Assemblyman Dov Hikind is not in the least bit pleased about President Barack Obama nominating former Senator Chuck Hagel to be his new Secretary of Defense.
Mr. Hikind, a prominent pol in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community and a Democrat known for breaking with his own party, is incensed over what he feels is Mr. Hagel’s insufficient support for Israel and a controversial comment he once made referring to the “Jewish lobby.”
“Hagel’s policy positions have been anti-Israel and pro-Iranian,” Mr. Hikind declared in a press release blasted out earlier this afternoon that compared Mr. Hagel with Neville Chamberlain, the former British Prime Minister famous for appeasing Adolf Hitler before World War Two.
Like other pro-Israel groups, the National Jewish Democratic Council has long been critical of former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel’s record on Mideast policy. However, with the news that President Barack Obama will nominate Mr. Hagel to be secretary of defense, the group is towing the party line and is now firmly in the pro-Hagel camp.
“President Barack Obama’s unprecedented pro-Israel credentials are unquestionable, and setting policy starts and stops with the President,” the NJDC said in a statement this morning. “While we have expressed concerns in the past, we trust that when confirmed, former Senator Chuck Hagel will follow the President’s lead of providing unrivaled support for Israel — on strategic cooperation, missile defense programs, and leading the world against Iran’s nuclear program.”
That statement is a sharp 180-degree turn from the NJDC’s past comments on Mr. Hagel.