Daily Israel Report
More

Zion's Corner Blogs


Hagel: US Needs to 'Reverse Optics' in Relationship With Israel

Chuck Hagel: In order to restore credibility as an honest broker in Mideast, US has to "reverse optics" in relationship with Jewish state.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 2/8/2013, 11:54 AM

Chuck Hagel at Senate hearing
Chuck Hagel at Senate hearing
Reuters

The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations recently published a recording of a speech given by former senator Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama’s highly controversial nominee for secretary of defense, in which he said that the United States has to "reverse optics" in its relationship with the state of Israel.

In order to restore its credibility as an honest broker between Israelis and Palestinians, America has to “reverse optics” in its ties with the Jewish state, the former Republican senator from Nebraska said in 2007, as first reported by Breitbart.com.

"There's no question in the Arab-Israeli issue that Israel is a nation today as a result of the United States," he said, possibly referring to the decision by President Harry Truman to recognize the establishment of the State of Israel, as well as continued military, financial and diplomatic ties between the two countries.

While his remarks are not entirely clear, in context, it seems that Hagel was intending to reinforce perceptions of Israel as a client state of the United States, according to Breitbart.

It was recently revealed that Hagel made further staggering accusations against Israel, alleging that the Jewish state is keeping the “Palestinians caged up like animals.”

The highly controversial nominee does not elaborate on the claim or explain how he believes Israel is keeping “Palestinians caged up like animals,” according to the Journal Star report. The comment is, however, consistent with his long anti-Israel and anti-Jewish record.

The two-term senator chosen by President Barack Obama to replace current secretary of defense Leon Panetta, has come under intense fire for his record on Israel, Iran, Hamas, as well as his comments about “the Jewish lobby,” homosexuals and a myriad of other issues.

The Senate Armed Services Committee postponed a panel vote that was expected to take place Thursday on the contentious nomination after Republicans demanded that he release additional financial information, including details regarding compensation for speeches he delivered since leaving Capitol Hill.