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:
Hagel also accused Israel of violating U.N. resolutions, called for U.S.-designated terrorist organization Hamas to be included in any peace negotiations, and described Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “radical,” according to the source.
Kenneth Wagner, who attended the 2010 speech while a Rutgers University law student, provided the Washington Free Beacon with an email he sent during the event to a contact at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The email is time-stamped April 9, 2010, at 11:37 AM.
“I am sitting in a lecture by Chuck Hagel at Rutgers,” Wagner wrote in the email. “He basically said that Israel has violated every UN resolution since 1967, that Israel has violated its agreements with the quartet, that it was risking becoming an apartheid state if it didn’t allow the Palestinians to form a state. He said that the settlements were getting close to the point where a contiguous Palestinian state would be impossible.”
“He said that he [thought] that Netanyahu was a radical and that even [former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi] Livni, who was hard nosed thought he was too radical and so wouldn’t join in a coalition [government] with him. … He said that Hamas has to be brought in to any peace negotiation,” Wagner wrote.
Read the whole thing here.
This latest revelation follows the news last week, also reported by Goodman, that in 2007 after a speech at Rutgers, Hagel said the U.S. State department was an extension of the Israeli government. And the remarks about Israel as an "apartheid state" echo the sentiment Hagel proclaimed in a 2003 article for the Lincoln Journal Star that Israel keeps Palestinians "caged up like animals."
Hagel's nomination to head the Pentagon stalled in the Senate last Friday after a vote to close debate on the issue failed. Senate majority leader Harry Reid has said he will hold another cloture vote next Tuesday.