In a 2010 speech at Rutgers University, former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) said that Israel was on the way to becoming an “apartheid” state, called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “radical,” and accused Israel of violating UN resolutions, according to a report by Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacon.
Goodman’s source is former Rutgers law student Kenneth Wagner, who attended Hagel’s address and was alarmed enough at the time to send a report about the speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Wagner’s email, composed as he sat in the lecture, provides a contemporaneous account of Hagel’s remarks:
“I am sitting in a lecture by Chuck Hagel at Rutgers,” Wagner wrote in the email. “He basically said that Israel has violated every UN resolution since 1967, that Israel has violated its agreements with the quartet, that it was risking becoming an apartheid state if it didn’t allow the Palestinians to form a state. He said that the settlements were getting close to the point where a contiguous Palestinian state would be impossible.”
“He said that he [thought] that Netanyahu was a radical and that even [former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi] Livni, who was hard nosed thought he was too radical and so wouldn’t join in a coalition [government] with him. … He said that Hamas has to be brought in to any peace negotiation,” Wagner wrote.
As in other controversial speeches by Hagel, the remarks came during the question-and-answer period.
Hagel’s confirmation as Secretary of Defense was delayed last week when Republicans prevented a cloture vote that would have ended the debate and triggered a vote by the full Senate, likely along party lines.