Former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) (R) speaks after President Obama nominated him to replace Leon Panetta as Secretary of Defense.
Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, discusses his endorsement of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense and offers his analysis of the recent re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel.
I know wnyc.org is streaming the Hagel hearing live now but I wish they would broadcast on at least one of the radio frequencies as well. (There are still many people for whom listening online is not practical or convenient.)
Will an mp3 of the audio at least be available for download at some point after the hearing?
@Edward:well, if the winners of WW1, which was fought amongst European colonial powers, led by monarch rulers that were all related (cousins), hadn't tried to subdue Germany with exorbitant reparations and the occupation by France of Germanys industrial center, it wouldn't have been so easy for the Nazi party to grab power. Most Germans rightfully felt, they were not more to blame for WW1 than any of the other European powers. It also helped that during the Weimar Republic, Germany had too many small & splinter parties that let to unstable & weak governments (not unlike todays Israel & Italy).
@jugarbuz,a territorial land grab authorized by a small number of barely democratic, colonial Empires and imposed on a people and their territory, who were settling there due to no fault of their own for centuries, is barely a legitimization.
As history, not at least Israels history itself teaches us, territorial land grabs don't further peace, i.e. without any appropriate compensatipon. The Paraohs drove the Jews out of Israel 2000 years ago, and yet, they came back. There is a good chance that even if the Israely government might be able to ethnically cleanse Palestine for a couple of hundred hundred years, who can guarantee they won't come back with a vengance?
The only way to guarantee this would be through a complete genocide.The Pharaohs couldn't do it, the turks couldn't do it, even Hitler couldn't do it, mankind came a long way and did not allow the serbs to do it & they won't allow the Iranians, the Palestinians nor the Israelis to do this…
So what's the solution? Ethnic cleansing? Send the Palestians in the desert, like the Pharaos the Israelis or like the Americans the Indians? Thankfully, i hope, the world community will now ostracize any country or group that tries to attempt this, too.
So, what is a fair and lasting solution? What would King Salomon do?Would he look at it like a pizza and cut it into half? Without letting one side cherry pick & keep all the toppings & the cheese and leave the other side with the crust and a bit of tomato sauce?Or would he look at it as a baby and give it to the side that refuses to cut it up?
What's feasible? A two state solution? A confederation or a 1 state solution where both sides have equal rights & share 50% of the government with an alternating president who breaks a tie?Thankfully, i'm not King Salomon & it's up to me to come up with a solution.Maybe a good approach to narrow it down is by elimination what's NOT a solution...I know, genocide or ethnic cleansing are not a solution!After that, you have to try to walk in your opponents shoes for a while to really learn how to compromise…
I wish the Israeli & Palestinian people the best! You just have to try harder!
Noach (Pro-Hagel Orthodox Jew) from Brooklyn, Could you openly live in Gaza as an Orthodox Jew?
Would Hamas permit you to go about your day as an Orthodox Jew?
How many other Orthodox Jews live in Gaza?
"Soldier's Father from Pelham, NY" wrote,
<<The most important point in Mr. Hagel's favor is that he has actually been a ground combat infantryman, and knows personally and viscerally what it means to commit U.S. troops to battle (unlike the entire Bush Administration hierarchy, who seemed to think they were still playing in Risk tournaments at Yale). >>
As stark and disturbing a contrast as this is, it is not all.
Hagel acknowledged the Vietnam war as being wrong and then went-on to defy his own party and president in speaking out against the Iraq war. He is being subjected to an inquisition by people who were among the chief proponents and even architects of that thoroughly discredited and failed endeavor. Worse, many of these individuals remain unrepentant and nearly all of them are now pushing for war with Iran.
The whole thing is an obscene spectacle. And one that makes me, as a Jew, deeply disturbed and ashamed.
What would you have said to national Socialist Germany to dissuade them from invading...
Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, France, Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, the British Channel islands, Romania...
What sort of "peace quilt" would you have sewn to change Socialist hitlers murderous plans?
1941 The Grand Mufti meets Hitler http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSUEx1cKUlg
Remind your friends that Mecca is smaller than Israel.
To Rose Ellen
Western Palestine was declared to be the Jewish National Home by the Council of the League of Nations in 1922, some 25 years before the Holocaust. Maybe if 6 million Jews had come to Palestine in the 1920s and 1930s, there would have been no Holocaust. There would have been no Jews left in Europe to kill. It was anti-Zionists and ultratorthodox opponents of Zionism, not to mention Arab terror in Palestine that kept Jews from coming to the Jewish National Home in the 1920s and '30s. Also, the British violated the League of Nations Mandate by passing laws to keep Arabs from selling land to Jews, and in 1939 by virtually closing Palestine to Jewish immigration.
RoseEllen said maybe we should have done more talking and less fighting in WWII1 :)
Maybe the US should have joined the war against the Axis immediately in 1939 instead of the end of 1941 when Japan bombed us into the war? By the time the GI's stormed the beaches of Normandy in mid-1944, my grandmothers bones had been decomposing for well over 2 years.Had we gone to war immediately when Poland was attacked along with Britain, Tojo and Hitler would have been gone two or three years earlier, and fewer GIs would have ended up dead as well.
Once the cancer metastasizes, saving the patient becomes that much harder.
"AdamHolland" asked whether J Street has ever endorsed a nominee for Defense Secretary before.
I ask: Has it ever happened before that a nominee for Defense Secretary had his confirmation threatened by charges of not being supportive enough of the State of Israel?
What's wrong with talking to ones enemy?No matter what they say.Perhaps had we done more TALKING and less fighting in world war 2-we could have PREVEVTED the holocaust and the death of what?, 50 to 100 million men, women and children.We'll never know but this notion that we can't talk to people if they say things we don't like is ludicrous. We say things they don't like.It's called having enemies.[And what ever happened to freedom of expression we love to taut-no matter how offensive?]Hamas has said that they would today accept a pre 67 border israel.The LEGAL boundaries of Israel.Though of course they fought the creation of the zionist settler state as it was at their expense. And they may very well always believe and express the belief that the creation of israel-back when the UN was a european mans club-was illigal and unethical -just as native americans may believe and express that view about the creation of the US.It does not follow that they want to kill every person who is now a citizen of that state.And we too once believed the USSR was illigitimate.Didn't mean we wanted every soviet citizen killed. Acquiring land through war is illigal and was so back in 67.[One of the just results of world war 2 is that you cannot grab land -might no longer makes right].Go back to the 67borders and then see what happens. Peace can be had if israel would comply with the rule of law.
According to the UN, 60,000+ have died in Syria - the Assad family dictatorship .vs. "rebels" who may very well be infiltrated by al qada.
Where are the daily protests across the street from the Syrian embassy/mission/consulates demanding an end to the killing?
Is it "counter revolutionary" to oppose the killing in Syria?
Noach is like Joseph's brothers, who sold him down the river to the Ishmaelite slave traders. In the end, the 10 tribes disappeared from history. The disappearance of the Jewish state will mean the disappearance of all Jews soon thereafter.
I'd like to see Neteuri Karta live in Gaza to demonstrate how tolerant, multi-cultural Hamas is toward people like Noach.
Of course Neteuri Karta, as "authentic Jews" would need the support infrastructure of synagogues, kosher food stores, be able to openly celebrate Jewish holidays in Gaza.
How about it "Noach"?
Here is the text of the Hamas charter of 1988, the same year that Pan Am 103 was bombed.http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp
Has the Hamas charter been amended? Where is the new and improved Hamas charter?
To resident Alien
Peace is up to the 56 Muslim countries. Most of them do not recognize Israel's right to exist. WHen their ulemas accept the right of a Jewish state to exist, only then will there be the true end of this conflict. Short of that, the struggle will continue. It's that simple.
AIPAC is so far off the spectrum and contemptible that "JStreet" actually looks respectable in contrast.
I couldn't agree more with your guest!!!As long as there are still level headed Israelis out there, there is still hope. I just wish there were more reasonable and rational people on both sides!
The status quo is horrible (more horrible for the palestinians) and unsustainable in the long run.
I'm neither jewish nor muslim and don't have any stakes or fish to fry, but this Palestinian/Israeli conflict keeps also burdening the rest of the world.The sooner this will get resolved in a fair & reasonable matter, the better.(Not holding my breath, though - unfortunately)
To Noach, the Satmar ghetto guy,
Yes, the same anti-Zionist rabbis who told their congregants that "Hitler would blow over" somehow managed to bribe their way out just in the nick of time, leaving most of the congregants to be slaughtered behind.
@ Manhattan - I believe it's in the constitution. America exists because it was able to "lobby" the likes of France during the revolutionary war.
Chuck Hagel has been nominated for Secretary of Defense...of AMERICA!!
NOT the Islamist Regime of Iran.
Palestinian Gunman Drag Dead Body Through the Street of Gaza http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnZqdOhhBgE
@ chuzz - As the arbiter of ethics here on the WNYC comment pages, what do you make of the ethics of secret money from rightists likely masquerading as lefty money targeted to bring down Hagel.
To wit; as our ethical commentator du jour and the king of pointing out hypocrisy, do you care about secret money being used by operatives from all political persuasions to perpetuate, or more specifically, obviate need for the "big lie"?
Manhattan Lee from Manhattan~
Unfortunately, you've just had yourself labeled "anti-semitic".
jgarbuz wrote,"So the Jews should have just talked with Hitler and the Nazis, and they could have worked something out?"
1.) Weren't there many Jews who were saved from the Nazis as a direct result of people talking with them and making various deals?
2.) How did Israel free Gilad Shalit? Wasn't it through negotiations with Hamas?
More to follow if time allows...
Jihad Street Street finally fesses up that it accepts money from 1%er multi billionaire George Soros.
The only difference between Fatah (the PLO) and Hamas, is that Hamas is less hypocritical. They are just two sides of the same coin. Both are committed to the elimination of the Jewish state. One diplomatically and one militarily. Otherwise, the end goal is one and the same.
Elsie from Brooklyn~
When 56 Muslim countries accept the right of a JEWISH STATE to exist in peace, only then will there be peace, and not one day before.
The motto of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) was "Peace Through Strength." Israel's strength is the only guarantee of its survival, not any silly piece treaties. Yes, PIECE treaties. Taking Israel down in pieces.
The real question is WHY are foreign entities permitted to even have lobbies in our country? Foreign nations should not have sway over our national interests or who we select to run our defense. Why is it assumed that the United States should support Israel (or any other nation for that matter)? Why don't Americans have a voice in this matter (especially those that concern Israel)? This is a very repressed topic in this country and is anti-democracy.
Remember how the PLO was perceived (w/some accuracy) 30 years ago? Much the way Hamas is now. But today the Palestinian Authority is the body Israel talks to, the "moderates." If Israel & the West talk to Hamas, there's more of a chance it won't take as long to reach a similar relationship w/them. The more pressure & violence used, the more the hard-liners dig in, on both sides.
@ John, perhaps there is but the likes of AIPAC and J Street are "Pro-Israel" lobbies and should be described as such.
Netanyahu has forced his own party, the Likud party, to accept a "two state solution." What are these people talking about? It's the Arabs who refuse to accept a JEWISH STATE that is the problem. The "Palestinian" Arabs can't make up their mind as to what it is they want, except to eventually bring down the Jewish state.
No one care.
I'm a Jew but Israel should not be dictating U.S. foreign policy. If Israel wants peace in the Middle East (which frankly, I don't think they do because if they did, they would stop voting for Bibi), then Israelis are going to have to step up to the plate and stop acting like victimized children. They will also need to stop victimizing Palestinians with the tired (blatantly inaccurate) excuse that Israelis are suffering from Arab oppression. This is a classic bait and switch move that oppressors use to try to divert attention from their own oppressive behavior.
Up till today I thought J street was an actual street, a locale for various lobbies - so THX for the education.
Soldier's Father from Pelham, NY~
There are MANY Jewish lobbies. There were even Jews who supported Hitler in the beginning. You have to "talk to your enemies." You know the way the US talked to Hitler, Tojo, and Osama bin Laden.
The most important point in Mr. Hagel's favor is that he has actually been a ground combat infantryman, and knows personally and viscerally what it means to commit U.S. troops to battle (unlike the entire Bush Administration hierarchy, who seemed to think they were still playing in Risk tournaments at Yale).
@ little Robert from NYC-
I don't expect the little slackers here like you to read carefully and comprehend.....and you don't disappoint.
Everyone expected that Soros HAD given money to this cult. That's fine. The issue was that J Street and Ben Ami repeatedly and adamantly DENIED for years that this was the case. They wanted to appear independent and perpetuate the myth that they were funded by many similar thinking Jews across America. This was discovered to be a big lie and THAT was the issue. His ethics.
You can now go back to your video games.
Hagel isn't running for office in Israel. If the problem with him is about his stance, that's a one issue thing. What's his stand on policies to support the US?
The term "arab lobby" is used. No one complains about that.The double standard shows the power of the right wing zionist lobby.
So, there is no Jewish Lobby??? How could I have been so wrong???
So the Jews should have just talked with Hitler and the Nazis, and they could have worked something out?
Hitler never never said anything as bad about the Jews as have the leaders of Hamas and many leaders of the Iranian Islamofascist regime.
...what??? Logical and sane discussion on the subject???
@Adam, it may have to do with so-called "friends of Israel" bashing Hagel into a pulp.
So what if Soros gave money to J Street, in fact GOOD. Right wing conservative and "possible traitor" Sheldon Adelson who puts Israeli policy ahead of US policy, gives tons of money to AIPAC. So what's your point Martin Chuzzlewit!
I would be interested to know why J Street has chosen to enter the fray about Hagel's nomination. Have they ever endorsed a nominee for Defense Secretary before? If they haven't, what about Hagel's nomination made them want to start now?
(I don't oppose Hagel's nomination, but I find J Street's endorsement interesting and wondered what their reasoning is.)
Half of its funding from Hong Kong??!!
"The White House appears to be distancing itself from the liberal advocacy group J Street that it once embraced as its envoy to the U.S. Jewish community after disclosures that nearly half the group’s funding for 2008 came from a single Hong Kong donor.Rep. Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican and House minority whip, said: “The White House needs to disassociate itself from J Street, denounce J Street and cut off all ties.”
Caveat Emptor ..... LOL, just so the listeners here know the questions that have been raised about the integrity of the esteemed guest from the phony "pro-Israel" group that Brian has yet again cherry-picked for this "objective" segment.
“J Street, the liberal Middle East policy advocacy organization, on Sunday issued a statement acknowledging what the group had earlier denied: J Street received financial support from billionaire George Soros.
Mr. Ben Ami has not said he lied. He did, however, state in a note to supporters on Sunday: “I accept responsibility personally for being less than clear about Mr. Soros‘ support once he did become a donor.”
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