Chuck Hagel meets Ehud Barak (and wants to make sure the Israel lobby knows it)

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
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(Photo: Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo/ U.S. Department of Defense)

Haaretz‘s Barak Ravid reports on today’s meeting between Chuck Hagel and Ehud Barak. Israel doesn’t have to worry about the sequester:

New U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hosted Defense Minister Ehud Barak at the Pentagon on Tuesday, making a special effort to express warmth and friendliness toward his Israeli counterpart during their first meeting together since the prior assumed office.

Hagel assured Barak during their meeting that he was committed to the security of Israel and of preserving the Israel Defense Forces’ qualitative advantage over the armies of the Arab world. He also said that he would work to ensure that U.S. funding toward Israel, particularly with regard to its defense systems, would continue “despite fiscal uncertainty.”

“Secretary Hagel is committed to working with members of Congress to ensure that there is no interruption of funding for Iron Dome, Arrow, and David’s Sling rocket and missile defense systems,” a U.S. defense official said.

Hagel’s nearly two-hour-long talks with Barak represented his first face-to-face meeting with a foreign counterpart since he took over the Pentagon on Feb. 27.

Also sounds like someone is overcompensating a bit:

At the end of their meeting, the Pentagon issued an unusually long and detailed statement regarding their conversation, and published numerous photographs of the two together. The content of the Pentagon’s statement seemed directed more to the American Jewish community and friends of Israel than to Israel itself.

hires2(Photo: Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo/ U.S. Department of Defense)

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