Report: Hagel Said Israel Headed Toward Apartheid

by Eliana Johnson

Secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel said that Israel is on its way to becoming an apartheid state in a 2010 speech at Rutgers University, according to the Washington Free Beacon. A contemporaneous account of Hagel’s remarks provided by Kenneth Wagner, a Rutgers University law student at the time of the speech, indicates that Hagel also accused Israel of violating U.N. resolutions and argued that Hamas should be included in peace negotiations. Wagner provided his own, contemporaneous e-mail account of Hagel’s remarks to the Free Beacon

“I am sitting in a lecture by Chuck Hagel at Rutgers,” Wagner wrote. “He basically said that Israel has violated every UN resolution since 1967, that Israel has violated its agreements with the quartet, that it was risking becoming an apartheid state if it didn’t allow the Palestinians to form a state. He said that the settlements were getting close to the point where a contiguous Palestinian state would be impossible.”

“He said that he [thought] that Netanyahu was a radical and that even [former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi] Livni, who was hard nosed thought he was too radical and so wouldn’t join in a coalition [government] with him. … He said that Hamas has to be brought in to any peace negotiation,” Wagner wrote.

Wagner’s account comes on the heels of a previous report that, in a 2007 speech at Rutgers, Hagel argued that the U.S. State Department is controlled by Israel. 

A Senate vote on Hagel’s nomination, which was delayed last week, is likely to occur in the coming days. 

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