Hagel Reportedly Said US State Department Under the Control of Israel

RJC: Hagel must respond - before the Senate votes

Washington, D.C. (February 14, 2013) -- The Washington Free Beacon reports that former Senator Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defense, allegedly said in a 2007 speech at Rutgers University that, "the [U.S] State Department is an adjunct to the Israeli Foreign Minister's office."

In response, Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matthew Brooks said:

"This new information shows why Senate Republicans are right to insist that final action on this nomination not be rushed. We need to fully investigate this allegation, and that means Senator Hagel needs to be heard from directly. Did Chuck Hagel really tell this audience - or any audience - that 'the State Department is an adjunct to the Israeli Foreign Minister's office'? That is what a pro-Hagel blogger, who says he was 'taking notes as [Hagel] was speaking,' reported at the time. It should go without saying that claiming Israel controls our State Department is absurd and outrageous.

"Unfortunately, if true, this is part of a very troubling pattern with Chuck Hagel. Hagel told Aaron David Miller that, 'The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here [in Congress].' In elaborating on that offensive remark, he cast doubt on other government officials' integrity in a way that fits all too well with this newly-reported remark about the State Department, saying, 'I'm not an Israeli senator. I'm a United States senator.' Hagel's weak and ambiguous responses when confronted about these egregious remarks at his nomination hearing were among the low points of an appearance Senator McCain called, 'the worst he had ever seen by a nominee at any level.'

"We continue to believe that America can do better than Chuck Hagel and that the Senate should reject this nomination, but at the very least, Senator Hagel needs to address this report before the Senate can responsibly vote whether to confirm him."

The Free Beacon report is here: