Hagel meets with top Jewish leaders

By JTA
January 22, 2013 12:21
1 minute read.

 
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Chuck Hagel, President Obama's defense secretary nominee, and Vice President Joe Biden met with top American Jewish leaders in Washington DC on Monday for a "serious and thorough discussion".


A four-sentence statement Monday issued by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations described the Jan. 18 meeting in Washington as "an important opportunity for a serious and thorough discussion of key issues of importance to all of us."


The statement, which also noted the presence at the meeting of the leaders of the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, did not further elaborate.


The meeting came days after after Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, conferred with top Jewish Democrats and apologized for a 2006 comment in which he described the "Jewish lobby" as "intimidating" and reassured them that despite his past skepticism of some sanctions on Iran and wariness of a military strike to keep it from obtaining a nuclear weapon, he was now on board with President Obama's postures on those issues.


Hagel, in those conversations with Jewish Democrats, also said he was a strong supporter of the U.S.-Israel relationship, although he did not withdraw past criticisms of Israel.

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