Over the course of his career, Hagel has shown hostility toward the state of Israel in general, and toward AIPAC specifically. One of the main activities of AIPAC is to get members of Congress to sign letters taking stands on issues related to Israel. In a 2006 interview with Aaron David Miller, Hagel boasted about his courage in being one of a handful of senators who routinely refused to sign such letters, which he called “stupid.” He complained that “the Jewish Lobby intimidates a lot of people up here.” …

Choosing Hagel as secretary of defense is the equivalent of Obama extending his arm and pointing his middle finger at AIPAC. But AIPAC has not taken a position on the appointment, not even to express concern. Marshall Wittmann, an AIPAC spokesman, responded in an email that “AIPAC does not take positions on presidential nominations.”

There’s also no evidence of the group twisting arms behind the scenes. “There is zero activity on the Hill from AIPAC,” a Senate aide who is following the nomination closely told me.