Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) expressed his disgust today at the National Jewish Council’s born-again position on Chuck Hagel. Though historically critical of the former Nebraska Senator’s Mideast policy positions, the anticipation of President Obama’s nomination of Hagel to the position of Secretary of Defense caused the NJDC to do an about-face on Hagel.
“The NJDC’s statement made me sick to my stomach,” said Assemblyman Hikind. “It’s a spineless position for an informed Jewish group to assume. The message is ‘we are Democrats before we are anything.’ That’s disgusting!
“The NJDC should be charged with fraud. After tracking and publishing Hagel’s numerous pro-Iran, anti-Israel statements and policy positions, the members of the NJDC know the real score. Their new declaration that Hagel will ‘follow the President’s lead of providing unrivaled support for Israel and lead the world against Iran’s nuclear program’ is deceitful, dishonest and dangerous!
“Hagel’s policy positions have been anti-Israel and pro-Iranian. His lack of tact and openly anti-Semitic statements about a ‘Jewish’ lobby and ‘not being a Senator of Israel’ expose his gut feelings about Jewish Americans, while his conciliatory position regarding Iran allows that terrorist state to get closer to its ability to manufacture and deliver nuclear weapons. This sounds like Neville Chamberlain all over again. But the truth is we will not achieve peace in our time by denying the Iranian government’s desire to destroy the only democratic state-and our only true ally-in the middle east.
“It’s shameful that the NJDC, who knows Hagel’s positions and has been critical of them in the past, would flip-flop now for the sake of political expediency. They’re even willing to go so far as to erase their once-published assessment of Hagel’s questionable Israeli record from their website in an attempt to rewrite history like other revisionists. That’s contemptible.
“We must be intellectually honest-not politically expedient-when addressing the ascent to power of someone who can hurt us. The threat of Iran is real. A potential Secretary of Defense of the United States needs to know that.”