September 7th, 2010
10:48 AM ET
12 years ago

Republican Jewish Coalition takes aim at Hagel, Sestak

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" The Republican Jewish Council has a new Web ad out Tuesday slamming Democratic Senate candidate Joe Sestak and former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel."](CNN) –He's been out of the Senate for nearly two years, but that isn't stopping the Republican Jewish Coalition for taking aim at former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel.

Hagel, the former Nebraska senator who became a critic of former President George W. Bush and broke ranks with his party over the Iraq war, formally backed Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak over Republican Pat Toomey for Senate in Pennsylvania

Now the RJC is out with a Web ad that denounces Hagel and calls into question the former senator's commitment to Israel.

"While in the Senate, Chuck Hagel had a troubling record on Israel and Middle East issues. In fact, he consistently had one of the worst pro-Israel records of any Senator. Even the National Jewish Democratic Council described Hagel's record as 'questionable' and warned that if he sought the presidency, he would have 'a lot of questions to answer about his commitment to Israel,'" RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said.

"Chuck Hagel and Joe Sestak have a lot in common. In fact, it was recently reported that in an interview, Joe Sestak called Chuck Hagel 'the guy that I most admired in the Senate.' Unfortunately, they share an attitude and record toward Israel that cause deep concern in the Jewish community," added Brooks.

A spokesman for the Sestak campaign said the congressman has a "spotless record" when it comes to voting in support of Israel.

Filed under: 2010
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Pat Toomey will be Wall Street's senator and not the senator of the people of Pennsylvania.

    September 7, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  2. usualone

    This is a strange way to get at Sestak.

    September 7, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. Eric Roberts

    Commitment to Israel? How about worrying about his Commitment to the US as that would be the country he would run if he were president. We need to cut off Israel...she has been sucking at America's tit for too long and has dragged us down far enough.

    September 7, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. des

    Was he elected to the Knesseth??? To whose country is he supposed to be committed??? Get Real !!
    Move to Isreal yourselves and show YOUR commitment.
    There's a big difference between "commitment" – and "regard" or "awareness" "support" or "sympathy".

    September 7, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. gate

    Anyone willing to place Israeli goals above American goals is a traitor. Beware of these pro-Israel organizations. They manipulate our government for their gain and make us an even greater target for terrorism.

    September 7, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. Stan the Man

    I did not know that my elected officials being paid with my tax dollars had to be firmly pro-Israel? This is nothing more than a cheap extortion job by the RJC. They, and their supporters, should be ashamed of themselves.

    September 7, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  7. Tyrone

    Last I checked, Israel is not a county, city or township in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Our Senators should be concerned with representing the interests of their constituents, not those of a foreign country, whose policies are often at odds with our own national interest.

    September 7, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Debbie

    Republicans Jewish Coalition? I guess they didn't want to be left out of all the fun!

    Who's next?

    September 7, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  9. NVa Native

    So the REPUBLICAN Jewish Coalition takes aim at the Democratic candidate by way of a Republican endorsement??
    Who gives a sheet?

    September 7, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. Tom

    They are mad because Hagel didn't carry their water for them. The RJC and NJDC insist the Israel is first and everything else including America is a distant second. My opinion of Hagel and Sestak just sykrocketed.

    September 7, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. Rob

    I like Hagel more and more all the time.

    I'm sick and tired of my tax dollars going to the brutal regime of Israel. It must stop....NOW!!!

    September 7, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  12. John Hennessy Black

    ANYONE who supports Israel and the oppression they continue to wage upon the Palestinians is a traitor to America and a Terrorist.

    Nut-in-yahoo wants PEACE about as much as the Republic Party wants President Obama to succeed!

    September 7, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  13. Michael

    Why should we be more committed to Israel than to any other nation where Americans claim ancestry, say for example Germany, Britain, India, China, Sweden, Poland, Russia or Mexico?
    Other than the obvious reason that too many members of Congress have vested interests in the oil industry and Israel is a wonderful club to keep poised over the heads of Middle Eastern OPEC nations.

    September 7, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. rdepontb

    Dear RJC Ex Dir Brooks,

    Surely, you mean to say that Hagel and Sestak properly place THIS country, the US of A, and the interests of its people, principles, and global responsibilities ahead of all others. And surely, there is nothing wrong but everything right about that position.

    Not everything is an "Israel or Die" decision for the US of A, nor should it be. I'm sure you agree with that.

    September 7, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. larry

    My guess is that the Republican Jewish Coalition is made of rich Jews who have lost their way and have no idea what the Torah is all about.

    September 7, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  16. William Jefferson

    What disgraceful disgusting pigs the republicons are. Admiral Sestak has done so much for the nation, and he is the best representative I have ever had. These people are swine. As if a US Admiral and man of Sestak's stature is an anti-semite. What utter garbage. pat toomey, who is running against the admiral is a certified nut case. He makes our last senator, santorum, seem like a rational and well though guy – which for those who remember the borderline insane santorum, realize is no easy task. santorum most recently is giving a speech challenging the late John F Kenedy's spoeech in 1960 in which Kennedy laid out the history ad importance of our Constitutional separation of church and state. A real nut – and toomey is even nuttier.

    September 7, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Damien

    American aid to Isreal equals $500 per Isreali. Enough. Stop aid to Isreal until they reach a peace deal with the Palestinians.

    September 7, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  18. Clwyd

    Israel and the Jewish community lost my support with the continued stealing of Palestinian lands that the Palestinians hold property rights to for hundreds of years. Having Jewish cousins it is hard for me to say, but I too now share a dangerous view of Israel!

    September 7, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. mike

    why is that religion is always in politics I don't care what happens in the middle east this country is looking for employment and they are worried about issues overseas that is one reason why we have the problems in this country trying to come to some sort of middle ground I am not jewish,muslim,christian,or any faith but it always seams to take center stage is that because it is a none economic issue that becomes a divider between voters and doesn't cost big businesses any money we are headed for a economic down turn

    September 7, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. Marry

    The Republican Jewish Coalition should perhaps try to take an objective look at the actions of Israel in the last couple of years. Perhaps even they would find a few little things worth to talk about. Chuck Hagel at least tried to be critical and think for himself and come to different conclusions then the Bush Administration. Actually that speaks from him and of his integrity. That’s something the GOP has completely lost.

    September 7, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. Monrob

    Hagel – One republican that I sort of like...

    September 7, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. charles kellogg

    May we steadily awaken and see the unfair skewing of our foreign policy towards Israel. We give much and get little in return, except for deep ops support. Is that what most Americans want of our foreign relations ?

    September 7, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. HD 100% ETH

    Well, it is always good to help friends and alliances, but first we must make sure Americans are fully satisfied the securities and safties of their Country and their own life. We could hand-out to others, when our needs fulfield.

    WARNING!:- Until recently, there are no DUAL-CITIZENSHIP in America. According to the Constitution; we must remain just only ONE American Citizen.
    ..., Stop gambling with the lives of great American Service Men and Women for the pitty-political interests of a NON-AMERICAN ISSUES.


    September 7, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. Enough is Enough

    Shame on Hagel and Sestak who don't blindly support using U.S. tax dollars to build illegal settlements on stolen land. Congress needs to stop being AIPAC's puppet.

    September 7, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  25. Darth Vadik, CA

    US should be US first and allies second, and if Israel doesn't like that part then TOUGH ....!!! We are not here to please Israel, they have been nothing but a thorn in our foot for the last 50 years. Nothing but trouble.

    Chuck is a good man, and I don't say that lightly about Republicans.

    September 7, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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