Hagel to rein in Israel on Iran strike

2013-01-09 16:02

Jerusalem - Chuck Hagel, the nominee for the next US defence secretary, will seek to rein in Israel over any attempt to carry out a unilateral strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, Israeli observers believe.

Hagel's nomination by US President Barack Obama must still be confirmed by the US Senate, but the prospect of the former senator assuming the top Pentagon post has already stirred concern in Israel.

Analysts and commentators note that Hagel is known for a non-interventionist approach to foreign policy, and is believed to be strongly opposed to the use of military force to tackle Iran's nuclear programme.

"The road to Iran stops at Hagel," wrote commentator Bradley Burston in Wednesday's Haaretz newspaper.

"Obama's message to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu on Iran is succinct enough to be spelled out in 10 letters: Chuck Hagel.

"The message to Jerusalem is clear: it won't be easy from now on getting a green light from Washington to embark on an adventure in Iran," commentator Orly Azulai wrote a day earlier in the top-selling Yediot Aharonot daily.

"That is one of the reasons why top figures in Jewish organisations in the US, as well as high-ranking Israeli political officials, have been spending the part number of weeks engaged in a concerted effort to prevent Hagel from being appointed," Azulai added.

"They argue that he is bad for Israel because he supports dialogue with Hamas and Hezbollah, and he doesn't think that the solution to the Iranian nuclear programme is war."

Masking a weapons drive

Nadav Eyal, writing in the Maariv daily, agreed that Hagel favoured a non-military solution to the issue of Iran's nuclear programme, which much of the international community believes masks a weapons drive, despite Tehran's denials.

"Hagel would like for the US to speak directly with Iran, and no, he does not believe that war is the necessary outcome of the nuclear crisis there. He wants to avoid war at almost any price."

Haaretz's Burston said that in selecting Hagel, Obama was sending the message that in his second term, he would not "grant the same flexibility" to Netanyahu.

"In the hole he dug with his ostentatious contempt for Obama, a hole he cannot afford to deepen, Netanyahu may have stumbled into paving the way for Hagel's nomination and confirmation," he wrote referring to the Israeli leader's open backing for Obama's rival in the presidential elections.

"Thus, the prime minister may ultimately become the factor that blocked a war with Iran."

Speculation about a possible unilateral Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities reached fever pitch last year, but ultimately came to nothing, amid reports of strong US opposition to any such move.

  • unbann.fidel - 2013-01-09 16:11

    "They argue that he is bad for Israel because he supports dialogue with Hamas and Hezbollah, and he doesn't think that the solution to the Iranian nuclear programme is war." What should matter to Americans is if Mr Hagel is good for America! Netayahoo has been very disrespectful to Obama, even going as far as endorsing a rival presidential candidate in another country's election, something that I think the US doesn't do in Israel.

      classwar.trotsky - 2013-01-09 16:16

      Let the Zionist war-mongers fight their own battles, without all the US$ and military hardware suplied by AIPAC lobbyists and eschatological republicans.

      raymond.mcnelly - 2013-01-09 16:17

      You have a short memory. Was it not Obama and the French president who spoke ill of President Netanyahu behind his back? Mmm... who started this fight ?

      gary.landman - 2013-01-09 16:26

      @unmanned.fidel... Hamas and Hezbollah are scum. "What should matter to Americans is if Hagel is good for America.." good point, and he is not!

      larry.lachman.54 - 2013-01-09 20:05

      Israel is good at waiting, taking care of itself and its people, and price tagging.

  • johan.dekock.9 - 2013-01-09 16:18

    Will Chuck rein in Iran ??

      johan.dutoit.566148 - 2013-01-09 17:20

      No need to do anything about Iran. The world needs another country in the ME to have nukes besides Israel. This will definitely make Israel think twice about bullying everyone else.

      unbann.fidel - 2013-01-09 17:22

      No need, as Iran is not threatening to bomb Israel!

  • David - 2013-01-09 16:25

    You irrational people. Do you honestly think that the Jews rely on anyone for their protection? When our friends, the allies, didn't bomb the railway tracks to Auschwitz we learned not to rely on anyone. Israel will prevail, regardless of Chuck Hagel, because she has no choice but to.

      basiladams.basil - 2013-01-09 16:29

      And then what happened when they didn't bomb the track?

      unbann.fidel - 2013-01-09 16:30

      Happy bombing of Iran then!

      Rick.Gonzo.56 - 2013-01-09 17:03

      Reality check. Israel is nothing without the US. And now they are started to become irritated by the Israeli's too.

      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-09 19:07

      Wrong. With the current attitudes of neighboring countries there will not be peace. Israel has gone to great lengths in pursuit of peace including giving away more land then it currently has.

      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-09 20:04

      I named one peace effort: the giving up of Sinai. Seriously, start actually reading comments.

      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-09 20:25

      Warmonger? They were attacked directly after independence, again in 1948 and 1973. They have been subjected to suicide attacks rockets and kidnappings. Seriously, it is called a history book, open one for once.

      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-09 20:39

      Hilarious how you use history when it suits you, yet when it doesn't you ignore it. You clearly have no rational answer to my comment.

      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-09 21:29

      It answers your "warmonger" claims this it is relevant.

      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-09 21:58

      As I've said before, what on earth are you talking about?

      larry.lachman.54 - 2013-01-10 06:37

      Dont waste your time on Patrick/Lesego, Avremel. His juvenile ego just feeds off having someone respond to his tripe. It validates his complex of inferiority and makes him feel important.

  • linds.ronhouse - 2013-01-09 16:37

    Israel has nuclear weapons but they want to punish Iran for (allegedly) trying to develop the same nuclear weapons. The world we live in is extremely hypocritical. The war in Iraq was a total disaster. Iraq is today still far worse than it was before the invasion. Havel is correct, war is certainly not a solution.

  • peejay.maclane - 2013-01-09 17:06

    Just when I thot there would be war between Iran n Israel. Chickens

  • Adeeb Saban - 2013-01-09 17:15


      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-09 17:32

      You must have really struggled in maths class at school.

      dominic.goller.9 - 2013-01-09 19:09

      @UNBANN.FIDEL. what do you have to say about Iran, Egypt, the gulf states which are all Islamic states, i just wonder do you ever call them racist states?

      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-09 19:44

      Dominic, don't you know? Only Jews can be called racist, never Muslims.

      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-09 20:03

      Arabs have full access to universities, businesses and parliament, how is that racist? Conversely, Jews are not even allowed into Saudi Arabia.

      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-09 20:30

      Patrick, the Gulf countries are Muslim arabs. What's your point?

      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-09 20:45

      In this case the people belong to both groups, I merely used different names to describe them. Seriously how is this even relevant to the original discussion? You love to change topic rather than actually discuss what we started.

      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-09 20:59

      What are you talking about? We are discussing the Gulf Nations. You have drifted so far from the original topic of the thread that you do not even remember what it was.

      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-09 22:15

      Patrick, there is a typical pattern to your comments, you do not actually reply to the content of the comments, instead you make wild accusations without ever actually saying anything. You also struggle to stay on topic, rather you choose to go off on tangents only vaguely pertaining to the previous comment.

      elijah.sitrit - 2013-01-11 12:42

      Patrick, you seem to have invented your own special brand of retardation. Are you even capable of debating a topic without veering away from the point? You call racism on the part of Israel but refuse to acknowledge the point about Jews being refused entry into Saudi Arabia purely based on their religion. This isn't a standalone problem either. In most of the Muslim countries in the ME, Jews are alienated purely based on their heritage. This is the very definition of racism.

  • rude.awakning - 2013-01-09 17:24

    be afraid very very afraid!

  • dylan.sciarappa - 2013-01-09 17:43


      unbann.fidel - 2013-01-09 18:03

      Clear cold incisive logic!

  • hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-09 19:10

    In 1948 there were 900000 Jews living in 10 Arab countries surrounding there are less than 10000. Careful careful with accusations of apartheid and ethnic cleansing!!!!

      dick.shagwell.18 - 2013-01-09 22:56

      If menachem begin and his terrorist thugs hadn't expelled the Arabs, those Jews would be exactly where they were.

      larry.lachman.54 - 2013-01-10 06:47

      Those ARAB jews are now in Israel and make up 60% of the Israeli Jewish population, and are exactly where they belong. The Muslim Arab countries are responsible for making Israel the Jewish powerhouse that it is today.

  • hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-09 19:11

    Also to remember that 900000 Jews equated to almost 10% of the worlds Jewish population.

  • tilovonbrandis - 2013-01-09 19:23

    We should at all cost aim towards a world without wars and solve our differences with dialogue. Wars makes a few cowards very rich while the poor pay with their lives. Here we have religious zealots in Israel wanting the support of the warmongering rich republicans who own the biggest weapons factories in the world to obtain their goal, money and power. How will the world ever see peace and equality if we give these greedy and self-absorbed factions the means to achieve their aims to the detriment of all others. Sure, the Iranians are also desperate religious fanatics, wishing everybody who does not follow Islam bad days to come, but how will we create a better world through segregation, domination, hatred and killing? Well done Obama!

  • David - 2013-01-09 22:24

    Avremel,don't waste your time responding to 'Patrick Edwards'. It is probably a pseudonym for some imbecile from the PSM or BDS movement.

      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-09 22:35

      You are right, somehow I seem to get involved in it way too often. It is like debating a child, he has no ideas or points, only wild accusations and endless changes of topic.

      joshua.mcallister.75 - 2013-01-10 01:37

      Patrick does seem to say a lot without actually saying much, going round in circles.

      larry.lachman.54 - 2013-01-10 06:50

      Patrick is Lesego. Got a free ipad with his FNB savings account. Typically socially handicapped young man of very little brain and worth. - 2013-01-18 18:02

      Patrick your pathetic.

  • joshua.mcallister.75 - 2013-01-10 01:01

    And Hagel will say oops when a mushroom cloud has engulfed another 6 million Jews...

  • renard.souza - 2013-01-10 06:41

    Oh Joshua, please get over the Jewish dooms day theory!! That card has been played way too many times. It's about time Israel defends itself without its big bully brother USA. If Israel is so damn militarily strong and superior then it will have no problem protecting itself alone. - 2013-01-18 18:05

      Theory? They have already lost half of their population by the same threats in the 1930's... I think they take every threat serously and rightfully so...

  • renard.souza - 2013-01-10 06:50

    @ Aramal. Usual brain wash technique, argue until you actually realize the opposition to u really does have a valid point then accuse them of changing the subject or deviating from the truth or call them anti-Semitic!! Good strategy bud real good!! #transparentAhole

      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-10 08:48

      Which point did he make exactly? He writes vast amounts of tripe without ever actually saying anything.

  • renard.souza - 2013-01-10 15:34

    Go now and take all ur friends with u!!

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