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Daily Israel Report

Top Pundit: Hagel Means Israel Faces Iran Alone

Maariv / Makor Rishon's Amnon Lord explains that Hagel is bad news, not just for Israel.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 1/6/2013, 9:12 PM

Amnon Lord, a leading political commentator at Makor Rishon and Maariv newspapers, opined Sunday that if President Barack Obama succeeds in appointing Chuck Hagel Secretary of Defense, Israel will have to face Iran on its own.

And yet, said Lord, "if AIPAC goes into turbo front wheel drive in order to prevent the appointment, this would be a mistake. Hagel is bad news, not because of his attitude toward Israel but mostly because of his strong isolationist tendency and his being a defeatist dove on the matter of Iran."

The will to appoint Hagel exposes Obama's true world view, Lord explained. "The problem is, first and foremost, the United States', not Israel's." In 45 or 50 years, he added, the United States has gone from believing the entire free world needs to be protected in order for the U.S. to be safe, to a point in which the United States seems to think there is nothing that requires its intervention beyond, perhaps, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

"A guy like Chuck Hagel apparently intends to defend the shores of Florida and deploy Arrow and Iron Dome systems in Washington," he wrote sarcastically.

"If Hagel's appointment turns into reality, Israel is apparently on its own in the Iranian matter," Lord stated. "The defense establishment's long honeymoon with its American counterpart may also be over. And yet, the diplomatic warfare and economic sanctions are under the purview of the Secretary of State, and John Kerry will want to prove himself as an activist. So politically, it's not over yet."

Lord said that Hagel's appointment will undergo "a Turkish bath" of heat in Congress and that Hagel himself may opt out of the appointment at a certain point.