Pro-Israel Groups Jump on Chuck Hagel Bandwagon

Sign on to Ad Endorsing Ex-Senator as Pentagon Chief

By JTA

Published January 23, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A number of prominent pro-Israel Jewish figures joined an ad endorsing Chuck Hagel for the U.S. defense secretary post.

Meanwhile, Christians United for Israel announced plans to bring 200 pastors and other Christian leaders to Washington to lobby against Hagel’s confirmation, according to Breitbart.com.

The pro-Hagel ad appearing Wednesday in The Hill, a Capitol Hill daily, said the former Nebraska senator would “ably continue security cooperation between the United States and the State of Israel, which has reached unprecedented levels during President Obama’s time in office.”

Among the 45 signatories to the ad, which was organized by the Israel Policy Forum, were former ambassadors to Israel and a number of public figures known for their pro-Israel activism as well as involvement in Democratic politics. They included former Congress members Mel Levine, Gary Ackerman and Robert Wexler; Stuart Eizenstat, a former top official in the Carter and Clinton administrations who helped broker Holocaust reparation agreements; Rabbi Sharon Brous, who founded the IKAR congregation in Los Angeles; Tom Dine, a former executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee; and the philanthropist Charles Bronfman.

Hagel in recent weeks has met and conversed with Jewish leaders, apologizing for a 2006 interview in which he referred to a “Jewish lobby” that was “intimidating” and making clear his support for for the U.S.-Israel relationship. He also told the leaders of his support for sanctions on Iran and his willingness to resort to a military strike as a last resort to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

In the CUFI announcement, spokesmen for the group said the delegation would meet with staffers in the offices of all 100 U.S. senators and would arrive under the aegis of its affiliate, the CUFI Action Network.

CUFI has joined other conservative groups such as the Republican Jewish Coalition, the Zionist Organization of America and the Emergency Committee for Israel in pushing against Hagel’s nomination because of his past skepticism of unilateral Iran sanctions and past wariness of military engagement with Iran.

A number of liberal Jewish groups, like the Israel Policy Forum, have endorsed Hagel, while a number of mainstream centrist groups have expressed concerns about his nomination but not formally opposed it.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.