Interestingly, Dershowitz writes that if Hagel were nominated and not confirmed by the Senate, the Iranians would “see the nomination as representing President Obama’s real views on the possible use of force against the Iranian nuclear program,” and would then see his rejection by the Senate as “a reflection of the power of the ‘Jewish lobby’ over the legislature.” Precisely.
The only questions I have are for Professor Dershowitz: Don’t you think that it is indeed possible that the president wants Hagel precisely because the former senator reflects his own views?
If you think the Iranians might consider that as the truth, why doesn’t it occur to you as well?
Indeed, Dershowitz notes that were Hagel actually appointed as secretary of Defense, that “would make military action by the United States or Israel more rather than less likely, because it would embolden the mullahs toward defying any threat of the military option.”
That last point is meant to sway those like Friedman who evidently believe the opposite: that putting Hagel in would take the military option off the table for a long, long time. Dershowitz is explaining that the path they favor will lead precisely to the end they fear most — a nuclear strike against Iran that would embroil the Middle East in a new major war.
The bottom line is that it is time to be wary of the advice given by the so-called “real” friends of Israel who regularly accuse Israel’s defensive policies of being militaristic and wrong, and who continually find hope in Palestinian obstinacy and rejectionism which they proclaim to be reasonable and meriting of a favorable response.
Yes, Thomas Friedman and Chuck Hagel may not be anti-Semitic, although Hagel’s ill-chosen words are rather borderline and most likely revealing of his real sentiments. But with their constant chastising of Israel and their pleas to deal with the likes of Hamas and to make more and more dangerous concessions to the PA, they are misleading the American public to view Israel and its elected leaders as the only impediments to peace in the Middle East.
In doing that, Thomas Friedman especially is using his perch at the New York Times, as its senior foreign policy columnist, to turn Americans against Israel, and to urge them to pressure the United States to move away from supporting its most important ally in the region. All in the name of reason and peace. With friends like that, Israel does not need its current many enemies. Its greatest danger lurks from those who give its leaders bad advice delivered in the name of support.
Related from Barry Rubin: