Sunday, February 3, 2013

Hagel needlessly grovels at his hearing

During the grilling of Chuck Hagel at the hearing to determine his fitness for the office of Secretary of Defense, he needlessly groveled before his questioners, afraid to stand up for the truth. To show that this is the case, look at the following item with which he was confronted.

It is an excerpt of a speech Ambassador Charles Freeman gave to the Palestine Center in 2011. There is nothing in this that is not true, yet it was thrown at Hagel as if it was an outrage. In fact, it is heresy to the Israel lobby, a group determined to defeat Hagel's appointment to office.

Similarly, the cruelties of Israelis to their Arab captives and neighbors, especially in the ongoing siege of Gaza and repeated attacks on the people of Lebanon, have cost the Jewish state much of the global sympathy that the Holocaust previously conferred on it. The racist tyranny of Jewish settlers over West Bank Arabs and the progressive emergence of a version of apartheid in Israel itself are deeply troubling to a growing number of people abroad who have traditionally identified with Israel. Many — perhaps most of the most disaffected — are Jews. They are in the process of dissociating themselves from Israel. They know that, to the extent that Judaism comes to be conflated with racist arrogance (as terrorism is now conflated with Islam), Israeli behavior threatens a rebirth of anti-Semitism in the West. Ironically, Israel — conceived as a refuge and guarantee against European anti-Semitism — has become the sole conceivable stimulus to its revival and globalization. Demonstrably, Israel has been bad for the Palestinians. It is turning out also to be bad for the Jews.

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