Gates to resign and be replaced by ... Chuck Hagel?This is more bad news for supporters of Israel.
Power Line reports on a rumor that Defense Secretary Robert Gates - the one holdover in the Obama cabinet from the Bush administration - is on his way out. The problem is Gates' rumored replacement: Chuck Hagel. This is from a New York Sun editorial cited by Ed Lasky of The American Thinker last October.
One indicator came on July 24, 2001, when the Senate voted 96 to 2 to renew the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act. The act helps deny Iran and Libya money that they would spend on supporting terror or acquiring weapons of mass destruction. The two senators who opposed the measure? Messrs. Lugar and Hagel.Chuck Hagel (pictured) is bad news. Lasky suggests googling "Chuck Hagel," Israel. I did. This is the top result.
Another indicator came on November 11, 2003, when the Senate, by a vote of 89 to 4, passed the Syria Accountability Act authorizing sanctions on Syria for its support of terrorism and its occupation of Lebanon. Mr. Hagel - along with Mr. Kerry - didn't vote. Mr. Hagel met in Damascus in 1998 with the terror-sponsoring dictator, Hafez Al-Assad, and returned to tell a reporter about the meeting, "Peace comes through dealing with people. Peace doesn't come at the end of a bayonet or the end of a gun."
Feature, as well, the lineup on April 6, 2001, when 87 members of the Senate sent President Bush a letter saying Yasser Arafat should not be invited to meet with high-level officials in Washington. The letter also faulted the Palestinians for using violence against Israel. Messrs. Lugar and Hagel did not sign the letter. When, on May 22, 1998, the Senate, by a vote of 90 to 4, passed the Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act, imposing sanctions on foreigners who help Iran's missile program, Mr. Lugar fetched up among the four senators who voted against the measure.
These columns, in a July 10, 2003, editorial headlined "Ayatollah Lugar," have already reported on how Mr. Lugar watered down the Iran Democracy Act that was introduced by Senators Brownback, Schumer, Kyl, Inouye, and others. On April 18, 2002, when the Senate, by 88 to 10, voted to ban the import to America of Iraqi oil until Iraq stopped compensating the families of Palestinian Arab suicide bombers, Messrs. Lugar and Hagel were among the handful who voted to bring in the oil.
The bottom line is that Messrs. Hagel and Lugar (Hagar, is how their names can be contracted) want a weaker stance than most other senators against the terrorists in Iran and Syria and the West Bank and Gaza and against those who help the terrorists. They are more concerned than most other senators about upsetting our erstwhile allies in Europe - the French and Germans - who do business with the terrorists.
Here is what the Jewish Democrats said about Hagel in March 2007:What could go wrong?
As Senator Hagel sits around for six more months and tries to decide whether to launch a futile bid for the White House, he has a lot of questions to answer about his commitment to Israel. Consider this:
# In August 2006, Hagel was one of only 12 Senators who refused to write the EU asking them to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
# In October 2000, Hagel was one of only 4 Senators who refused to sign a Senate letter in support of Israel.
# In November 2001, Hagel was one of only 11 Senators who refused to sign a letter urging President Bush not to meet with the late Yassir Arafat until his forces ended the violence against Israel.
# In December 2005, Hagel was one of only 27 who refused to sign a letter to President Bush to pressure the Palestinian Authority to ban terrorist groups from participating in Palestinian legislative elections.
# In June 2004, Hagel refused to sign a letter urging President Bush to highlight Iran's nuclear program at the G-8 summit.
Here's what the National Review wrote about Hagel's stance on Israel in 2002:
"There's nothing Hagel likes less than talking about right and wrong in the context of foreign policy. Pro-Israeli groups view him almost uniformly as a problem. 'He doesn't always cast bad votes, but he always says the wrong thing,' comments an Israel supporter who watches Congress. An April speech is a case in point. 'We will need a wider lens to grasp the complex nature and consequences of terrorism,' said Hagel. He went on to cite a few examples of terrorism: FARC in Colombia, Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines, and the Palestinian suicide bombers. Then he continued, 'Arabs and Palestinians view the civilian casualties resulting from Israeli military occupation as terrorism.' He didn't exactly say he shares this view - but he also failed to reject it."
And here's what the anti-Israel group, CAIR, wrote in praise of Hagel:
"Potential presidential candidates for 2008, like Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Joe Biden and Newt Gingrich, were falling all over themselves to express their support for Israel. The only exception to that rule was Senator Chuck Hagel ?" [Council on American-Islamic Relations, 8/28/06]