Daily Israel Report

JStreet Cheers Hagel Confirmation

The radically leftist JStreet lobby welcomed the confirmation of former Sen. Chuck Hagel as incoming U.S. Secretary of Defense.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 2/28/2013, 8:00 PM

former senator Chuck Hagel
former senator Chuck Hagel
Reuters

The radically leftist JStreet lobby welcomed the confirmation of former Sen. Chuck Hagel as incoming U.S. Secretary of Defense.

“Chuck Hagel will add a powerful voice to those of us who believe that a two-state solution is not just fundamental to Israel if it is to remain both Jewish and democratic, but fundamental also to America if we are to succeed in promoting security and stability in the Middle East and the world,” the group said in a statement.  

Hagel’s “recognition that achieving a two-state solution is ultimately the only way to secure Israel’s future for generations to come” demonstrates that he “places a higher premium on his strategic analysis than on political posturing.”

“It is precisely Hagel’s understanding that war should always be the final option that will make him an outstanding Secretary of Defense,” it read, adding that “it was very unfortunate that some of Hagel’s opponents felt the need to spend vast sums of money to mount a campaign of slander and innuendo against him.”

While JStreet claims it is a “pro-Israel” organization, its policies have ranged from supporting the libelous Goldstone Report to opposing sanctions and military actions against Iran, as well as providing a forum for radicals advocating boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

Hagel, who has been embroiled in a prolonged battle to ensure his confirmation, won endorsement of the senate on Tuesday in a vote of 58-41 to replace outgoing Pentagon chief Leon Panetta.

The conservative Emergency Committee for Israel issued a statement saying that the pro-Israel community  “fought the good fight,” despite Hagel’s confirmation.

“We are heartened that the overwhelming majority of senators from one of the two major parties voted against confirming Mr. Hagel. We take some comfort in Mr. Hagel's confirmation conversions on the issues of Israel and Iran, and do believe that, as a result of this battle, Mr. Hagel will be less free to pursue dangerous policies at the Defense Department and less inclined to advocate them within the administration. And since hope is an American characteristic and a Jewish virtue, we will also say that we hope Mr. Hagel will rise to the occasion and successfully discharge his weighty duties. In this task we wish him well,” said ECI Chairman William Kristol.

“Sadly, we continue to believe that the choice of Chuck Hagel for this post sends the wrong message to the American people, our allies, and our adversaries,” sdded RJC executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition Matt Brooks.

While Hagel recently claimed that there is "not one shred of evidence that [he’s] anti-Israeli," his policy record and previous statement suggest otherwise.

Last week, a publication of Hagel’s statements from a 2010 meeting with university students added to his already blatantly anti-Israel stance when he claimed that the Jewish is becoming an “apartheid state,” and dismissed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as “a radical.”