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Israeli Think Tank Defends Hagel Against Neocon Smears

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"Israeli Think Tank Defends Hagel Against Neocon Smears"

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An Israeli think tank on Wednesday vigorously defended Chuck Hagel against right-wing smears that he is anti-Israel, anti-Semitic and weak on Iran.

Molad, the Center for the Renewal of Israeli Democracy, wrote in a report released today that Hagel’s nomination as the next Defense Secretary should not have anything to do with Israel, but the fact that Israel’s “self-anointed supporters” dragged the Jewish state into the debate, the group felt compelled to respond:

Senator Chuck Hagel’s nomination as Secretary of Defense is an internal American matter and, as such, should not involve Israel. In fact, the insertion of Israel into American political debates, often by its self-anointed supporters, does Israel a great disservice. Making it a partisan wedge or a hindrance on American interests harms Israel’s long-term interests. Having been dragged into the debate, Israelis deserve a truthful picture of Hagel’s views and his record, not the caricature painted by right-wing propagandists.

A candid inspection of the Senator’s record leaves no doubt about his support for Israel and his commitment to its security. Chuck Hagel is responsible, knowledgeable, and courageous when it comes to Middle East policy. Presenting his independence and refusal to toe the radical right’s party line as anti-Israel is demagoguery that serves neither the United States nor Israel.

The report pushes back, point-by-point, many of the neocons’ baseless charges against Hagel and concludes: “After examining his record on Israel, his credibility on national security, and his understanding of the region, we believe that those who have Israel’s real interest at heart should applaud his nomination for US Secretary of Defense.”

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