A very good point:
Obama won two elections giving voice to these policies, but within the neocon-dominated punditocracy and a Congress subject to pressure by the increasingly extremist American Israel Public Affairs Committee, they are akin to kryptonite. Hagel’s critics have been quick to unsheathe the McCarthyite tactics employed whenever opposition to any position of Israel’s right-wing government is at issue. The accusation is almost always “anti-Semitism,” but rarely has that charge proven as empty as in Hagel’s case. Leading the assault have been Pavlovian attack dogs like William Kristol and The Weekly Standard, Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post, ex–AIPAC flack Josh Block, the ADL’s Abe Foxman, Bret Stephens at The Wall Street Journal, and convicted criminal and former Reagan and Bush II official Elliott Abrams, now respectably ensconced at the Council on Foreign Relations.
The allegation rests in significant measure on a 2008 quote in which Hagel—whom the interviewer, author and former US diplomat Aaron David Miller termed “a strong supporter of Israel and a believer in shared values”—criticized the use of political intimidation by the “Jewish lobby,” an infelicitous phrase he accidentally used to describe AIPAC. Hagel later said he misspoke and had meant to refer to the “Israel lobby,” just as he did elsewhere in Miller’s interview. It’s an easy mistake to make, since the “Israel lobby” is pretty darn Jewish. (Dick Cheney, for instance, has made the same error.) As it happens, Hagel is a better friend to Israel than the Likud quislings and apologists who make up what journalists mistakenly term the “pro-Israel lobby”; for starters, he is willing to tell its leaders the truth. Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul general and adviser on US affairs to Prime Minister Ehud Barak, wrote recently that “Barak was thoroughly impressed not only by Hagel’s military background, but by his analysis, knowledge of the Middle East, and his understanding of Israel’s security issues and predicaments,” adding that Hagel “is not anti-Israeli and he is not an anti-Semite. In fact, if I were him I would lodge a complaint with the Anti-Defamation League, asking their assistance and support for being unfairly called an anti-Semite.”
What these hysterics may actually indicate is a genuine fear on the part of the neocons and conservative professional Jews that they are about to be exposed as generals without armies, demanding fealty to policies opposed by the vast majority of American Jews for whom they profess to speak. How marvelous, then, that Barack Obama finally decided there was one time he’d rather fight than switch. via Hooray for Hagel | The Nation
One thing that I really wish to dwell on here, and it bears repeating:
Hagel’s critics have been quick to unsheathe the McCarthyite tactics employed whenever opposition to any position of Israel’s right-wing government is at issue. The accusation is almost always “anti-Semitism,” but rarely has that charge proven as empty as in Hagel’s case.
I must admit, I can truly relate to this; I have accused of the very same stuff myself. I support Israel’s right to exist and all. But I do not support the stupidity of the Neoconservative right at all. This whole idea that America has to defend Israel unto the death is idiotic at best. Furthermore, the idea that America has to be the world’s policeman is out of touch with our economic realities here at home. The fact is that Wilsonian foreign policy is a disaster and America has had to learn the hard way many times already. We learned it in Korea, we learned in World War I, we learned it in Vietnam and now, we have learned it in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Furthermore, Israel has my support on existence; but this idea that Israel has the right to build on disputed territories and then sit, and moan and complain when Palestinian and Gaza terrorists fire rockets into Israel is mindbogglingly stupid. It is something that I cannot support at all. The said part is, that these Wilsonian Neoconservatives will tell you that I am a Jew-hater and Antisemite for simply saying what I just said to you here. I call it playing the Jew Card or playing the Semite Card. It cheapens the discussion and frosts any kind of criticism at all. Which is precisely what Joseph McCarthy did in the 1950’s.
So, as much as it pains me to say this; even though he is of the far left —- Alterman has a good point.