Green Room

Deroy Murdock: Hagel sure sounds like an anti-Semite, doesn’t he?

posted at 1:46 pm on February 22, 2013 by

Chuck Hagel’s confirmation may be a virtual fait accomplibut his critics continue to raise troubling questions about his character and preparedness for the position he seeks.  Deroy Murdock enumerates a series of Hagel quotes about Jews and Israel in his column today, and asks readers to draw their own conclusions about what’s in Hagel’s heart.  Unlike liberals, I’m very hesitant to pronounce someone a bigot based on political disagreements — and Hagel has provided explanations and disavowals on a number of the examples Murdock raises.  The one comment that really bothers me, though, is this one:

Hagel tried to close USO’s Haifa retreat when he ran the United Service Organizations from 1987 to 1990. The facility was highly popular among U.S. sailors, 45,000 of whom visited the Israeli port in 1990, the Associated Press reports. “Chuck Hagel said the Haifa port is costing the U.S. too much [and] that if the Jews wanted one, the Jews should do the fundraising,” an unnamed supporter of the outpost told theWashington Free Beacon. “He said to me, ‘Let the Jews pay for it.’” recalled Marsha Halteman, of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, which backed USO Haifa. “I told him at the time that I found his comments to be anti-Semitic,” Halteman said. “He was playing into that dual loyalty thing.”

The most charitable defense of Hagel here is that he’s a gruff, old-school guy from the Midwest who’s long struggled to adopt appropriate verbiage when discussing Israel and its citizens.  Indeed, as recently as last week, Hagel allegedly got misty-eyed when Chuck Schumer felt obliged to explain why some of his past formulations have been offensive to Jews.   So is Hagel remarkably obtuse, or does he  harbor some deeper issue with Jewish people?  I don’t presume to know the answer to that question, but it’s distressing that we even have to consider it.  Liberated from future accountability to voters, President Obama had a long list of potential candidates from which to select his nominee for Secretary of Defense, and this is the man he chose.

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So is Hagel remarkably obtuse, or does he harbor some deeper issue with Jewish people?

One or two comments might justify calling him “remarkably obtuse,” but a career of them indicates that he harbors a “deeper issue with Jews.”

I love seeing all of the Democrats giving him the benefit of the doubt because they agree with his “world view.”

If Bush had nominated him, Schumer would have given a Kennedy-Bork rant on the floor of the Senate.

Resist We Much on February 22, 2013 at 2:35 PM

I like Israel, but think the only thing that can be said about Hagel’s remark that it is gruff–or the current word “insensitive”. But fully agree with RWM that any gruff 3-letter word to refer to people of Jewish descent spoken by a Bush appointee would be turned into Blood Libel.

Axeman on February 22, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Some are actually questioning that Hagel is anti-Semitic? Absolutely Amazing!

elihu on February 23, 2013 at 5:41 AM

This story is pure BS Guy. Clemons did an interesting write up on this over in the Atlantic.

lexhamfox on February 23, 2013 at 6:57 AM

So is Hagel remarkably obtuse, or does he harbor some deeper issue with Jewish people?

Both. Obtuseness and bigotry go hand in hand. Hagel just happens to also be an idiot.

RadClown on February 23, 2013 at 10:51 AM

I see Hot Air is still peddling more lies, rumors, and innuendo about Chuck Hagel. How did “Friends of Hamas” work out for you?


antifederalist on February 23, 2013 at 11:17 AM

He may be a bigot but he’s Obama’s bigot, so he gets a pass.

agmartin on February 23, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Hagel sure sounds like an anti-Semite, doesn’t he?

Hey guys … I just heard recently that water is wet . Discuss…

cableguy615 on February 23, 2013 at 4:33 PM

OK for Dems to nominate anti-Semites. Not OK for Republicans. But actually, it is just plain not OK, period.

AshleyTKing on February 23, 2013 at 4:58 PM

There’s no mystery here, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Hagel’s an anti-semitic, anti-American dirtbag, just like Obama, that’s why he appointed him.

The Democrats have become a traitorous party and the Republicans a bunch of pussies who are too afraid to take on the left. And you have a slight majority of Americans who vote for these destroyers into power-brainwashed to do so by the leftist MSM propaganda arm of the WH.

An aside John McCain needs to be punted to the Dem party where he belongs.

thinkagain on February 24, 2013 at 3:09 PM