Op-ed: Republican senators were the only ones who passionately grilled Hagel on his lack of support for IsraelRead the whole thing here.
Watching the Chuck Hagel US Senate confirmation hearings for secretary of defense, I almost became physically sick. To watch my fellow Jewish senators, all liberal Democrats, suck up to Obama and Hagel with softball questions against the interests of their own people and Israel was more than I could handle. The spectacle of southern Republicans senators, with almost no Jewish constituents in their states, standing up for the Jewish people and Israel against Hagel's evasive and nonsensical responses, while fellow Jews sat idly by, will stick with me for a long time.
Bless the Republicans for doing what is right while shame on my fellow Jews for not learning from history. The actions of these Jewish Democrats concerning the Hagel nomination do not bode well for the future of our people or Israel.
Committee chairman, Democratic Jewish Senator Carl Levin, who prior to the hearing had already indicated his support for Hagel's nomination by calling him "well qualified, included in his opening remarks only a reference to Hagel's "troubling statements" concerning Iran without specifics or follow up, with not even one mention of Israel. During the hearing it was Levin who called Hagel "a person of integrity" and came to his rescue when Hagel was confused about US policy regarding Iran and containment.
The other Jewish senator on the committee, Richard Blumenthal, totally ignored Hagel's record concerning Israel and only murmured his dismay that a man who had served the country had to endure strong inquiries from the Republicans. After the hearings, he stated that he would support Hagel despite the fact that most observers believed that Hagel looked confused, uninformed, and ill equipped for the position during the hearing.
One question to ask, it seems to me, is just why it is that Jewish progressives and Jewish Democrats in the United States tend to be as weak-willed as they are? Prior to World War II the Jewish community in the United States tended to be rather cowed and for this reason failed to press president Franklin Roosevelt to save the Jews of Europe, which he emphatically did not. Roosevelt even turned the Jews on the S.S. St. Louis away from Florida and back to their deaths in Nazi Germany in 1938.
Today's American Jewish leadership have no such excuse. After the war the American Jewish community established a place for itself within the larger hodge-podge of the American polity and have been proud members ever since, yet they still cannot bring themselves to stand up for the Jewish people, or the Jewish state of Israel, when the necessary moment comes to do so.
Whatever else accounts for Obama's foolish nomination of the unqualified Hagel for Secretary of Defense, it represents a true kick in the head to the president's Jewish supporters, 69 percent of whom came out in his favor during the last election. (My bet a year before the election was that Obama would receive 65 percent of the Jewish vote.)
American Jewish liberals shut their eyes and ears in order to avoid any less than pleasant thoughts about Barack Obama as he went about demeaning the Jewish people in various ways throughout the last four years. My favorite is when he told slack-jawed American Jewish leaders that their friends and colleagues and relatives in Israel needed some further exploration of their souls to see if they honestly wanted peace.
That has to be the single most insulting comment ever made in public by a president of the United States to the Jewish people as a whole and it was said directly to the blank faces of American Jewish leadership. And now we are going to see someone who favors Iran over Israel heading up the Department of Defense. We are also going to see, with Obama leading from behind, a renewed push for the delegitimization of Israel under the false guise of "peace process."
Progressive Zionism is failing the Jewish community, both here and in Israel, out of ideological blinkertude, an irrational disdain for those not on their political team, and out of a craven form of social cowardice.
You bought the ticket and you'll take the ride.