Graham Goes After Hagel on ‘Israeli Apartheid’ Views

John Glaser, February 21, 2013

Senator Lindsey Graham, reigning ultra-nationalist of the Republican Party, is really offended by secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel’s supposedly shocking positions on Israel. So, he has sent a letter asking Hagel to clarify his views.

As The Weekly Standard explains, a law student named Kenneth Wagner attended a 2010 speech that Hagel gave at Rutgers University. Wagner apparently has friends at the Washington Free Beacon and emailed them his thoughts on Hagel’s speech.

“I am sitting in a lecture by Chuck Hagel at Rutgers,” Wagner wrote in the email. “He basically said that Israel has violated every UN resolution since 1967, that Israel has violated its agreements with the quartet, that it was risking becoming an apartheid state if it didn’t allow the Palestinians to form a state. He said that the settlements were getting close to the point where a contiguous Palestinian state would be impossible.”

“He said that he [thought] that Netanyahu was a radical and that even [former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi] Livni, who was hard nosed thought he was too radical and so wouldn’t join in a coalition [government] with him. … He said that Hamas has to be brought in to any peace negotiation,” Wagner wrote.

So Graham apparently reads the Free Beacon (big surprise there) and has now written a formal letter to Hagel, asking: ”Senator Hagel, did you say this? Have you said anything similar? Does this contemporaneous email accurately reflect your views?”

Because if your answer to any of those questions is yes, you should be immediately disqualified as a candidate for Secretary of Defense for harboring such extreme views! At least, I’m guessing that’s what Graham wanted to say.

Leaving aside the fact that all of Hagel’s comments, relayed by Wagner, are basically true, it might be relevant to ask who else harbors those views.

The Times of Israel reports today that Alon Liel, a former Israeli Foreign Ministry director-general and ex-ambassador to South Africa, believes Israel currently qualifies as an apartheid state.

“In the situation that exists today, until a Palestinian state is created, we are actually one state. This joint state — in the hope that the status quo is temporary — is an apartheid state,” Liel said recently in Jerusalem.

“As someone who knows the original apartheid well, and also knows the State of Israel quite well – I was born here, grew up here, served and fought for it for 30 years — someone like me knows that Zionism isn’t apartheid and the State of Israel that I grew up in wasn’t an apartheid state,” Liel  emphasized.

“I’m here today because I came to the conclusion that the occupation of the West Bank as it exists today is a sort of Israeli apartheid,” said Liel. “The occupation became a hump on the back of Zionism; it has now become the hump of the State of Israel.”

There is a real danger of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank becoming an integral part of the state, he said. “When that happens, when the West Bank and [Israel in the pre-1967 lines] become one, and the Palestinian residents of the West Bank will not have citizenship — we’re apartheid,” he said.

So does Graham not include Liel in his constant glorification of the state of Israel? Should Graham, or his equivalent in Israel (Danny Danon, maybe?) be writing letters to Liel grilling him on these views and edging him out of any further government service?

More likely, Graham is unaware that the scope of debate in Israel about these issues is much wider than it is here in the US. Graham thus continues to badger Hagel for holding views based on facts, and continues to claim that he is wildly out of the mainstream, which he is not.

Update: I should have mentioned that the “apartheid” label has been applied to Israel by many, many others, including dozens of other high-level Israeli officials, British government officials, former UN Special Rapporteur John Dugard, President of the United Nations General Assembly Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, former US President Jimmy Carter, and the leaders of countries like Jordan, who Graham consistently votes to provide with billions in US aid.




18 Responses to “Graham Goes After Hagel on ‘Israeli Apartheid’ Views”

  1. Lindsey Graham is without a doubt, one of the most disgusting people to ever draw a breath.

  2. Israel IS a criminal apartheid state. Illegitimate and brutal. Lindsey needs to get up off his knees and spit that Zionist appendage out of his mouth.

  3. Anti-Semite has become the neocon equivalent to liberals and racist. Its used so much that it's lost its true meaning when it's actually used against an actual bigot.

  4. I suspect Israel will be asking graham to cool it. He is looking so foolish that Israel is afraid graham will harm Israel’s image. Graham hopefully will be sent to another career when the people of South Carolina understand he harms the state image. Graham only claim to fame is he help waste a tomofsnj@aol.com money impacting Clinton.

  5. It's undeniable that Lindsey Graham is an ultranationalist, willing to sacrifice any other country for his. The question is as to what his country is.

  6. Give it up you one of the three stooges.., Israel is a apartheid regime.., as you are part of the USA Neo fascism.., questioning the facts of Israel being, acting as such regime by you or people like you is surprising, because if you were the president of anywhere you would act the same as your masters in Israel dose and have done for last 60 years.

  7. [...] Graham Goes After Hagel on ‘Israeli Apartheid’ Views [...]

  8. is South Carolina a failed state for letting this buffoon soil its legacy

  9. Senator Lindsey Graham, the prime architect of the global financial collapse and grease-weasel tool of the financial industry, is offended by the truth. Graham’s stupidity, self-interest and greed has resulted in the destruction of the U.S. and global economy.

  10. in a interview, with Scott Horton, Max Blumenthal said the ANC of South Africa had applied the Apartheid label to Israel.

  11. Americans love apartheid govt. of Israel as their support is blind. Think before your comments as american senators are not God and should go to hell.
    Hagel will do the same as our defence minister as his hands are tied by corrupt politicians.

  12. [...] comments allegedly made by Chuck Hagel during a 2010 speech at Rutgers University regarding the risk Israel run of "becoming an apartheid state if it didn't allow the [...]

  13. Another senator representing America's 'first' state: Israel. Equal to all the other 50 put together.

  14. Maybe someone should submit into the record of his Congressional Committee a full brief with supporting documents cataloguing Israel's human rights abuses, recounting Israel's history, and showing in a multiplicity of ways how Israel has been, and is an apartheid state. They might also include with it documentation on the funding and relationships Graham has had with the Israeli Lobby.

    Lindsey Graham and his colleagues are ridiculous fools for not realizing that their attacks on Chuck Hagel have been golden spears – i.e.- proving the very things they have denied about the Israeli Lobby and have tried to force Hagel to recant about it.

  15. [...] Israel unconditionally with billions of dollars in aid and weapons every year, thereby sustaining a system of apartheid and depriving Palestinians a state of their [...]

  16. [...] resurfaced comments allegedly made by Chuck Hagel during a 2010 speech at Rutgers University regarding the risk Israel runs of “becoming an apartheid state if it didn’t allow the [...]

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