You can tell a person’s character by the company they keep and past statements they have made. President Obama’s Secretary of Defense former Vietnam Veteran and United States Senator Chuck Hagel is an honorable American who has served his nation both at war and peace. Yet Hagel must take responsibility and be judged by his past statements and positions on major issues of the day.
In 2006, he said “The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people.” He has defended the legitimacy of the Iranian government. They are clearly developing nuclear weapons which could easily reach Israel. He has opposed sanctions against Iran even as they continue to be a major supplier to terrorist groups around the world. He has commented that the State Department takes its orders and has become an adjunct to the Israeli Foreign Minister’s office.
Can you imagine the reaction of Democratic Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, our own Senator Charles Schumer, other senators, House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi and members of the New York Congressional delegation if former President Bush or another Republican President nominated someone for Secretary of Defense who had made similar statements? They would be howling from the highest mountain tops calling the nomination dead on arrival in the Senate. The editorial pages of the New York Times along with many other major daily newspapers would call upon the president to withdraw the nomination.
Senator Schumer has in the past been a consistent outspoken friend of Israel. Schumer has publicly stated he would be a “shomer” or guardian of Israel.
Senator Schumer failed to stand up for Israel and part company with both President Obama and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid. Schumer put aside his consistent political loyalty to President Obama and his longing to succeed Nevada Senator Harry Reid as the next Majority leader. How disappointing that he voted to confirm the nomination of Hagel for Secretary of Defense. The same goes for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and other members of the New York Congressional delegation who are never shy around a camera or microphone, were all strangely silent. Schumer and Gilllibrand by voting for Hagel’s nomination proved that they are no longer kosher but have become tref. Voters loyal to Israel should show both Schumer and Gillibrand the door who supported and voted to confirm Hagel as our next Secretary of Defense when they stand for reelection.