Commenting on the opposition to the possible nomination of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic opines that President Obama should appoint former Nebraska Republican because he is the only thing standing between Israel and its self destruction.
Goldberg argues that if the Jewish Home Party becomes the third largest party in the Knesset and/or joins Benjamin Netanyahu's next coalition government "it will bring about the destruction (self-destruction) of Israel" through the construction of more settlements, the absorption of West Bank Arabs and turn Israel into the Jewish equivalent of a Sharia state. Goldberg goes on to say that these policies "would turn Israel into a pariah state."
So what does any of this have to with Hagel? Goldberg states, "Maybe, at this point, what we need are American officials who will speak with disconcerting bluntness to Israel about the choices it is making."
O.K., where do I begin?
First, I don't see how the Jewish Home Party is any different from any of Israel's other Orthodox religious parties much less yield more power.
Second, perhaps Goldberg should attend a sitting at the UN General Assembly. Israel is already treated as a pariah nation.
Third, where the hell has Goldberg been the past four years? President Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and, for that matter, both Secretaries of Defense (Bob Gates and Leon Panetta) have made tough public statements criticizing Israel's policies concerning settlements. In fact, the Obama Administration has been far tougher in its rhetoric on Israel building homes than on Iran building nuclear bombs. Their rhetoric has been counterproductive to say the least.
Given the Obama Administration's sour disposition towards Israel I suppose Hagel won't say anything worse about Israel than what has already been said. Still, methinks appointing Hagel as Secretary of Defense would be like asking Michael Vick to walk your dog. In other words, I hope President Obama won't unleash Hagel on Israel.
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