Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:48 PM
Purveyor (25,615 posts)
Another Evidence-Free Israel Attack Against Hagel
by Peter Beinart Jan 2, 2013 1:15 PM EST
What is it about Chuck Hagel that makes conservatives write such inane things? A couple of weeks ago it was Bret Stephens flat-out calling Hagel an anti-Semite for using the term “Jewish lobby” in 2008. (The same term that Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, used last week.) Now it’s Rich Lowry writing this:
At the core of his foreign policy is disdain for Israel and unquenchable desire to talk to terrorists. His realism is a pastiche of attitudes fashionable at Council on Foreign Relations meetings or the World Economic Forum in Davos, crystalized into an idée fixe lacking all nuance or true thoughtfulness.
I’ve long liked and respected Lowry, but if he’s going to bash people for lacking “nuance” and “thoughtfulness,” he really shouldn’t write sentences like that. First, the claim that Hagel feels “disdain” for Israel. Lowry’s evidence? Because in 2002 Hagel said Israel should “take steps to show its commitment to peace" (advice Israel actually took the following year when it promised to halt settlement growth and dismantle illegal outposts under the Road Map for Peace). Because Hagel has opposed some Iran sanctions bills (while supporting others, something Lowry neglects to mention). Because Hagel wants Israel and America to talk directly to Hamas, something that, according to former Mossad Chief Ephraim Halevy, Israel is already doing. Because Hagel supports direct talks with the governments of Syria and Iran—thus continuing a tradition of direct talks with vile foreign leaders that includes Franklin Roosevelt’s negotiations with Stalin and continues through Richard Nixon’s talks with Mao Zedong and Ronald Reagan’s summits with Mikhael Gorbachev.
It gets worse. Having defined Hagel’s “realism” as “disdain for Israel and unquenchable desire to talk to terrorists,” Lowry then equates it with “attitudes fashionable at Council on Foreign Relations meetings or the World Economic Forum in Davos.” So now, via the transitive power, he’s accusing the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Economic Forum—with zero evidence—of “disdain” for Israel too. I’ve never been to Davos (which overcame its anti-Israel disdain long enough to host a speech last year by Israeli president Shimon Peres). But when it comes to CFR—where I worked for almost three years—I can say with some conviction that Lowry has no idea what he’s talking about. You can say a lot of things about an institution that houses Elliott Abrams and Max Boot but couldn’t stomach Henry Siegman, but you can’t call it disdainful of Israel.
3 replies, 494 views
Another Evidence-Free Israel Attack Against Hagel (Original post)
Response to Purveyor (Original post)
Wed Jan 2, 2013, 07:41 PM
TwilightGardener (45,699 posts)
2. Every day, a new attack. Funny that the anti-Semitic charges caused blowback, so
they tried the anti-gay angle, and that kinda went nowhere (Obama was satisfied that it wasn't a problem) so they had to trot out Barney Frank and try to ramp it back up, and now it's back to Israel again-- but this time "disdain for Israel" instead of outright anti-Semitism. And an attack on his foreign policy views in general. PATHETIC ongoing smear campaign.
Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #2)
Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:57 PM
Purveyor (25,615 posts)
3. Smear indeed. The President has a tough call here. If he folds...he looks weak in the face of the
That said, the odds aren't good for Hagel as time passes.