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:
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.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, said on the floor this morning that it's "tragic" Republicans are refusing immediately to accept Chuck Hagel as the next secretary of defense. Some Republicans contend that they need more information on Hagel before voting on his nomination.
The Emergency Committee for Israel has a new ad focusing on the Senate testimony from Barack Obama's defense secretary nominee, Chuck Hagel. "Today the Emergency Committee for Israel released 'Endorsed,' a 30-second TV ad that will begin airing tomorrow in Washington DC and New York," said ECI director Noah Pollak in a statement. "'Endorsed' contrasts Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel's views on the Iranian regime, which he described last week as 'elected' and 'legitimate,' with Hillary Clinton's description of the regime as a 'military dictatorship.'"
Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, tells Politico reporter Manu Raju that the committee will not vote on the nomination of Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense on Thursday, as planned:
Hagel vote won't be tomorrow in Armed Services. Levin: "The committee’s review of the nomination is not yet complete."