Obama faces backlash over Hagel’s Israel record

By REUTERS
12/19/2012 06:00

Pro-Israel groups, neoconservatives confronting US president over possible nomination of ex-Republican senator Chuck Hagel to Pentagon.

WASHINGTON – Pro-Israel groups, neoconservatives and even some former colleagues on Capitol Hill are confronting US President Barack Obama with a growing backlash against Chuck Hagel, the ex-Republican senator tipped as his leading candidate for defense secretary.

Obama’s aides have given no sign of dropping Hagel from consideration – even after several American Jewish leaders privately complained about his policy views, most notably on Israel and Iran, at a White House-hosted Hanukkah party last week, according to one attendee.

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