Newly-appointed Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is a “Jackie Mason on steroids,” the head of Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations says.
“So much of what he has said is disturbing,” executive vice chairman Malcolm Hoenline told Newsmax’s “The Steve Malzberg Show,” referring to Hagel’s 2008 crack that “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people” in Washington.
“We will judge him by what he does now. He claims that it was a mistake and he didn’t intend what he said. He’s sort of a Jackie Mason on steroids when it comes to what he has said.”
Hoenline was referring to the famed borscht-belt comic, who’s quips have sometimes gotten him in hot water.
He said he will watch carefully to see how the new defense chief proceeds with U.S. policies with Israel.
“[On Tuesday], he met with the defense minister of Israel, made some very strong statements [and] has come out strongly on the Iran issue,” Hoenline said.
“But the truth is … each of the presidents came into office saying they were going to make peace – until they sit down and they figure out and try it and find out that the other side walked away from it for no reason.”
He also slammed the Islamic resistance group Hamas’ warning to President Barack Obama against journeying to the Temple Mount, one of the most important religious sites in Old Jerusalem.
“The threat is outrageous. A person of any religion from anywhere ought to be able to visit one of the holiest sites to Jews, to Christians, to Muslims,” Hoenline said.
“[The president will] visit the wall, he’ll find other sites sacred to the other religions to visit. He doesn’t want to have a provocation. But this is an insult to the president, it’s an insult to the sacredness of this place.”
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is a non-profit group that weighs in on “issues of critical concern to the Jewish community.”
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