A new poll has shown that a plurality of Americans – 38% – have an unfavorable opinion of Chuck Hagel as President Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense. The poll, conducted by Rasmussen Reports during February 16–17, 2013, showed that, in contrast, only 28% of Americans held a favorable view of Hagel, while over one-third of Americans – 35% – believed that they lack sufficient knowledge to render an opinion (‘Rasmussen poll of Americans: Plurality (38%:28%) have unfavorable opinion of Hagel,’ Independent Media Review & Analysis, February 18, 2013).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “This poll, even allowing for the fact that one-third of respondents admit that they have insufficient knowledge on which to form an opinion, shows clearly enough that a large proportion of Americans are concerned about Chuck Hagel’s qualifications, competence and policy positions.
“This is not only because of his disastrous views against sanctions and possible military action against Iran; his call for negotiations with terror groups Hamas and Hizballah, his views that the U.S. is the world’s bully; his statement that Israel has committed war crimes and a ‘sickening slaughter’ against Arabs, is ‘risking becoming an apartheid state’, that Israel has control over the State Department, and the ‘Jewish Lobby’ causes Congress to do stupid things, but also because his performance at his confirmation hearings clearly showed someone who was incoherent, contradictory and mistaken on major issues of policy.
“Additionally, Hagel has refused reasonable requests to disclose his sources of funding, raising questions as to what he is hiding and sowing doubt as to his judgment and suitability for his proposed role.
“No wonder that groups such as the ZOA, JINSA, the National Council of Young Israel, the Republican Jewish Committee, Christians United for Israel and NORPAC strongly oppose his nomination and no wonder that, only today, 14 U.S. senators have urged President Obama to withdraw this nomination.
“We strongly urge other organizations to not only express concern about Hagel, but to explicitly oppose his confirmation.”