Evangelical Christian Israel Backers Push Opposition to Chuck Hagel

CUFI Mounts Major Effort To Block Pentagon Pick

Chuck Wagon: Christian right backers of Israel are mounting a strong rear-guard effort to block the confirmation of Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon.
getty images
Chuck Wagon: Christian right backers of Israel are mounting a strong rear-guard effort to block the confirmation of Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon.

By JTA

Published January 30, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

“I cannot support a nominee for defense secretary who suggests we should be tougher on Israel and more lenient on Iran,” Cornyn said.

Hagel has walked back many of these positions and apologized for the “Jewish lobby” remark. But Cornyn said he believed they were part of what he called a “confirmation conversion.”

In his efforts to tamp down the pro-Israel opposition to his nomination, Hagel has won support from some of the leading Jewish pro-Israel Democrats in the Senate: Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who chairs the Armed Services Committee, as well as Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

The Vietnam War hero also has the support of liberal Jewish groups, including Americans for Peace Now, the Israel Policy Forum and J Street. On Wednesday, J Street was set to join Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), a veteran and a member of the Armed Services Committee, on a conference call backing Hagel.

Hagel also has met with leaders of centrist pro-Israel groups, several of which had expressed concerns about his candidacy, including the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The groups described the meeting as “an important opportunity for a serious and thorough discussion.”

Democrats control 55 of the Senate’s 100 seats and sources close to Hagel have said he is hoping that his longstanding friendships with some Senate Republicans will be enough to get the 60 votes necessary to avoid a filibuster.

Meanwhile, conservative Jewish groups have worked to keep up the pressure.

Last week, the Republican Jewish Coalition posted a web video featuring Democrats and Jewish organizational leaders expressing concern about Hagel. The Emergency Committee for Israel similarly ran a full-page ad in the New York Times on Jan. 15. The Zionist Organization of America is lobbying Senate offices.

Sheldon Adelson, one of the GOP’s most generous donors and an RJC board member, has called senators directly to make the case against Hagel.

“We’ve made a strategic decision to gin up as much support among our leaders to reach out to the folks,” said Matt Brooks, the RJC’s executive director.


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!
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • 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.