Schumer describes Hagel’s come-to-Jesus moment

on 61 Comments

The two Chucks bro’ down, as reported by the WSJ blog:

Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel “almost had tears in his eyes” when Sen. Chuck Schumer explained during a private meeting his objection to Mr. Hagel’s use of the term “Jewish lobby,” Mr. Schumer recalled Wednesday.

During a 90-minute meeting [on January 15] shortly after Mr. Hagel’s name was floated for the spot, Mr. Schumer, a Democrat, “asked him about all the things he said that had troubled me, troubled you, troubled any of us who are supporters of Israel,” he said.

Politico’s Maggie Haberman reports that Schumer described the meeting in a breakfast speech in New York at the Association for a Better New York and the Downtown Alliance: 

“He struck me as sincere, and you know, you have to be sitting there at the meeting obviously, but I also told him when he used the word Jewish lobby what it meant to Jewish people,” [Schumer] added.

“And I told him what a double standard is. That Jewish people throughout the centuries have suffered a double standard. Everyone could be a farmer except Jewish people. Everyone could live in Moscow except Jewish people. I said when everyone else can lobby but all of a sudden when those of us who are pro-Israel lobby, it’s a negative, that’s a double standard. And I’m sure you didn’t mean it, but it harkens to the old days.

“And he really, you know, he almost had tears in his eyes when he understood. So I believe he will be good.”

Schumer noted that there is “not a major Jewish organization against” Hagel.

“The main fight on Hagel is coming from the neocons, who you know well. And they resent Hagel’s apostasy on Iraq. You may remember — the neocons helped push Iraq — and Hagel was one of the first Republicans to say Iraq wasn’t working. And he was right. But that’s where it’s coming from.”

Yes and why did you support the neocons’ idea of remaking Iraq, Senator?
Interesting that in Schumer’s view it’s not the term Jewish lobby that rankles– after all, he cites all the Jewish organizations behind Hagel– it’s that non-Jews are not allowed to criticize it. Much as Elliott Abrams asserted to Brian Lehrer. So, I would respond, Are Jews as an American community persecuted outsiders, as we were in Russia in a historical memory that is so fresh to Senator Chuck Schumer; or are we empowered and accountable for our actions–i.e., is criticism allowed? This fundamental misprision of our power, our position is the error here. 
P.S. Schumer has said that his name means Guardian in Hebrew; and he’s Israel’s Guardian. The commitments he extracted from Hagel at that meeting were itemized at the time by Schumer here.

    Leave a Reply