While American pro-Israel groups sound the alarm on President Obama's choice of Chuck Hagel for secretary of Defense, Israel itself seems much less concerned.
President Obama’s choice of Chuck Hagel for secretary of Defense, hotly contested by the American Jewish community, has received a muted response in Israel. While some echo concerns that the former Republican senator is dangerous or anti-Semitic, others here ask, “Who’s that?”
To be sure, the appointment of a man who is seen as soft on Iran and eager to talk to terrorist groups on Israel’s borders isn’t generally popular here.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said today that Israel should be "concerned, but not afraid of Hagel's isolationist ideas." But he and other politicians, including candidates in Israel's Jan. 22 elections, have emphasized that US-Israel ties go deeper than any one personality and have expressed confidence that the two countries would remain strong allies.
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