It is with dismay, and a sense of betrayal, that I write this letter re: last week’s Senate vote on Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel. In particular, Senator Richard Blumenthal’s approval of the nomination.
The Senator’s 2012 campaign included a promise to be strong on U.S. security, and in his many years as our attorney general, he spoke at numerous Jewish community events as a strong supporter of Israel, our country’s only reliable, democratic ally in the Middle East.
His support of the Hagel nomination conveniently chooses to ignore: Hagel’s votes in the Senate against Iran (and Libya-Iran) sanctions in 2001, 2004 and 2008; his 2006 refusal to designate as a terrorist organization Hezbollah, which murdered 242 U.S. marines in Beirut; his 2006 scurrilous comment singling out only one group of voters, i.e. “the Jewish lobby”; in 2000, he was one of only four senators who refused to sign a letter in support of Israel; his 2000 refusal to ask President Bush to pressure the Palestinian Authority (PA) to deny terrorist Hamas a role in PA elections; and in 2009 supported direct negotiations with terrorist Hamas.
And today, there are revelations of his many U.S. addresses, between 2006 and 2008, at four pro-Arab organizations, one of which accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide.”
Add to this Hagel’s outright misinformation critical to the position of Defense Secretary — i.e. his recent misstatement that the U.S. policy towards Iran is one of “containment “ — and you have a nominee who has a long track record of actual votes antithetical to U.S. security and who is unable to intelligently defend his own record let alone that of our country.
Senator Blumenthal should not take my “Jewish vote” for granted.
Attorney Norine F. Krasnogor,
Founder, CT Lawyers for Israel
Chair, Israel Task Force Projects 2002 – Present