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Covering the Hagel hearing

Chuck Hagel will testify on Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee in furtherance (he hopes) of his nomination for Secretary of Defense. I will post reports, and perhaps live-blog, the event.

Judging from reports of Hagel’s meeting with Chuck Schumer, the nominee intends to disavow or attempt to explain away his past anti-Israel, soft-on-Iran positions and comments, as well as his statements suggesting dislike of Jews. One hopes that Republican Senators will, at a minimum, make him eat crow.

If Hagel does serve up a confirmation conversion, it will represent a victory of sorts for the pro-Israel lobby he so despises. The more Hagel affects a pro-Israel posture, the more he demonstrates the strength of pro-Israeli sentiment in this country. That strength is founded on public recognition (albeit not shared by our leftist elites) that Israel is a great friend and natural ally of the U.S., and that Israel’s enemies for the most part are no friends of America.

On the other hand, Hagel’s confirmation would leave us with an anti-Israel, soft-on-Iran Secretary of Defense. But Hagel won’t be making policy regarding Israel, Iran, or the Middle East in general. Obama will handle that, and see to it that his administration’s policy is anti-Israel and soft-on-Iran regardless of who is in charge at the Pentagon.

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