Chuck Hagel at J Street: Mediocre Boilerplate

For all the thunder about the "missing" J Street speech Chuck Hagel gave in 2009, watching it was almost a letdown.  There is simply no "smoking-gun" anti-Semitism or anti-Israelism there, aside from a single reference to some policies working to the "single issue benefit of certain groups."  OK, yes, that's a reference to Jews, and no, it isn't nice.  But generally speaking, Hagel gave a truly boilerplate, mediocre speech that starts in the wrong place, makes factual errors, and then draws the wrong conclusions. Sen. Hagel begins by explicitly calling the Palestinian-Israeli or Arab-Israel conflict (he incorrectly equates the two) the foundation of anti-Western Arab attitudes and the wellspring of Islamic jihad.  He starts the conflict in 1967.  Arab opposition to Jewish communal life in any part of Ottoman Palestine expressed itself in attacks on Jews long before Israel's independence in 1948, and it continued after with the Arab rejection of...(Read Full Post)

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