Israeli commentators tried to play down the impact of Monday's nomination of former Republican senator Chuck Hagel, who has been criticized by those in his own party for being anti-Israel, to defense secretary.
"Barack Obama did not choose Chuck Hagel because of his views on Israel and the president will not base his Israel policy on the views of Chuck Hagel", the commentator of Israel's Channel Two told AFP. "On the contrary, as the president underlined, he will remain the commander in chief of foreign policy," the commentator said, adding that he did not expect US military aid to Israel of more than $3 billion dollars a year to be affected if Hagel's appointment was confirmed by the Senate.
The commentator of Channel 10, said the one person who might struggle with Hagel as defence secretary was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had bad personal relations with him. Hagel "is not an enemy of Israel but an enemy of Netanyahu," he said.