Hagel on ‘Jewish Lobby’: ‘It’s the Only Time on the Record That I’ve Ever Said That’

by Nathaniel Botwinick

Chuck Hagel had problems explaining his past statements on “the Jewish Lobby” during today’s hearing: “I should’ve said, ‘Pro-Israel Lobby.’ I think it’s the only time on the record that I’ve ever said that.” Only time on the record? Does this mean he’s been critical of the “Jewish Lobby” in private? Very reassuring. Then, he tried to replace his use of “intimidation” in the original statement (“The Jewish Lobby intimidates a lot of people up here”) with “influence.” Good to know. Also, Hagel wanted to remind the senators that the original interviewer who heard these comments, Aaron Miller, is Jewish. I don’t think anyone’s concerns will be assuaged by his poor attempts at rewriting his record.

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