reassures Jewish leaders on Iran position
Nominee for defense secretary says he's on board with
Obama's posture on Iran, need to maintain Israel's military
January 23, 2013 "Jerusalem
-- WASHINGTON - In a meeting with Jewish leaders, Chuck
Hagel, US President Obama's defense secretary nominee,
affirmed his commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring a
nuclear weapon and to maintaining Israel's qualitative
"[Sen. Hagel] discussed his commitment to the US-Israel
relationship, including his determination to prevent Iran
from acquiring a nuclear weapon, to maintaining Israelís
qualitative military edge, and to sustaining the Obama
administrationís unprecedented security cooperation with
Israel," a statement Tuesday from Hagel's office said. "He
appreciated the opportunity to have a constructive, informed
and wide-ranging discussion."
A four-sentence statement Monday issued by the Conference of
Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations described
the January 18 meeting as "an important opportunity for a
serious and thorough discussion of key issues of importance
to all of us."
The statement, which also noted the presence at the meeting
of US Vice President Joe Biden as well as the leaders of the
Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and
the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, did not
The meeting came days after after Hagel, a former Republican
senator from Nebraska, conferred with top Jewish Democrats
apologized for a 2006 comment in which he described the
"Jewish lobby" as "intimidating" and reassured them that
despite his past skepticism of some sanctions on Iran and
wariness of a military strike to keep it from obtaining a
nuclear weapon, he was now on board with President Obama's
postures on those issues.
Hagel, in those conversations with Jewish Democrats, also
said he was a strong supporter of the US-Israel relationship
although and elaborated on the context of his past
criticisms of Israel.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
© The Jerusalem Post
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