I’m glad to add my name to the list of those who support Chuck Hagel’s nomination as defense secretary.

I’m most surprised by Aaron David Miller’s failure to stop the recording of a known-to-be-for-publication interview when Hagel used the politically incorrect term, “Jewish lobby.”

Because the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and similar organizations really aren’t Jewish as such, but work on behalf of the government of the state of Israel in general, and the Likudim regime in particular, manifesting the notion that a dangerous world should never see any disagreement with their policies. Vigilance, paranoia?

It’s to the credit of the generality of Jewish-Americans that we voted to re-elect Obama in nearly the same numbers as in 2008, despite strenuous and expensive efforts, particularly focused on Florida; and that a similar majority of us understand that the state of Israel needs to be more forthcoming in reaching the two-state solution whose broad outlines are already well known.

Elected officials all over America have long lived in fear of the National Rifle Association, AIPAC, etc. The failure of the NRA to win numerous 2012 congressional races in which it had a stake, already has been widely reported. Analogously, it may have become acceptable, publicly, to urge Israel to do now what will certainly be done eventually. I’d suggest that means negotiating with Hamas, since it is uniquely positioned to speak for Palestine.

All Americans should know that to confuse the scriptural “Israel” with today’s nation state is a grave, fundamental error, similar to, but far more impactful than, poor nomenclature choices such as “Jewish lobby.”


James Silin


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