Of course: Hagel backtracking on 'Jewish lobby' comment'Israel lobby.'
In a letter to California Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Jewish Democrat, Hagel said he fully supports unilateral sanctions on Iran and condemned Hezbollah as a terrorist threat to Israel. He called it “a very poor choice of words” when he referred in a 2006 interview that the “Jewish lobby” tends to “intimidate” lawmakers, saying he understands how such words “can be construed as anti-Israel.”
“Most Americans, myself included, are overwhelmingly supportive of a strong U.S.-Israel strategic and security relationship,” Hagel said in the letter, adding he would work to “expand the depth and breadth” of the countries’ ties if he’s confirmed as defense secretary. “This broad support comes from both Jews and non-Jews alike.”You've got to be kidding. The only Senator who refused to sign a letter calling Hezbullah a terror organization is now saying that yes, Hezbullah is a terror organization? The Senator who consistently opposed unilateral sanctions against Iran is now in favor of unilateral sanctions against Iran? Who will be dumb enough to believe this?
Obama and Hagel hope that Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will be dumb enough to believe it.
Hagel’s comments give a window into how the Nebraskan and the White House are quickly moving behind the scenes to eliminate dissenters in the Senate — particularly among Democrats who pose the greatest threat to his nomination. Hagel is also expected to meet this week with Sen. Chuck Schumer, the hawkish New York Jewish Democrat, as part of his meetings with senators.We'll see if that's enough for Chuck Schumer but it's apparently enough for Barbara Boxer (D-Ca).
After being queried by Boxer — a staunch advocate of abortion rights — Hagel said in the letter he would ensure female service members are given the same reproductive rights as civilians.
Boxer, who had withheld her support, said Monday night she now backs the nominee after her extensive phone conversations and his detailed letter.
“First and foremost, he has pledged without reservation to support President Obama’s polices — policies that I believe have made our world safer and our alliances stronger,” Boxer said in a Monday night statement.
“I asked him about a number of issues — including America’s special relationship with Israel, the threats posed by Iran to the world and the treatment of women and gay and lesbian members of our military — and his answers were reassuring and show a sensitivity and understanding of these issues.”