Chuck Hagel: Critics Have “Completely Distorted” My Israel Views
President Obama’s choice for Defense Secretary says his critics misunderstand his views on Israel.
While he has been “hanging out there in no-man’s land unable to respond to charges, falsehoods and distortions,” Hagel said, a negative assessment of his record by critics and opponents took on a life of its own.
But the fact is that there is “not one shred of evidence that I’m anti-Israeli, not one (Senate) vote that matters that hurt Israel.”
“I didn’t sign on to certain resolutions and letters because they were counter-productive and didn’t solve a problem,” Hagel said.
Critics have hammered Hagel for not joining most of his Senate colleagues in signing on to a number of policy pronouncements that sometimes were sought by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the influential pro-Israel lobbying organization in Washington.
“How does that further the peace process in the Middle East?” Hagel asked. “What’s in Israel’s interest is to help Israel and the Palestinians find some peaceful way to live together.”
We’ve seen where signing pledges have gotten his fellow Republicans on the tax issue, haven’t we?