"Make sure,” Elliott Abrams told me, “that you have the better idea, and then push for it aggressively.”
He offered this advice back in 2006, when I was working for him in the National Security Council. At the time, I was involved in a minor conflict with another White House office, which was assuming a heavy-handed role in the formation of Lebanon policy—an area that, bureaucratically, fell to me.
South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham has just sent a letter to Barack Obama's defense secretary nominee, Chuck Hagel. Graham asks if, at a 2010 appearance at Rutgers University, Hagel said Israel "was risking becoming an apartheid state."
Chuck Hagel, Barack Obama's defense secretary nominee and a former Nebraska senator, said in a 2008 interview that he agreed that the United States has not been a "fair or credible peace broker" in the Middle East, specifically with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
At a 2010 appearance at Rutgers University, former Nebraska senator and current defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel reportedly said that the state of Israel risks "becoming an apartheid state if it didn't allow the Palestinians to form a state." Hagel also referred to current Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a "radical." Alana Goodman at the Washington Free Beacon reports:
Last week, the Australian press broke the story of “Prisoner X,” a Mossad officer named Ben Zygier, who reportedly took his life in an Israeli prison in 2010. Already Israel's media have started a campaign to impugn Zieger’s character with Haaretz, not surprisingly, leading the pack.
Two U.S. senators have written a letter to Chuck Hagel to ask the defense secretary nominee to explain his assertion that "the State Department was becoming an adjunct of the Israeli Foreign Ministry." Hagel, the Washington Free Beacon reported yesterday, made the comment in 2007.
Fox News reported yesterday that Chuck Hagel, who has been nominated as the next secretary of defense, failed to “disclose at least two recent speeches on the subject of the Arab-Israeli conflict” in paperwork filed with the Senate.