To the Editor:
Previous letters have correctly noted and decried ex-Senator Hagel’s anti-Semitism but have focused on secondary concerns rather than the core of his mindset. To seize on this or that hostile comment regarding Israel or Israeli policy is besides the point, regardless of how off base they may be.
Hagel’s ugly characterizations will find supporters, certainly among anti-Israel Jewish leftists posing as supporters of Israel.
The essence of Hagel’s anti-Semitism is the sort expressed by such classics of paranoid anti-Semitica as "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" or the works of Henry Ford. Like them, Hagel believes a sinister pro-Israel/Jewish cabal acts like a puppeteer pulling the strings of members of an "intimidated Congress" and has turned the State Department (hardly noted for its philo-Semitism or support for Israel) into an "adjunct of the Israeli Foreign Ministry."
The campaign against Hagel’s nomination failed precisely because no one — none of the Jewish organizations that attacked him or his adversaries on the Senate Armed Services Committee — had the moral courage to call Hagel what he is: a political anti-Semite. Lindsey Graham came closest, but was loath to pull the trigger.
That Senators Blumenthal, Levin and Schumer remained silent — indeed Schumer played the smarmy role of his Jewish enabler — is contemptible in the extreme.
Dr. Stephen Steinlight
New York, N.Y.