Hagel-led think tank publishes article on 'Israeli apartheid'
The blog pictured above is the home blog of the Atlantic Council, which is chaired by US Secretary of Defense candidate Chuck Hagel.
Critics have long used the debunked apartheid analogy as a way to delegitimize and slander Israel. With the buzz growing over Hagel’s potential nomination, it’s surprising that his organization would publish such a blatant attack on Israel on the front page of its website on today of all days.Surprising? Why? Hagel's animus for Israel isn't exactly a secret.
A senior pro-Israel advocate in Washington told The Daily Beast on Thursday, “The pro-Israel community will view the nomination of Senator Chuck Hagel in an extremely negative light. His record is unique in its animus towards Israel.”
Josh Block, a former spokesman for AIPAC and the CEO and president of the Israel Project, told The Daily Beast, “While in the Senate, Hagel voted against designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, refused to call on the E.U. to designate Hezbollah a terrorist group, and consistently voted against sanctions on Iran for their illicit pursuit of nuclear weapons capability. It is a matter of fact that his record on these issues puts him well outside the mainstream Democratic and Republican consensus.”
In the past, Hagel has even garnered opposition from pro-Israel Democrats who have defended Obama’s Israel record. Ira Forman, who was in charge of the Obama reelection campaign’s outreach to Jewish voters, said in 2009—after Hagel was named co-chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board—that he would have opposed Hagel’s nomination for a more substantive position. (Forman declined to comment on Hagel’s possible nomination Thursday.)
Steve Clemons, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and a personal friend of Hagel’s, said that, while he doesn’t know if his friend will get the nomination, he predicts that if he does, Hagel would meet with pro-Israel senators and attempt to “mitigate the negative pressure.”
Want to bet?“The GOP rightly or wrongly has had its cannon blast over Susan Rice,” Clemons said, referring to the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who on Thursday withdrew as a candidate for secretary of state. “They can’t do it twice.”