President Barack Obama's secretary of defense nominee, Chuck Hagel, said that Israel keeps "Palestinians caged up like animals." He made the remarks in 2003.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel protested what he called the “completely distorted” record on Israel that his critics are promoting in an interview earlier this month with his hometown newspaper.

The former Nebraska senator said an accurate assessment would show “unequivocal, total support for Israel.”

Yet a decade earlier, the same newspaper–the Lincoln Journal Star–quoted Hagel making a startling accusation against Israel in a Jan. 12, 2003 article. Israel, Hagel declared, was “keep[ing] Palestinians caged up like animals.”

Hagel does not elaborate on the claim or explain how Israel keeps Palestinians caged up like animals in the Journal Star account. But the comment is consistent with other Hagel outbursts against the Jewish state, such as a similar accusation in 2007 that Israel has kept the Palestinian people “chained down for many, many years.”

Whole thing here.

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