‘Introduction to the Reading of Hagel’
4:45 PM, Dec 14, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
7. In 2009, Hagel signed onto a letter urging President Obama to open direct negotiations with Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization dedicated to the violent destruction of Israel and which has perpetrated dozens of suicide bombings that have killed or injured hundreds of civilians in Israel, including many Americans.
8. The National Jewish Democratic Council says Hagel has “a lot of questions to answer about his commitment to Israel.”
9. When questioned about his pro-Israel record during a meeting in New York with supporters of Israel, Hagel is reported to have said, “Let me clear something up here if there’s any doubt in your mind. I’m a United States Senator. I’m not an Israeli senator. I’m a United States Senator. I support Israel. But my first interest is, I take an oath of office to the constitution of the United States. Not to a president, not to a party, not to Israel.”
1. On July 24, 2001, Hagel was one of only two U.S. senators who voted against renewing the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act.
2. In June 2004, Hagel refused to sign a letter urging that President Bush highlight Iran’s nuclear program while at the G-8 summit.
3. In a 2007 letter to President Bush, Hagel urged “direct, unconditional” talks with Iran to create a “historic new dynamic in US-Iran relations.”
4. In 2007, declined to join 72 Senators in supporting a bipartisan sanctions bill called the Iran Counter Proliferation Act.
5. In a 2007 speech, Hagel claimed that "Continued hostile relations between the United States and Iran will have the effect of isolating the United States."
6. In 2008, Hagel voted in the Senate Banking Committee against legislation imposing sanctions on countries conducting certain business with Iran.
7. In March 2012, Hagel suggested Iran had “a couple of face-saving ways” out of a new round of economic sanctions over its nuclear program. “You cannot push the Iranians into a corner where they can’t get out,” he said.