Daily Israel Report

Arutz Sheva Op-ed on Hagel Picked Up By Breitbart

Breitbart reports on op-ed which exposed that Hagel called for U.S. troops to patrol the future borders between Israel and 'Palestine'.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/25/2013, 3:14 AM

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel
Former Sen. Chuck Hagel
Reuters

An op-ed by longtime Arutz Sheva contributor Mark Langfan has been picked up by Breitbart News.

Langfan’s op-ed, which was posted to Arutz Sheva on Saturday, exposed that former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), President Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, co-authored a 2009 report that called for U.S. troops to lead a peacekeeping force that would patrol the future borders between Israel and a Palestinian state.

The report also suggested that peace could be imposed from outside by the U.S., describing arguments to the contrary as “invalid.” Breitbart published an article on the report Sunday, noting that it was previously referenced in Arutz Sheva.

The report, co-authored by Hagel with Carter administration Secretary of State Zbigniew Brzezinski and former George H.W. Bush adviser Brent Scowcroft, among others, was produced in an effort to influence Obama administration policy in the president’s first term.

It called upon the new president to make resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) a top priority “early in his presidency” and to override “certain domestic constituencies.”

The report called for the U.S. military to be deployed as part of its suggested plan for peace, which calls for a “non-militarized Palestinian state, together with security mechanisms that address Israeli concerns while respecting Palestinian sovereignty, and a U.S.- led multinational force to ensure a peaceful transitional security period. This coalition peacekeeping structure, under UN mandate, would feature American leadership of a NATO force supplemented by Jordanians, Egyptians and Israelis. We can envision a five-year, renewable mandate with the objective of achieving full Palestinian domination of security affairs on the Palestine side of the line within 15 years.”

In addition, the report called for the U.S. to encourage Israeli-Syrian peace negotiations, and to take a “more pragmatic approach” to the Hamas terror organization in control of Gaza.

Breitbart noted that elements of the report seem to have found their way into President Obama’s policy.

It recommends, for example, the appointment of a Special Envoy to pressure the two sides to achieve piece. Obama named former Sen. George Mitchell as Special Envoy to the Middle East in 2009; he resigned two years later after failing to move talks forward.

Another part of the report may have made its way into Obama’s controversial speech in Cairo in June of 2009. The report declares, “A significant achievement – the creation and sustaining of a democratic Jewish State in the wake of the Holocaust – was accompanied by considerable and ongoing Palestinian suffering.”

It fails to mention that Jews developed many of Israel’s institutions prior to the Holocaust, and that the UN also called for a Palestinian state alongside Israel in 1947, which the Arab world rejected. The Arab states chose instead to attack Israel.

Likewise, in his Cairo speech Obama portrayed the creation of Israel as solely resulting from the Holocaust, and compared Jewish suffering in Europe to the suffering of PA Arabs for lack of a state, noted Breitbart.

Those comments drew criticism from some Jewish leaders, including Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, who reported concerns even among Obama’s Jewish supporters.

Hagel was not asked in his confirmation hearing about whether he still believes U.S. troops should be used as peacekeepers in what remains a dangerous and volatile part of the world, noted Breitbart.

The Republican Jewish Coalition, along with countless others, has cited a long list of Hagel’s anti-Israel policies, asserting that his nomination would “be a slap in the face for every American who is concerned about the safety of Israel.”

Hagel, however, recently claimed that there is "not one shred of evidence that I'm anti-Israeli, not one (Senate) vote that matters that hurt Israel."

Nevertheless, reports about countless statements he has made against Israel over the years have surfaced in recent weeks.

Last week, a publication of Hagel’s statements from a 2010 meeting with university students showed yet another anti-Israel statement.

Hagel reportedly said that Israel is becoming an “apartheid state,” and dismissed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as “a radical.”

Hagel’s statements were revealed by a student who was present at the event. Former student Kenneth Wagner shared an email he wrote during Hagel’s talk with the Washington Free Beacon.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) has warned fellow Republicans they will be held accountable if they vote to end an ongoing Senate filibuster over Hagel’s nomination.

“Make no mistake; a vote for cloture is a vote to confirm Sen. Hagel as Secretary of Defense,” Inhofe wrote in a strongly worded letter to his Republican colleagues on Thursday.

Several of the Republicans have indicated in recent days that they would vote to end debate on Hagel’s nomination, paving the way for his confirmation.

Hagel’s nomination stalled on February 14 when Senate Democrats could not muster the 60-votes needed to end a Republican filibuster of the nomination.