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Hagel and the Israeli lobby

Published: January 5, 2013
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Source: UPI

The vicious campaign to smear Chuck Hagel with an anti-Israel brush and deter U.S. President Barack Obamafrom nominating him to become the next defense secretary got rolling over year-end holidays.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee relied on the "neocons" and the right wing of the Republican Party to fire the first salvos by raising questions about Hagel's commitment to Israel's security.

The counterattack came fast and furious. Hundreds and then thousands of email messages and tweets followed by the heavy artillery of op-eds by the media commentariat. AIPAC had underestimated the scale of Hagel's media support.

The Jewish lobby countered with bigger guns. Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, questioned Hagel's credentials for the job of defense secretary.

This would indeed be a far cry from Israel's apogee at the U.S. Defense Department when an Israeli defense official once told his U.S. counterpart at the Pentagon, "Your job is to ship the goods and ours is to deliver Congress."

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