Hagel's Anti-Israel Colleagues Cast Pall over Schumer Endorsement

Hagel's Anti-Israel Colleagues Cast Pall over Schumer Endorsement

Now that Chuck Schumer has endorsed Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Secretary of Defense, he has to answer for Hagel’s close association with two venomous anti-Israel colleagues: Arnaud de Borchgrave and Chas Freeman, who worked with Hagel at the Atlantic Council he headed.

Just how anti-Israel were these two?

Here’s de Borchgrave calling Israel an apartheid state, a charge long ago debunked:

A majority of Israelis recoil in horror at the very thought of emulating the regime of apartheid, a system of institutionalized racial segregation once practiced in South Africa, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Yet that is what Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu considers less threatening than full-fledged Palestinian independence.

Apartheid is what gradually emerged in the West Bank under Israeli occupation since Israel’s victory in the Six Day War almost half a century ago. 

In South Africa during the Cold War, apartheid was seen as the only effective defense against world communism. And the African National Congress saw the Soviet Union as its best bet for dismantling apartheid and establishing black majority rule.

Netanyahu and his Likud Party allies now view continued Israeli occupation of the West Bank as the lesser of two evils.

Freeman was the Vice-Chairman of the Atlantic Council after his anti-Israel bias was revealed, which kept Barack Obama from nominating him for Director of National Intelligence. Here is his own brand of Israel-hatred:

The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth. The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors.” None of this has changed, including the effort to make the campaign appear to be about something other than obeisance to Israel.

Freeman also said: “It’s popular in Israel to kill many Palestinians in Gaza… a war against Hamas wins votes.”

Hagel is the head of the organization featuring at least two rabid anti-Israel members. Schumer, in his endorsement of Hagel, wrote:

I know some will question whether Senator Hagel’s assurances are merely attempts to quiet critics as he seeks confirmation to this critical post. But I don’t think so. Senator Hagel realizes the situation in the Middle East has changed, with Israel in a dramatically more endangered position than it was even five years ago. His views are genuine, and reflect this new reality.

If there’s a new reality Hagel represents, it’s Barack Obama’s animus for Israel that is widely shared in his Administration.