Foxman giving up on stopping Hagel?given up on stopping the Hagel nomination.
Considering precedent, whereby very few nominated cabinet members who were formerly members of the Senate had been rejected by that body, there is little reason to believe that the Hagel nomination will not pass muster.
Ever since word got out that the president was intending to appoint Hagel, a lot of newspaper and online space, together with TV airtime, have been devoted to critiques of him, particularly regarding his views on Israel and Iran-related matters.
Now that it looks as if his appointment is going forward, it is reasonable to consider what the consequences for Israel may be with a Pentagon led by Hagel.I don't believe that and neither should any of you. With Obama, the only part of the relationship that has remained undisturbed is the provision of military equipment to Israel - precisely the place where an anti-Israel loon in the Defense Department could have the most effect.
Let’s begin with a broad consensus on Obama Administration policy: No matter what one believes overall about the president’s record on Israel, there is wide agreement that the military and security relationship between the two countries is as strong, if not stronger, than ever.
There is little reason to assume that these relations will be diminished under a Hagel tenure at the Department of Defense. Just yesterday, Hagel talked about Israel living in a tough neighborhood and that it must have the means to protect itself. He seems to be beginning to correct his spotty, tepid support for Israel; in September 2012, he co-authored an op-ed closer to President Obama’s stand on Iran and sanctions.And you don't think that might - just might - have something to do with a desire not to be opposed by pro-Israel groups? Come on Abe, you weren't born yesterday.
And his history in the Senate showed a recognition of Israel’s security needs and a record of support for U.S. defense aid to Israel.It did? Are we reading the same record?
Regarding American policy toward Iran and the role of supporters of Israel, the president’s views should be determinative. Mr. Obama has publicly and repeatedly committed to preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear bomb and, if necessary, to use military force to achieve that goal if nothing else works.And no one this side of Anne Marie Slaughter believes him. I wonder why.
Therefore, with the prospect looming of another round of negotiations with Iran, it will be critically important in the days and weeks ahead that the president reiterates his prior commitment to the military option. Indeed, if Hagel should reassert his views on Iran, it may even be necessary for President Obama to find a moment to make clear that Hagel’s position opposing U.S. military action against Iran does not represent U.S. policy which he, the president, decides upon. This, of course, would be awkward and one hopes things won’t have to come to that.I would say that we have to hold out for a pronouncement by Obama regardless of what Hagel says. But I'm not holding my breath waiting for it to happen.
All in all, I repeat what I've said elsewhere. Hagel would not have been our choice, but it is the president who has the prerogative to select his Secretary of Defense.No, it's not just the President's prerogative. The Senate has the power to advise and consent - or to withhold consent. We should be encouraging the Senate to take that action and not just leave the field to Hussein Obama.
By the way, I am having technical problems today. It took about an hour and a half to do this post - the previous one took 45 minutes but was half done when I walked in the door. Firefox - which I use to blog - keeps crashing. If this continues, I may have to take a little time off today.
UPDATE 12:56 PM
From a friend via email: Hagel may rhyme with bagel, but Chuck rhymes with schmuck.