As Senator Hagel sits around for six more months and tries to decide whether to launch a futile bid for the White House, he has a lot of questions to answer about his commitment to Israel. Consider this:
- In August 2006, Hagel was one of only 12 Senators who refused to write the EU asking them to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
- In October 2000, Hagel was one of only 4 Senators who refused to sign a Senate letter in support of Israel.
- In November 2001, Hagel was one of only 11 Senators who refsued to sign a letter urging President Bush not to meet with the late Yassir Arafat until his forces ended the violence against Israel.
- In December 2005, Hagel was one of only 27 who refused to sign a letter to President Bush to pressure the Palestinian Authroity to ban terrorist groups from participating in Palestinian legislative elections.
- In June 2004, Hagel refused to sign a letter urging President Bush to highlight Iran's nuclear program at the G-8 summit.
Here's what the National Review wrote about Hagel's stance on Israel in 2002:
"There's nothing Hagel likes less than talking about right and wrong in the context of foreign policy. Pro-Israeli groups view him almost uniformly as a problem. "He doesn't always cast bad votes, but he always says the wrong thing," comments an Israel supporter who watches Congress. An April speech is a case in point. "We will need a wider lens to grasp the complex nature and consequences of terrorism," said Hagel. He went on to cite a few examples of terrorism: FARC in Colombia, Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines, and the Palestinian suicide bombers. Then he continued, "Arabs and Palestinians view the civilian casualties resulting from Israeli military occupation as terrorism." He didn't exactly say he shares this view — but he also failed to reject it."
And here's what the anti-Israel group, CAIR wrote in praise of Hagel: