Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Chuck E. Jeez

A rare appearance on this page by Tom Friedman about Chuck Hagel's detractors. If you are concerned about Israel's rapid right-wing drift this is a 'must read'.

I am certain that the vast majority of U.S. senators and policy makers quietly believe exactly what Hagel believes on Israel — that it is surrounded by more implacable enemies than ever and needs and deserves America’s backing. But, at the same time, this Israeli government is so spoiled and has shifted so far to the right that it makes no effort to take U.S. interests into account by slowing its self-isolating settlement adventure. And it’s going to get worse. Israel’s friends need to understand that the center-left in Israel is dying. The Israeli election in January will bring to power Israeli rightists who never spoke at your local Israel Bonds dinner. These are people who want to annex the West Bank. Bibi Netanyahu is a dove in this crowd. The only thing standing between Israel and national suicide any more is America and its willingness to tell Israel the truth. But most U.S. senators, policy makers and Jews prefer to stick their heads in the sand, because confronting Israel is so unpleasant and politically dangerous. Hagel at least cares enough about Israel to be an exception.

Supplementary article at Think Progress.

Four former national security advisers in a letter to the editor in the Washington Post published on Tuesday denounced what New York TImes columnist Tom Friedman described as “disgusting” attacks on former Republican senator Chuck Hagel and praised Hagel’s prior service to the United States.
...

The high-level support for Hagel comes after the “neocon smear machine” recently began a campaign to tar Hagel as an anti-Semite and anti-Israel and not sufficiently militaristic toward Iran after news reports that he is President Obama’s top choice to succeed Leon Panetta.

It seems to me that Israel's only chance of survival is if we get rid of the neocons, or at least get their influence out of Israel policy, and start telling the Israeli government what it really needs to hear, i.e. they're fuckin' up by the numbers.

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