Politicians from both parties, Jewish leaders oppose Hagel nomination in RJC ad

Click photo to download. Caption: Former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel. Credit: U.S. Senate.(JNS.org) Politicians from both sides of the aisle, as well as Jewish leaders, criticize President Barack Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense in a new video advertisement released Jan. 24 by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC).

“It seems that there is some kind of an endemic hostility toward Israel, and I think in the sensitive post of Secretary of Defense, those are warning bells, those are red lights,” U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) says in the ad.

The ad, which asks viewers to call their U.S. senators to ask that they vote against Hagel’s nomination, can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sPAeWe5rsf8

Recently retired U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) notes that Hagel “has consistently been against economic sanctions to try to change the radical regime in Tehran.”

The Washington Post editorial board, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham  (R-SC), and Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center are among the other Hagel critics featured in the ad.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) National Director Abe Foxman says, “The sentiments [Hagel has] expressed about the ‘Jewish lobby’ border on anti-Semitism.” In 2008, Hagel took a direct shot at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), telling former Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller in a quote that appeared in Miller’s book, The Much Too Promised Land, that “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people” in Washington.

“Chuck Hagel’s record on Israel, on Iran, and on other vital defense issues is cause for real concern,” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a press release. “President Obama's choice of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense signals a weakening commitment by the President toward Israel in his second term. We strongly oppose this nomination and we urge members of the Senate to do the same.”

Posted on January 24, 2013 .