Former Senator Chuck Hagel, active Episcopalian, has been nominated by President Obama to be Secretary of Defense. The Palestine Israel Network yesterday posted the piece, “Shedding Light on Palestine/Israel/US Politics” which discussed Hagel:
Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel has been under fire … the last couple of weeks as the Obama Administration has floated his name as a potential nominee for Secretary of Defense. However, there have been many voices, including many Jews and four former National Security Advisors, who have come to his side.
What has not been noted is that Hagel is an active Episcopalian, and attends an Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. On 12 September 2006 the Episcopal News Service ran a story on Hagel lifting up his “extraordinary leadership on the difficult issues surrounding recent developments in the Middle East.” The ENS story quoted Hagel as saying that the “core of all challenges in the Middle East remains the underlying Arab-Israeli conflict.”
The ENS story went on to say Hagel warned “America is increasingly not seen as the well-spring of consensus that for decades helped create alliances and coalitions grounded in common objectives and common interests. … America’s approach to the Middle East must be consistent and sustained, and must understand the history, interests and perspectives of our regional friends and allies.”
Hagel noted our “special and historic” relationship with Israel but said that relationship “cannot be at the expense of our Arab and Muslim relationships. … Achieving a lasting resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict is as much in Israel’s interest as any other country in the world.”
Added: Hagel is an Episcopalian. Earlier today his Wikipedia entry listed him as Catholic. This error was spotted by one of our Facebook readers and entry was corrected by another. Social media at work!