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RJC: Appointment of Hagel Would Be A “Slap in the Face” for Pro-Israel Americans

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Hagel’s Weak Record Cited by Both Parties

Washington, D.C. (December 14, 2012) –The Republican Jewish Coalition today announced its opposition to the potential appointment of former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as Secretary of Defense, citing a long list of actions Hagel has taken that raise alarms about his failure to support Israel.

  • August 2006: Hagel was one of only 12 Senators who refused to write the EU asking them to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
  • October 2000: Hagel was one of only 4 Senators who refused to sign a Senate letter in support of Israel.
  • November 2001: Hagel was one of only 11 Senators who refused to sign a letter urging President Bush to continue his policy of not meeting with the Yasir Arafat until the Palestinian leader took steps to end the violence against Israel.
  • December 2005: Hagel was one of only 27 Senators who refused to sign a letter to President Bush to pressure the Palestinian Authority to ban terrorist groups from participating in Palestinian legislative elections.
  • June 2004: Hagel refused to sign a letter urging President Bush to highlight Iran’s nuclear program at the G-8 summit.
  • August 2006: Anti-Israel group CAIR wrote in praise of Hagel, “Potential presidential candidates for 2008, like Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Joe Biden and Newt Gingrich, were falling all over themselves to express their support for Israel. The only exception to that rule was Senator Chuck Hagel…”
  • March 2009: Hagel was one of 10 former and current foreign policy officials who signed a letter urging Pres. Obama to open direct talks with Hamas leaders.
  • On Iran: Hagel, writing in a May 2006 article for The Financial Times, explicitly ruled out the military option against Iran that Pres. Obama claims to have ‘kept on the table.’

RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said, “Chuck Hagel’s statements and actions regarding Israel have raised serious concerns for many Americans who care about Israel. The Jewish community and every American who supports a strong U.S.-Israel relationship have cause for alarm if the President taps Hagel for such an important post.  The appointment of Chuck Hagel would be a slap in the face for every American who is concerned about the safety of Israel.”