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Bogey Yaalon rides a chopper and gets a Hagel hug

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Moshe Yaalon, the Israeli defense minister, was in Washington last week for his second meeting (as defense minister) with Chuck Hagel, the U.S. defense secretary.

We covered “Bogey” Yaalon’s newsmaking last week — pretty much that he thinks that Syria looks bad, however it works out, and harbors a deep-seated skepticism about the peace process the Obama administration is striving to revive.

We also covered the hazing Hagel underwent during his confirmation process, with a focus on his past criticisms of Israel. Much of the Hagel skepticism suggested he was faking it, that his true colors would emerge once he was confirmed.

The Pentagon released the video below featuring a ride Yaalon took after he delivered remarks at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. It suggests that so far, Hagel’s colors are pretty consistent with his pledges — substantively, by classifying Israel as an ally on par with Britain and Japan; and optically, as worthy of a ride on the latest generation Osprey. Israel is the only country allowed to buy the aircraft so far. And check out the intense hug at the 1:30 mark.

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