Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Moshe Yaalon and the Anti-Defamation League Praise Hagel As He Announces Resignation

Israel’s defense minister and the Anti-Defamation League lavished praise on U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on the day he announced his resignation.

The tributes from Moshe Yaalon and the ADL on Monday were in sharp contrast with the intense scrutiny that Hagel received from pro-Israel groups when he was nominated for the post two years ago.

“Chuck Hagel is a true friend of Israel,” Yaalon said in a tweet Monday illustrated by photos of Hagel and Yaalon embracing.

“His contributions to Israel’s defense infrastructure and to Israeli relations with the United States were great and very substantive,” said the tweet, written in Hebrew. Hagel said Monday that he would resign as defense secretary. Reports suggested that the move was partly because of difficulties in his relations with President Obama’s White House security team.

The ADL in a statement praised Hagel’s “energetic stewardship of America’s commitment to Israel’s security in a dangerous region,” saying it “has been vital as Israel has faced unprecedented threats.”

“His hands-on engagement to ensure that our ally, Israel, can live in safety and security and maintain its rightful place in the community of nations will have a lasting impact,” the ADL said.

The comments differed sharply from 2012, when Hagel was Obama’s nominee for the post and centrist pro-Israel groups such as the ADL and the American Jewish Committee joined Republicans and right-wing pro-Israel groups in saying that statements he made while he was a Republican senator from Nebraska could disqualify him.

Hagel, during an abortive 2007 exploration of a presidential candidacy, suggested that pro-Israel groups had excessive influence, and also was skeptical of the utility of sanctions on Iran and of the U.S. refusal to engage with terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas.

As defense secretary, however, Hagel maintained his close and friendly ties with Yaalon throughout an otherwise turbulent relationship between the Obama administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government – even when Yaalon’s personal attacks on Hagel’s colleague, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, were the spur to tensions.

Additionally, Hagel oversaw an expansion in missile defense cooperation with Israel.





    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.