Top House Dem Engel: Hagel has 'endemic hostility' toward Israel
In a Friday interview on C-Span, Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he has a real problem with potential Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's 'endemic hostility to Israel
' (Hat Tip: Memeorandum
interview Friday taped for C-SPAN's Newsmakers, conducted jointly by
The Cable and Politico, Engel said that Hagel's record on Israel and Iran
make him a poor choice to lead the military. In particular, Engel said he was
irked by Hagel's reference to the "Jewish lobby" in an interview with former
official Aaron David Miller. (Miller
"I think that remark is troublesome, it's
problematic. It shows at the very best a lack of sensitivity, at the very worst
perhaps a prejudice. And I'm concerned about it, I'm concerned about the
nomination," Engel said. "If
I were doing the appointing, I would not appoint Chuck Hagel."
represents the Bronx, Rockland, and Westchester, said he has been hearing a lot
of opposition to the potential Hagel nomination from his constituents. He also
said that Hagel's activities related to Israel, including his statements on
Hamas and Israel's influence in Washington, show a pattern of "hostility."
"It seems there is some kind of an endemic hostility
towards Israel and that's troublesome to me and troublesome to a lot of
people," Engel said. "In the sensitive post of secretary of defense, those are
warning bells. Those are red lights."
Obama should have the privilege of picking his own
team, Engel said, but he predicted that Obama will pass over Hagel to avoid the
think [the president] knows that the Hagel nomination potentially is a
problem," he said.
Still waiting for similar sentiments from Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), both of whom do have a vote.
Labels: anti-Israel lobby, Barack Hussein Obama, Chuck Hagel, Eliot Engel