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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Anti-Israel activists conducting smear campaign against Hagel opponents

The Washington Free Beacon reports that anti-Israel 'activists' are conducting a smear campaign against opponents of Chuck Hagel's nomination to be Secretary of Defense. And the Beacon's Adam Kredo names names.

Fenton communications chief executive officer David Fenton, the Atlantic’s national correspondent James Fallows, former diplomat Charles ‘Chas’ Freeman, Just Foreign Policy director Robert Naiman, and American Conservative founding editor Scott McConnell participated in a recent email exchange dedicated to silencing Hagel’s critics, the emails reveal.
The emailers targeted recent comments made by Elliott Abrams, a former Bush administration National Security Council adviser who said Hagel “seems to have some kind of problem with Jews,” a sentiment that has been echoed by several lawmakers and Jewish leaders.
“Elliot [sic] Abrams is an ardent armchair Zionist who thinks that a commitment to Israel is an essential qualification for public service in the United States,” wrote Freeman, a vociferous Israel critic who has dubbed Israel’s supporters in America a “fifth column.”
“Abrams doubts that Hagel has such a commitment. Abrams thus ‘has a problem’ with Hagel,” Freeman wrote, according to the Jan. 10 email chain obtained by the Free Beacon. “Abrams is a Jew. Ergo, he asserts, Jews have a problem with Hagel. Logically, therefore, Hagel has a problem with Jews. What slimy nonsense!”
“I am going to write something about this on the Atlantic’s site,” the Atlantic’s Fallows later replied.
“I cannot at the moment think of a comparable case in which: someone with a comparably ‘reputable’ institutional pedigree (I am talking about CFR [Council on Foreign Relations], not Abrams personally, given his own varied background), making a comparably bald ‘bigotry’ charge in a comparably high-stake confirmation debate—and getting away with it,” Fallows wrote.
Robert Naiman, a frequent Huffington Post contributor with a long history of criticizing Israel who has recently authored articles defending Hagel, asked if CFR has “some culpability by giving Abrams a credential and institutional affiliation that helps him gain access to mainstream media to do what he is doing.”
“I think CFR should have some standards for its fellows about promoting civil, fact-based democratic public discourse on U.S. foreign policy,” Naiman added.
Hagel’s allies in the worlds of media and public relations are coordinating efforts to combat and diminish opposition voices such as Abrams, the emails suggest.
 Read the whole thing. The full emails can be seen here.

Jeff Dunetz comments on Chas Freeman's role in the emails:
My Mother of Blessed Memory, used to tell me to select only nice people as friends, because one of the ways people judge others is by the company they keep. There are tons of policy reasons why Chuck Hagel is not a good choice for Secretary of Defense many of them have been outlined on these pages. But I believe my mother was correct, and the people who conspire to slander those who are fighting his nomination should also be an indication of what is in Hagel’s heart.

Chas Freeman is a radical, with radical anti-Israel views-just like his buddy Chuck Hagel. But Freeman’s anti-Israel views were only a small part of why he was not right for his National Security job, just as Hagel’s views are just one item which should disqualify him for Secretary of Defense, others include his views on Iran, terrorism, how he wants to practically disembowel our military defense and nuclear deterrence and much, much more.
Indeed.

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