During an interview with the Algemeiner, the Obama-supporting former New York Mayor Ed Koch blasted former Senator Chuck Hagel’s potential nomination for secretary of defense:
In a recent interview with The Algemeiner, former New York Mayor and staunch backer of President Obama’s re-election, Ed Koch, strongly opposed the possible appointment of former senator Chuck Hagel as America’s next defense secretary, due to the latter’s perceived hostility towards Israel.
“I believe it would be a terrible appointment,” he said, “and so do apparently most of the Jewish leaders who have expressed themselves.”
Explaining his opposition to the appointment, which is looking increasingly likely to materialize, Koch said that it would lead Arab states to believe that President Obama was seeking to create distance between his administration and Israel.
Koch is one of the first pro-Israel Democratic leaders to publicly oppose the possible nomination, but he’s not likely to be the last. Politico’s Josh Gerstein has an good rundown of the pro-Israel community’s concerns about Hagel, which are numerous. He’s best known in those circles for espousing paranoid theories about the “Jewish lobby” and opposing tough sanctions on Iran.
Hagel has his former membership in the Senate club going for him. But the biggest obstacle to Hagel’s possible appointment will be if pro-Israel Democrats line up to oppose him.