Lebanon Pulse

Hagel Victim of Ferocious, Unfair Campaign

Article Summary
The attack on senator Chuck Hagel is unfair and disturbing, writes Clovis Maksoud.

The minute that President Barack Obama thought of nominating Senator Chuck Hagel to be the Secretary of Defense, the Israel lobby organized a ferocious campaign committed to disqualify him — showing that his record indicates that he is not sufficiently pro-Israel and, at times, was critical towards some aspects of American policy towards Israel. According to their logic, this alone should prompt their friends in Congress to exercise their influence to prevent this appointment.

This Vietnam war hero and former senator from Nebraska enjoys widespread support for his experience, knowledge and integrity. He is known to be objective in positions he takes and judges issues on their merits. The candidature for the post of Defense Secretary should be judged only by his great experience as a Vietnam war veteran, known for his objective judgment on a variety of strategic issues. That the Israeli lobby in the United States thinks this is sufficient reason to disqualify him is disturbing, even to many American Jews.

In my view he is not pro-Arab. Sometimes we disagree with him but we realize that he studies issues thoroughly and makes recommendations of policies that are very much in tune with those of the president, but also immune to political pressure. Perhaps that immunity disturbs the excessive bias of the Israeli lobby!

Found in: chuck hagel

Clovis Maksoud is a former ambassador and permanent observer of the League of Arab States at the United Nations and its chief representative in the United States for more than 10 years.


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