Even Tom Friedman gets it right
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels December 26, 2012 - 12:12pm
"If ever Israel needed a U.S. defense secretary who was committed to Israels survival, as Hagel has repeatedly stated but who was convinced that ensuring that survival didnt mean having America go along with Israels self-destructive drift into settling the West Bank and obviating a two-state solution it is now."Headline: "Give Chuck a Chance."Another Headline: What's at Stake in the Hagel Affair? "The real meaning of the Hagel affair is what it says about the climate inside Washington. Simply put, the question is whether supine and reflexive support for all things Israeli remains a prerequisite for important policy positions here in the Land of the Free. Given America's track record in the region in recent decades, you'd think a more open debate on U.S. policy would be just what the country needs, both for its own sake and for Israel's. But because the case for the current "special relationship" of unconditional support is so weak, the last thing that hardliners like Bill Kristol or Elliot Abrams want is an open debate on that subject. If Hagel gets appointed, it means other people in Washington might realize they could say what they really think without fear that their careers will be destroyed. And once that happens, who knows where it might lead? It might even lead to a Middle East policy that actually worked! We wouldn't want that now, would we?"MJ Rosenberg weighs in. Not for the faint of heart!Bernard Avishai invites Americans to stop supporting the policies of West Bank fanatics. Hold onto your hats (and your mittens).And just to round things out Connie Bruck at the New Yorker, "Chuck Hagel and His Enemies." She quotes New York Congressmen Gary Ackerman: You know, not everybody who disagrees with Israels policies is anti-Semitic, otherwise half the Jewish population of Israel would be anti-Semitic!
About the Author
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.