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Party politics on Hagel

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To the Editor:

Jewish Democrats have chosen loyalty to party over loyalty to country and fundamental decency. If any Republican had said the things that Hagel said, Democrats like Schumer and Wasserman Schultz would take to the airwaves to call the offender an anti-Semite. That’s what they correctly did with Pat Buchanan.

Now the issue is more important than Hagel’s obvious hatred of Jews because Israel faces an existential threat from Iran. The choice of an isolationist opposed to Iran sanctions is as clear a signal that Obama will do zero to prevent Iran from getting the bomb. If Israel wants to prevent Iran from getting a bomb, it will have to go it alone.

The one area of cooperation between the Obama administration and Israel was in the area of defense. Now that too will go the way of the State Department, which historically has displayed hostility to Jewish survival and the State of Israel.

Finally, AIPAC’s curious silence does nothing to mask a disturbing new normal on support for the Jewish state: that when the chips are down, Israel can only rely upon Republicans for support. The Hagel nomination shows that bipartisan support for Israel is no longer true: The Democratic Party has shifted to the left and left Israel with only one party who understands its existential threats and backs nice words with real support. As for Schumer and Wasserman Schultz, if Americans and Israelis ultimately die because of this poor choice, they will learn the foolhardiness of loyalty to party over simply doing the right thing.

Joel J. Seidemann
White Plains. N.Y.

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