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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Showdown coming over Hagel

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv) has set up a Friday showdown over the nomination of anti-Israel Chuck Hagel to become the United States' next Secretary of Defense.
In an attempt to get Hagel installed as secretary of defense before next week’s recess, the majority leader set up a Friday vote to cut off debate, setting up a crucial 60-vote test. If Reid can find five Republicans to join the 55 members of the Democratic Caucus, the Senate could approve Hagel quickly — possibly Saturday or earlier.
But if he can’t, the White House could be forced to recalibrate its strategy as the nomination drags out into late February. And that could give the GOP more time to mount opposition to Hagel’s nomination, which has been targeted because of the former Nebraska senator’s past comments on Iran, Iraq and Israel and his shaky performance at his confirmation hearings.
The Democrats are whining that this has never happened before.
Democrats are warning Republicans that the precedent they set by forcing a cloture vote on the national security nominees — particularly on Hagel — would come back to haunt them when a GOP president eventually returns to the White House.
“This is the first time in the history of our country that a presidential nominee for secretary of defense has been filibustered,” Reid said on the floor. “What a shame, but that’s the way it is.”
But has any President ever sent up a nominee for a national security position who was so obviously incompetent, and whose sole qualification appeared to be his agreeing with the President's agenda?
Meanwhile, at Breitbart.com, Ben Shapiro rips the 12 (!?!) Jewish Democratic Senators, who claim to be pro-Israel but are still supporting Hagel.
If a Republican president nominated someone as anti-Israel and borderline antisemitic as Hagel to Secretary of Defense--say, Pat Buchanan--the press would rightly have a field day. But when President Barack Obama does so, aided by self-interested politicians who proclaim their abiding belief in the ties between the United States and Israel, the press remains silent.
To recap: with his openly expressed negativity toward Jews and Israel, Hagel is the most problematic candidate for a high post in an administration in decades. Between his apparent willingness to countenance accusations of Israeli “war crimes,” his support for negotiations with Israel’s terrorist enemies, and his unwillingness to express support for Israel in the face of Palestinian terrorism, Hagel’s anti-Israel credentials are well in order. Add in Hagel’s attempt to shut down the Sixth Fleet’s USO Center in Haifa (“Let the Jews pay for it,” he spat), his scornful assertion that he is not the "Senator for Israel," and his belief that the so-called "Jewish lobby" intimidates members of Congress, and you’re looking at a bigot.
And yet the Democrats, including President Obama, continue to push Hagel through. That’s no surprise from an administration that treats Israel more harshly than it treats most of America’s enemies. But it is a surprise from the Jewish members of the Democratic caucus, who should know better--not because they have dual loyalties, not because they represent a "lobby," but because Jewish politicians above all should understand the importance of a safe and secure Israel.
But they don’t.
Take, for example, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI). Levin has been the moving force behind the push for a vote on Hagel on Tuesday. Levin said on Monday that Hagel had turned over enough documents, but had no comment on Hagel’s antisemitic utterances and anti-Israel record. In fact, Levin saved tried to save Hagel during his disastrous hearing, failing to ask him a single question about Israel, even though he acknowledged Hagel's "troubling" record. Yet Levin portrays himself as a friend of Israel.
The same holds true for Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who originally expressed concerns about Hagel’s nomination, but quickly fell into line once President Obama made clear that he’d be sticking by his anti-Israel man. All it took was a ninety-minute tête-a-tête with Hagel to convince Schumer to abandon his pro-Israel principles and stand behind Hagel.
The list goes on of Jewish Democrats who obviously care less about the security the State of Israel or fighting antisemitism than they do about staying in Barack Obama’s good graces. From Senator Dianne Feinstein to Senator Barbara Boxer, from Senator Frank Lautenberg to Senator Al Franken, from Senator Bernie Sanders to Senator Benjamin Cardin, not one liberal Jewish senator has expressed opposition to the most anti-Israel Secretary of Defense nominee since George Marshall tried to stop the recognition of Israel in 1948.
Given the lack of priority that non-committed American Jews place on Israel, is anyone really surprised?

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