Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:37 AM
Purveyor (22,954 posts)
Pro-Israel Lobbies Split Over Hagel
“The Jewish lobby,” as former Sen. Chuck Hagel once called pro-Israeli forces in Washington, is divided over his nomination for secretary of defense.
Political action committees describing themselves as pro-Israel were on opposite sides of several high-profile congressional races. Now they’re at odds over President Barack Obama’s decision to nominate the Republican from Nebraska to run the Pentagon.
The Washington Political Action Committee, for example, contributed to the campaigns of four Republican Senate candidates, then-incumbent Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, former Reps. Heather Wilson of New Mexico and Allen West of Florida.
J Street’s PAC financially supported the Democrat in all four races, Harvard University professor Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown in Ohio, Rep, Martin Heinrich in New Mexico, and Patrick Murphy in Florida. All four won.
The founder of Washington PAC, Morris Amitay, says that if he were a senator, he wouldn’t vote to confirm Hagel.
“It’s a poor choice not only regarding Israel but it’s a poor choice for national security,” Amitay said. “Someone who basically has been fairly soft on strengthening Iran sanctions and who seems to feel there can be major cuts in the defense budget is very poor choice for the United States.”
J Street, though, is behind Hagel, urging supporters to call their senators and ask them to confirm him, noting his support of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
1 replies, 472 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Pro-Israel Lobbies Split Over Hagel (Original post)
Response to Purveyor (Original post)
Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:47 AM
leveymg (31,166 posts)
1. Meanwhile, AIPAC, conspicuous by its absence, pretends to be neutral.
According to Peter Beinart: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/07/why-aipac-won-t-fight-hagel.html
It’s easy to exaggerate how big a defeat all this is for AIPAC. The Hagel nomination isn’t a good test of AIPAC’s strength precisely because it’s a cabinet nomination—a topic on which president’s usually get their way. It’s much easier for AIPAC to rally members of Congress behind resolutions that limit the Obama administration’s room to maneuver on actual policy questions, where opposing the president doesn’t look like such a direct slap in the face. (It’s also easier for the Israeli government to lobby Congress on policy questions like settlement growth and Iran sanctions than on cabinet appointments.) Furthermore, the Hagel struggle hasn’t been a complete loss for hawkish Jewish groups. His political near-death experience may leave Hagel more cautious when it comes to U.S.-Israel relations than he would have been otherwise (though I doubt that means he’ll turn hawkish on Iran).