Hagel’s ‘caged animals’ line echoes Israeli soldier at checkpoint– ‘the animals are locked’

Israel/Palestine
on 30 Comments

In his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee last Thursday, Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel was forced to eat his words, describing Palestinians as caged animals:

Sen. [Mike] LEE [Republican of Utah]: OK, Senator, my time’s expired. I need to ask you one more question. I understand that you have made a statement indicating that there is no justification for Palestinian suicide bombers but that there is also no justification for Israel to, quote, “keep Palestinians caged up like animals,” close quote. Did you say that, and if so, do you stand by that statement today?

Mr. HAGEL: Well, I said it. And I don’t remember the context or when I said it. But if I –

Sen. LEE: Do you believe today that Israel keeps Palestinians caged up like animals?

Mr. HAGEL: No, if I had an opportunity to edit that, like many things I’ve said, I would — I would like to go back and change the words and the meaning. No, it was, I think, in a larger context. I’ve said many, many things over many years. It was a larger context of the frustration in what’s happening, which is not in Israel’s interest, to find ways that we can help bring peace and security to Israel. If I — if I had a chance to go back and edit it, I would. I regret that I used those words.

Sen. LEE: Thank you.

Mr. HAGEL: Thank you.

Max Blumenthal directs me to Yoav Shamir’s film “Checkpoint,” and a laughing Israeli soldier in the clip, above, at 5:00:

Animals. Animals. Like the Discovery Channel. All of Ramallah is a jungle. There are monkeys, dogs, gorillas. The problem is that the animals are locked, they can’t come out. We’re humans, they’re animals. They aren’t humans, we are… [on being told by fellow soldier that he is being filmed] I don’t care what people think. The chief of staff can see it for all I care.

So we don’t have anything like a free discourse in this country.

About Philip Weiss

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

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30 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    February 3, 2013, 11:10 am

    A bit hard on Hagel, but GREAT that his “caged like animals” comment got “out there” and was repeated (by way of seeking disavowal) by these CHAMPIONS OF ISRAEL.

    I assume that no-one tortured Hagel to force him to say “caged like animals” in the first place, but it was a little strained getting him to recant. See end of my recent comment on torture link to mondoweiss.net

  2. Krauss
    February 3, 2013, 11:33 am

    I have come to view the Hagel hearing not as an actual hearing – I believe it was actually a fundraiser.

    When Tom Friedman worte about Congress continous applause of Bibi and how every single applause had been “bought and paid for” by the Israel lobby, a firestorm ensued. Yet, as we now know, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was leading the charge, giving hand signals to her caucus when to rise and clap.

    A few days later, Nahum Barnea, one of Israel’s most esteemed journalists, wrote in Yehidoth, defending Friedman, and then said that he was there at the time and he saw Jewish-Zionist right-wing donors looking down from the balcony. He never specified which or who they were, but he made clear that they were there for surveillance. Is “my” Congressman/woman doing what I paid them to do? I doubt that the Congressmen/women weren’t aware of the fact that their right-wing donors were watching them, seeing how they behave.

    What I wondered back then was; were the Congressmen and women aware of this?
    They must have been! Their donors were looking and they required a show.

    What makes you think this wasn’t the case with the Hagel hearing? I think a lot of those senators knew their donors, or their donors’ representatives and aides, were watching. That’s why it was all about Israel.

    The facade had been shattered. Gone were the liberal smokescreens about gay, women or abortion. Now, the only concern that was ever really at play came to fore: will Hagel commit to the Apartheid state? He even gritted through his teeth “Israel is our closest ally”.

    This was quite a show for the lobby. Hagel knows that in foreign policy, he doesn’t answer to Congress, which has indeed been bought by the Israel lobby as Friedman explained in the Times. But even so, an opportunity was missed, as Beinart later said, when he failed to draw a contrast in a sufficient manner. Beinart thought it was his aides, who had briefed him and went with the ‘safe route’. That was disappointing.

    Nonetheless, I gather that Lindsay Graham and other whores of the lobby pleased their masters quite well. They knew it was a fundraising effort. And they did what they were great at.

    Politics as it is, not as we believe it to be, was at display that day. It was sickening to watch. But at the same time, it was relieving to finally see the mask shattered. No more illusions. It was all about Israel now. As it had been from the beginning. And the hypocrisy was vanished and the venality was at full display.

    • Citizen
      February 3, 2013, 4:55 pm

      Wouldn’t you like to know who coached Hagel for his vetting?

    • George Smith
      February 3, 2013, 5:24 pm

      “I have come to view the Hagel hearing not as an actual hearing – I believe it was actually a fundraiser.” –Krauss

      Les mots justes!

    • traintosiberia
      February 4, 2013, 8:41 am

      Krauss
      Can I have the link please on Nahum Barnea.? This is incredible.
      Somewhere I read that the Congress does not allow any journalist when they discuss and decide the amont of money to be supplied to Israel.

    • NickJOCW
      February 4, 2013, 9:38 am

      Surely the sole purpose was to say what would get him appointed to the job; in a pragmatic world no one expects him to be held in chains to what he says either way. He may ‘regret’ he used those words but not because he didn’t mean them, merely that he might have expressed his sentiments differently. That’s a problem of political correctness not of belief.

  3. Cliff
    February 3, 2013, 11:47 am

    In American politics, you have to be sell out to make it as high as Hagel has.

  4. Mndwss
    February 3, 2013, 12:03 pm

    What a horrible video. It can not be real. Jews would never talk like that. It must have been made in Pallywood, by pallymonsters, trying to make the friendly occupation look like something out of a film about Nazis…

    Nice try, you evil, nefarious, malicious and malevolent anti-Semites!

    We Zionists are on to you!

    And if the video is not a fake?

    Then it is VERY anti-semitic to film people who talk about how they are “protecting” the only Jewish-military-democracy in the ME.

    • Mondowise
      February 3, 2013, 11:01 pm

      uh, satire…right?

      and if you are not fake?
      then you are hopelessly misaligned, quit spewing your filthy zio-junkie hasbara.

      we the people of the world are on to you!

  5. American
    February 3, 2013, 12:10 pm

    So we don’t have anything like a free discourse in this country.”>>>>

    Not in politics obviously, or most of msm journalism, press and media…and they wish they could totally control academica too, but that censorship looks to be slowly failing.
    300 + or – million other Americans not in politics, journalism or media do have free discourse. And there’s nothing congress or zionist or Israel can do about it.
    Wonder if the zionist think the Hagel inquistion will make average people censor themselves on the Lobby or Israel.
    From what I’ve heard off net and seen on net it’s had the opposite effect on the public.

    • Citizen
      February 3, 2013, 4:59 pm

      Well, American, the Hagel vetting was not the Superbowl, or even Joan Rivers making vulgar cracks at fashion’s ladies and Hollywood celebrities. “The Public” missed the Hagel vetting. I bet not a few thousand Americans watched it live or later. The status quo relies on this.

      • American
        February 4, 2013, 11:19 am

        @ Citizen

        Well you’ re probably right but I believe in the 20/80 rule….that 20% of the people do 80% of the work in any endeavor or in changing anything…..from a seed a tree grows.

    • sardelapasti
      February 4, 2013, 3:38 am

      American: “And there’s nothing congress or zionists or Israel can do about it.”
      Some pink sunglasses, there. While they canceled the Fourth, canceled all judicial guarantees, and made royal murder official, we happily and effortlessly swallowed that camel. You expect us good folk to strain at the gnat of “free discourse”? Good luck.

  6. Kathleen
    February 3, 2013, 12:28 pm

    Up with Chris Hayes “you would have thought President Obama had chosen Noam Cholmsky for the post” Chris Hayes better than ever on the Hagel hearing. Slavin much more honest than ever before “surge covered the U.S’s rear” Chris Hayes even mentions the John Hopkins Lancet report in 2006 about how many Iraqi people had been killed at that point as a direct consequence of the U.S. invasion.

    Why is it that we hear so many people say that “we will have to wait for history” to determine the the lack of success or success about Iraq etc . As if the hundreds of thousands dead, injured, displaced do not not matter. Because clearly what was learned from Vietnam is don’t count their dead and do not show the American people the pictures of the dead. In fact don’t talk about their dead, injured, displaced hardly at all. Just “move forward” Sickening.

    Micheal Hastings just dug into the truth of the matters

  7. Kathleen
    February 3, 2013, 12:46 pm

    On Up Ali Gharib from Daily Beast the Hagel hearing a “maoist public shaming” a “Republican purge” The image that Slavin painted of Hagels “back pedaling” such a perfect image

    Slavin has really softened up. I have heard her repeat the unsubstantiated claims about Iran on NPR and Cspan’s Washington Journal. She actually focused on the facts and “containment” instead of unnecessary aggression towards Iran

    • Kathleen
      February 3, 2013, 1:01 pm

      Hastings…. Hagel “rolled in public”
      Ali Gharib “the administration told him to lay down”
      Chris Hayes “strategically allowed himself to be rolled”
      Chris Hayes “looked like there was a gun off screen aimed at his head”

  8. DICKERSON3870
    February 3, 2013, 1:21 pm

    RE: “Animals. Animals. Like the Discovery Channel. All of Ramallah is a jungle. There are monkeys, dogs, gorillas.” ~ a laughing Israeli soldier referring to Palestinians

    MY COMMENT: Look on the bright side Phil, at least the Israeli soldier did not call the Palestinians “roaches” like Rafael Eitan! ! !

    May 3, 1983:
    “When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged roaches in a bottle.” – Rafael Eitan (1929-2004) served as Chief of Staff of the IDF, and later as Knesset member and government minister. Sources
    SOURCE – link to mondoweiss.net

    • DICKERSON3870
      February 3, 2013, 1:45 pm

      P.S. OR “CROCODILES” LIKE EHUD BARAK WHEN HE WAS PRIME MINISTER:“The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more”…. Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel at the time – August 28, 2000. Reported in the Jerusalem Post August 30, 2000
      SOURCE – link to whatreallyhappened.com

    • traintosiberia
      February 4, 2013, 8:44 am

      There was an inredible article in Counterpunch by an Indian writer on the racist ,hateful,and bigoted utternaces by the Israeli leaders from 1950s. I dont have the link

  9. yourstruly
    February 3, 2013, 1:33 pm

    “What’s the Afghanistan mission?” – op-ed, today’s LA Times

    “The White House has also proposed a ‘zero option’ {no troops left behind}, but that looks mostly like a bargaining ploy in negotiations with Karzai?” -

    not as an opening move towards peace on earth & goodwill to all living beings?

    in the spirit of those eighteen days in tahrir square?

    just might catch on?

  10. American
    February 3, 2013, 1:42 pm

    ‘New Kevin Spacey Film Exposes Lobby & Its Supporters


    You have to check out this new film.

    It is big. It stars Kevin Spacey who also directed it. Additionally, it is the first film produced by Netflix, which is itself a huge deal, and is available instantly at its site for free streaming.

    Here is the amazing part. I don’t think I’m revealing any spoilers because this is only a small part of the plot but, if you are sensitive about such things, stop reading.

    So…Kevin Spacey plays the Democratic whip of the House of Representatives. A new president has just been elected, who has promised to appoint Spacey’s character Secretary of State. However, he reneges and gives the job to someone else. The guy who gets the job is fine, even from Spacey’s viewpoint, but Spacey is mad and has to block him to hurt the president.

    But the guy is clean. What to do?

    Spacey’s staffer comes up with a Williams College editorial on Israel, published when the Secretary of State nominee was editor-in-chief of the college paper. The editorial calls the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza illegal.

    Spacey figures that should be enough to destroy the would-be secretary’s chances EXCEPT it turns out that he did not write the editorial, another student did. Spacey dispatches a corrupt, drug addicted Congressman (really) to visit the guy who wrote the article and convince him to say that it was, in fact, the Secretary of State nominee who was responsible.

    The guy doesn’t want to do it. He says that, even as a student, the Secretary-designate was a total wuss who would never take any controversial stands.

    So the doped up Congressman bribes him with pot and cocaine and, voila, he changes his mind. He will go public with the fact that it was the Secretary guy who opposed the occupation.

    Spacey gives the story to the Washington Post and then the Secretary nominee is confronted by the real George Stephanopoulos on his Sunday show who nails him for having criticized Israel 30 years ago! The addled nominee laughs!

    Spacey calls the head of the Anti-Defamation League (not played by the real Abe Foxman) who denounces the Secretary-to-be as an anti-Semite (in part for laughing at the charge of disrespecting Israel). He is forced to withdraw.

    All the forces of corruption win!

    Exaggerated? Nope, as the Hagel assault demonstrates.

    This is how the lobby operates.

    Kevin Spacey, bless you.

    Hey, lobby, lots of luck bringing Spacey or Netflix to their knees!

    link to mjayrosenberg.com

    the movie….’House of Cards”
    link to movies.netflix.com

    • Bumblebye
      February 3, 2013, 3:52 pm

      House of Cards, the book:
      Written by, at the time, a real Conservative MP. (Now ‘elevated’ to the House of Lords.)
      link to michaeldobbs.com

      First of a trilogy.

      • sardelapasti
        February 4, 2013, 2:52 am

        Written, I take it, before the Affaire Chuck. They still had a real MP who can think!

    • Kathleen
      February 3, 2013, 7:37 pm

      Interesting. A pile on.

    • W.Jones
      February 3, 2013, 7:50 pm

      What about the West Wing show where the president had a map of Palestine?

    • Ramzi Jaber
      February 3, 2013, 7:52 pm

      Amazing! Great timing. Thanks you American.

      The Zionist Lobby strategy against those not (yet) under its thumbs: box them in as anti-Semites and anti-israel, then force them to overcompensate. It always works. Latest example: Sen. Johanns (R-NE/AIPAC) said “Chuck earned this endorsement. He was absolutely clear that he will be a strong defender of Israel, and that’s very important to me”. Hagel sold his soul to the Amrican Zionists. So did Johanns.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 3, 2013, 10:21 pm

      OMG, i love it!!! thank you american. here’s the trailer link to youtube.com

      his wife is robin wright. sizzle

    • CloakAndDagger
      February 3, 2013, 10:33 pm

      The times they are a changin’ …

  11. DICKERSON3870
    February 3, 2013, 1:56 pm

    RE: “Max Blumenthal directs me to Yoav Shamir’s film
    Checkpoint ~ Weiss

    THE ENTIRE 2003 FILM ‘CHECKPOINT’ BY YOAV SHAMIR:

    Checkpoint 2003 – Palestine (full) [VIDEO, 1:20:01] – link to youtube.com

    Checkpoint – every day life in Israel – Documentary [VIDEO, 1:20:01] – link to youtube.com

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