Take Israel’s side -> 30 %
          Not take either side -> 65 %
          Take the Palestinian’s side -> 3 %”

        • American says:

          hophni says:
          January 16, 2013 at 2:50 pm

          I was responding to American’s call to an NC senator asking her about how many Jews she has in her district, as if only Jews support a strong US-Israel alliance.””>>>>>>>

          Can you get things right please.
          I didn’t ask her how many Jews she had in her district.
          When her aide said her questions about Hagel and Israel were on behalf of her ” constituents”…I asked if she was ”depending’ on Jewish campaign donations to her re election or to the Dem party.
          NC doesn’t have a large numbers of Jews and the ones I know aren’t big on Israel –I wanted to zing her on the Jewish Lobby connection since her statement said she was concerned how Hagel referred the Jewish Lobby..

          I have since done some digging on Ms Hagan and found some interesting stuff…..she was picked to run by the DNC and Schumer loaned her one of his aides to help in her campaign. That former Schumer aide went on to be Hagan’s Chief of Staff the first year but has now moved to another job. According legistorm.com this aide took the yearly trip to Israel while working for Hagan.
          I don’t believe for a second it’s her constituents concerns she’s catering to, it’s her towing the line for the money bags at the DNC and other politicians who can give her some of their campaign chest money for her political career and suggest AIPAC have their many ‘related’ org donate to her. I haven’t looked into her contributions records at opensecrets yet but I bet I find mostly and a lot of out of state contributions.

        • seanmcbride says:

          German Lefty,

          Not take either side -> 65 %

          Most Americans think rarely about Israel, or about Mideast politics in general, and few Americans would be willing to make major sacrifices for a foreign ethno-religious nationalist movement that is not their own. Why would anyone do so?

          Many pro-Israel activists are living in a dream world with regard to their reading of American culture. Their talent for self-hypnosis is impressive.

        • Citizen says:

          Here’s a list of polls (& questions asked) taken re I/P for the last 12 years. link to pollingreport.com

          If you take a few minutes to skim all 3 or 4 web pages of them, I think you will conclude that they reflect a significantly larger share of Americans think: (1) the USA should take a hands off policy. (2) US policy favors Israel. (3) The Israelis and Palestinians will not together obtain any peace. (4) The I-P conflict does not involve any significant threat to the USA. Yet (5) Sympathy is significantly more with the Israelis. (6) The Palestinians are conflated with HAMAS.

          Think of how much the average American polled would change his/her views if the US mainstream media actually gave out the Palestinian POV, even just some basic context like Nakba, occupation, not merely parrot hasbara or feign it was a symmetrical war/conflict.

          The view of both sides was much closer during Bush Era during re Lebanon conflict & during the GAZA boat conflict on the high seas.

        • Citizen says:

          Notice also the question assuming the Palestinians always start violence, Israel merely reacts. Imagine a reverse question? Right. It won’t happen.

        • American says:

          hophmi says:

          Or maybe there are actually some Christians who support Israel too. No, it’s just the Jews, right American?>>>>>>>>

          This is going to hurt you I’m sure, but there are Jews who don’t give a rats ass about Israel. None of the Jews I know (for 30 years) want anything to do with Israel.
          IMO it’s Jews who live in areas of high Jewish populations, who run in mostly Jewish dominated circles, that are the ones that support Israel and are very Jewish/Israel centric.
          I don’t see that among Jews who live in areas of fewer Jews and associate with gentile and more diverse and mixed communities and societies.

        • LeaNder says:

          Observing an argument, (in the heat of a perceived superiority trait?) You judge:

          MRW seemingly asking if a political actor’s positions and decisions represent his constituency statistically.

          Hopmi responding that this argument does not work, since Christians may support the same decisions and positions:

          Or maybe there are actually some Christians who support Israel too

          Mooser, Mooser responding that they may not be very bright and may have been given the run-around.

          Hophmi, really, as one Jew to another, is that any recommendation for the idea? Those people will believe anything if you package it right. They ain’t got no +15!

          Sean protecting Christians collectively that support Israel, ironically, to point out they may be more intelligent than Mooser:

          Mooser,

          You might be surprised by how many Christians beat you by 3o or 40 points in the IQ department — but they don’t brag about it.

      • American says:

        @ MRW

        Hagan has done nothing for NC. I had called before my second call to ask about her next appearance in NC and also called her regional office..twice…which no one seems to work in since all you get is a recording. Her staff in DC couldn ‘t tell me when she would next visit her district. Looking at her itinerary of past events on her site she seems to spend most of her time having tea parties with various women’s groups and so forth.
        She’s signed onto every single AIPAC get Iran bill so far.
        She runs again 2014….don’t know who will oppose her yet.
        Maybe congressman Jones can be talked into runing for the Senate and oppose her.

    • this is just hilarious. keep it up! Like vampires they shrivel and run shrieking when confronted by the light of day.

  13. MHughes976 says:

    I’m going to claim, with appropriate preening, that I was the first on Mondoweiss to predict explicitly that Hagel would become vocally pro-Israel when nominated (Jan.5, 7.13). Still no game-changer! Still a rag-tag army of eccentrics and oddbods challenging the huge, smooth machine of everyone who matters telling each other they’re right.

    • MRW says:

      Oh, c’mon McHughes, they say whatever they have to until they get in. The big fear with Hagel is that he doesn’t have to worry about a second term. He can pull his pants down and holler neener-neener-neener on January 22.

    • Dan Crowther says:

      No way Martin, I got the market cornered on Hagel skepticism!! Ha!

  14. Kathleen says:

    Oh those “liberal” Senators like Boxer and Schumer. So so “liberal” that someone who has put their own life on the line allegedly for our country like Hagel has to kiss their Israel firster asses

  15. Rusty Pipes says:

    Politico characterizes Boxer as a Jewish Democrat:

    Chuck Hagel is moving to assuage concerns raised by pro-Israel Democrats over his nomination as defense secretary, laying out a hawkish posture toward Iran and Hezbollah and apologizing for characterizing powerful activists as the “Jewish lobby.”

    In a letter to California Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Jewish Democrat, Hagel said he fully supports unilateral sanctions on Iran and condemned Hezbollah as a terrorist threat to Israel. He called it “a very poor choice of words” when he referred in a 2006 interview that the “Jewish lobby” tends to “intimidate” lawmakers, saying he understands how such words “can be construed as anti-Israel.”

    “Most Americans, myself included, are overwhelmingly supportive of a strong U.S.-Israel strategic and security relationship,” Hagel said in the letter, adding he would work to “expand the depth and breadth” of the countries’ ties if he’s confirmed as defense secretary. “This broad support comes from both Jews and non-Jews alike.”

    Hagel’s comments give a window into how the Nebraskan and the White House are quickly moving behind the scenes to eliminate dissenters in the Senate — particularly among Democrats who pose the greatest threat to his nomination. Hagel is also expected to meet this week with Sen. Chuck Schumer, the hawkish New York Jewish Democrat …

    Interestingly, California’s other Senator, Dianne Feinstein, also is a Jewish Democrat. Unlike Boxer, she came out in support of Hagel’s appointment early as an excellent choice. But then, California is a very big state and Boxer has to raise a lot of money to run campaigns here.

  16. ToivoS says:

    Most of us here that have been supporting Hagel enthusiastically knew that this painful day would arrive. We knew he would have to prostrate himself before the pro-Israel crowd. It is how the game is played unfortunately.

    BTW, I noticed a letter writing campaign this last weekend inside the California Democratic Party Clubs directed to Boxer asking her to back Hagel.

    Now for the prediction that I have been making for almost a year. I think Obama is very concerned about where his policy towards Iran has ended up. He did not want another war but allowed the wrong people to direct Iranian policy that he is now looking at a no war/no peace situation that is extremely dangerous and could blow up into all out war without his wanting it to. By wrong people I mean Hillary, Dennis Ross and Susan Rice. Now that he has Kerry and Hagel behind him I think he will be making a major effort to find a diplomatic solution to this crises. The experts know fairly well what the outlines for such a solution will have to be. The Leverett’s have been writing about this exhaustively so no need to repeat them but what is clear is that it will mean that the US will have to accept some things that we have been declaring unacceptable for the last 6 years. This will a major political battle, much more difficult than getting Hagel nominated.

    • Blank State says:

      “Now that he has Kerry and Hagel behind him I think he will be making a major effort to find a diplomatic solution to this crises”

      So there is a “crisis”, eh?? Me thinks you are buying the line of crap that is being used to market our hostilities towards Iran.

      What “crisis”??? Spell it out for us. You think Iran is gonna get a nuke and incinerate Israel??? Blow up New York?? Start a world wide nuclear holocaust???

      Yeah, really, I wanna know what this”crisis” is. Fill me in.

      • ToivoS says:

        You completely missed my point.

        The crisis is the result of US policies. The sanctions against Iran, assassinating Iranian scientists, cyber attacks against them not to mention tolerating incessant threats by Israel to attack Iran. At the same time repeating over and over again all options are on the table if Iran continues to enrich U235 which is their internationally recognized right under the NPT. These policies can easily lead to full scale war even if the US does not want that to happen.

  17. Kathleen says:

    Whoa Arianna Huffington has a seriously substantive post up over at Huff Po on who and why the neocons are going after Hagel. She shared that Senator Corker was on ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and was bringing up Hagel’s “temperament’ First he was not supportive enough of Israel to easy on Iran, inappropriate gay comments now they are going for his “temperament” Unable to link. “Neocon Nightmare” Really worth the read

    She makes great points about who is going after him, how most of them had pushed the invasion of Iraq how these Hagel attacks have to do with “relitigating” the Iraq war and Arianna points out that the Iraq war has never been “litigated”…”no one has been held accountable” Rockin piece

    • here it is kathleen “Neocon Nightmare: The Truth Behind the Attacks on Chuck Hagel ”

      link to huffingtonpost.com

      love this:

      if Hagel’s temperament is somehow relevant, it puts me in mind of the quote by Lincoln who, when approached by some of Grant’s critics about the general’s drinking, is supposed to have said: “Let me know what brand of whiskey Grant uses. For if it makes fighting generals like Grant, I should like to get some of it for distribution.”

      • Kathleen says:

        Thanks Annie. Can not link from this computer. Have never heard Arianna come out and be so honest about this issue. One step at a time. Annie Chris Matthews talked about the neocons tonight and the fight against Hagel. “Hagel confirmation looking more possible” Gets into the Iran issue false. Sam Stein said that Schumer had legitimate concerns about Iran and Israel as if as Andrew Sullivan said “Isn’t the job in question defense secretary of the US? Why should an American defense secretary be required to “staunchly advocate” for the interests of another country” Interesting to hear Sam Stein say that Schumer had “legitimate concerns about Iran and Israel”

        They show the clip of Colin Powell saying that calling Hagel “anti semitic” was shameful.

        Matthews to Sam Stein “do the neocons , the hawks feel that they have an agenda that will not be met now” Annie /Phil think you may want to watch that clip

      • American says:

        Here’s another one in that vein from Aaron David Miller. He gets it half right for a change imho. Althought he just has to screw it up by blaming the US-Isr difference on the ‘dysfunctional’ relationship bwtween and Obama.–As if the Israel issue isn’t about more than just O and Netanyahu’s not getting along…like getting Israel influence out of US government period. Miller just can’t let go of that ‘special relatinship’.

        link to foreignpolicy.com

        ”This is really a fight about Barack Obama. It is being driven by three somewhat overlapping constituencies — a pro-Israel community that doesn’t trust the president, a Republican party and a neoconservative elite struggling unsuccessfully to define its own foreign policy identity, and finally, a party in opposition that is determined to remind Obama that, reelected or not, he doesn’t have a free hand.

        Obama, Israel, and American Jews

        Hagel’s support for a special relationship with Israel — but not an exclusive one, where Israeli policies are above scrutiny and criticism — is really how Obama feels too. Hagel articulates on Israel what Obama cannot — a frustration with some of Israel’s policies and a belief that the United States needs to exhibit more balance and show greater sensitivity to Palestinian and Arab concerns.

        Like Obama, Hagel isn’t an enemy of a Jewish state, let alone, as some of his detractors have charged, a hater of Jews. But he’s clearly not emotional or emotive when it comes to Israel either.

        Obama is the first U.S. president who doesn’t think the Israelis are cowboys and the Palestinians are Indians. He was only six at the time of Israel’s stunning victory during the six day war and likely internalized little of the David vs. Goliath tropes relating to Israel and the Arabs. (If anything, he emerged with the opposite image of Israel as the mighty power occupying the West Bank and Gaza and the Palestinians as David.) And unlike Hagel, Obama didn’t grow up in a political environment where being “strong on Israel” mattered much for most of his political career.

        All of this is reflected and exacerbated by the ongoing melodrama of his relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Rightly or wrongly, the mutual impressions have been fixed: Netanyahu believes the president is insensitive — even bloodless — about Israel’s fears and concerns, and the president thinks the prime minister is a con man who operates with a wanton disregard for American interests.

        Four years in with another four to go, it’s clear to all but the interminably obtuse that these two just don’t get along. And there’s growing unease in the Jewish community and in Israel that tensions may rise further, as Obama looks toward his legacy and Netanyahu is pulled rightward by even more hardline members of a new coalition. ”>>>>

        I am imagining the conversation between O & H about how they would proceed with his nomination. O knows he is going to have to take a hit on H. H knows he is going to be getting some shit thrown at him that really is directed at O cause those that count know everything re war or poeace is gonna be up to O anyway . But the zios right on clue reared their ugly heads and made it all about Israel –and the dumb ass neos jumped right on the Isr bandwagon for the lobby and because they thought that the what about Israel defense would make it better than saying they want a war with Iran…lol….which is great for us A-Firsters cause it gave us a huge opening to attack them on their foreign loyalty.
        I Love it….

  18. HPH says:

    I looked at the full-page ad in the New York Times today that opposes the confirmation of Sen. Hagel. At the bottom of this ad, paid for by the Emergency Committee for Israel, is a call for action. It urges us to call Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to “ask them to put country ahead of party” in urging them to vote against confirming Sen. Hagel. I wonder which country, Israel or the United States, should we envision during this phone call? This question could be a good one for the start of a discussion with any senator’s office.

  19. Kathleen says:

    Adam, Annie, Phil
    3 hours of looking at the Chuck Hagel nomination on Sunday Jan 13th on C-Spans Washington Journal. Watching and listening now. Steve Clemons Editor at large of the Atlantic/ Gary Schmidt Co Director of the American Enterprise Institute are the guest.

    They started by talking about how Hagel had voted against the Iraq surge. We all know how many times we hear the Iraq surge worked. Just read an article somewhere recently that that claim is not accurate what so ever. Will find

    • Citizen says:

      @ Kathleen
      That was a very, very disappointing 3 hours of WJ.

      • Kathleen says:

        Not sure what you watched. I thought it was great. Discussion about US foreign policy and use of defense. Invasion of Iraq, private contractors, surge, limitations of military power, Private contractors, Iran, sanctions, Israel, Palestine. Even talk a bit about US interest vs Israel’s interest. Thought it was great and informative for the public. Great over view about Hagel

  20. EUR1069 says:

    With Hagel’s turncoat act the zionization of the United States of Israel is now complete. How disgusting.

    • Mooser says:

      “With Hagel’s turncoat act the zionization of the United States of Israel is now complete. How disgusting.”

      Wow, that was fast! I can never keep up. I thought Hagel was just nominated, but it seems he’s already taken office and betrayed us. That’s what I get for blinking. Oh, well, back to the toothpicks.

  21. piotr says:

    I am surprised that there are people not familiar with the word “prostrate”, even in such a sophisticated group as Mondoweiss readers. But clearly, newbies will make quick progress as it is one of the essential words.

    This is a very good reference: wiki for Kowtow
    link to en.wikipedia.org
    and our elected and nominated officials may be described equally well as kowtowing. As we see, prostration and kowtowing is simply an act acknowledging vastly superior status, be it a deity, emperor or an imperial official to be addressed by a provincial peasant.

    In imperial China, obtaining some key court positions would of course require prostration (kowtowing) of the canditate, but more interestingly could also require castration. We shall see how closely Washington follows the customs of the Forbidden City. (Prostitution does not seem relevant in this context.)

    • Mooser says:

      “But clearly, newbies will make quick progress as it is one of the essential words.”

      You bet! Prostrate health should be checked yearly. If your prostrate goes bad, you could end up with a bad case of iconoclasm. There is even some possibility of electrocution as a result.

    • Mooser says:

      “(Prostitution does not seem relevant in this context.)”

      Say what? If you are talking about Imperial China, never count out the concubines.

      • john h says:

        Never talk about concubines…remember some stories about them in ye olde Israel…tut tut! Oh those kings of yore-ah. Count them in. And out.

    • john h says:

      Prostration and kowtowing, that’s what elected officials are experts at. Whether it’s for money or votes or acceptance or Israel, bowing the knee is the name of the game nearly every one of them plays.

  22. piotr says:

    Yet it is a nuanced landscape, as we can see from the posts of our hosts. Nothing changes, everything changes? Neocons are lamenting the ebb of their influence.

    Old warrior Hagel executes perfect dogeza. Following bushido, the code of warriors, he should say “I apologize. Only death can erase my error”, which is followed by seppuku at the discretion of the superior. Bill Crystol laments that showing mercy in this case is ill advised, and the traitors to the Jewish people knowingly accept the apology not in spite of its insincerity but BECAUSE of it.

    One theory of the paranoid and the hopeful is that Obama decided to oppose Israeli excesses surreptitiously. For example, Cameron voiced opposition to new settlement plans in his capacity of Obama stooge. This could be mere neo-con paranoia, but as an actual strategy, it is doable and it makes sense.

    At this point I am loosing track of what is or will be symbolic and what is real. Perhaps Hagel nomination is a harbinger: it was floated unofficially, and once a large part of commentariat sided with him, the nomination was official. Optimistic view is that now there exist channels through which ideas can be transmitted from hitherto “extremist” sources back to the central political stage from which they were exiled. What will happen WILL be influenced, and Mondoweiss is a part of it.

    After all, extrapolation of the recent trends would lead to disasters. Next visit of Israeli Prime minister could result in amputations of hands of Congressmen due to irreparable damage incurred by hours of vigorous clapping.

  23. Citizen says:

    According to this Zionist paper, Hagel’s death bed conversion was even wider, for example including castigating Turkey, a member of NATO, for not allowing Israel, a non-NATO nation, to rule the NATO roost: link to algemeiner.com

  24. American says:

    January 31 is the date for Senate process on Hagel..mark you calendars. Sure c-span will be covering it.