New York Sun on Hagel’s Confirmation
A pointed editorial on how major Jewish organizations which profess concern for Israel’s interests chickened out of a winnable fight. And let’s not forget Chuck Schumer. A taste:
By confirming Charles Hagel as secretary of war, Senator Schumer and the Democratic leadership send a pointed message to the Jewish community in America. It is that if the Jewish defense agencies are not going to stick up publicly for Israel, it is hard to expect others to do so. There is no sugar-coating the point. The Senate has just confirmed the most truculent cabinet officer in respect of Israel in more than a generation because important institutions and leaders shrank from making an issue of it.
This is a story that is painful for many people to talk about. It would be inaccurate to suggest that the only objection to putting Mr. Hagel in at the war department had to do with Israel. He would be inadequate, even were Israel not an issue. There is a broad sense within the Jewish community — as there is among a number of non-Jewish senators who permitted his nomination to go to the floor — that Mr. Hagel has proven himself incompetent and disingenuous.
Yet there’s no gainsaying the special concern that his hostility to Israel has raised among the Jewish leadership. And one of the stories that is being spoken of in private is how humiliated the leaders of the Jewish community feel. Nearly all of them — not all, but nearly all — were opposed to the elevation of Mr. Hagel to the Pentagon. But only one of the Jewish defense agencies spoke out forcefully against him.