In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell. Chuck Hagel's confirmation process will be problematic because he dared to verbalize what most politicians think but are too spineless to say. There is in fact a "Jewish lobby" in this country and they do influence and intimidate many of our elected officials. If anyone doubts the influence of these groups just google Israeli/Jewish Political Action Committee(s) (PACS).
The biggest Israeli/Jewish PAC is AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). AIPAC, combined with its American Israel Education Foundation wing, they have nearly $100 million to buy influence with our elected officials on an annual basis.
I find it ironic that Jews make up about two percent of the U.S. population but they have a lobby that is almost on par with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
Groups like AIPAC trash First Amendment rights. They make speaking honestly about geo-political issues dangerous for our elected officials.
As Chuck Hagel has found out, we may have freedom of speech but we can't speak freely. There is a cost associated to freely speaking your mind. Do you find your self looking over your shoulder at work, church, or school before you make a comment about something in the news?
Are Americans so naive as to believe that the very cohesive, ethnocentric Israeli/Jewish lobby puts American interests above that of the interests of Israel, a foreign country? Hagel is probably surprised by the push back because his voting record in the U.S. Senate was consistently pro-Israel. He forgot or did not know about the unwritten rule to never criticize Israel.
This "rule" dates back to at least April 15, 1973, when Sen. William Fulbright of Arkansas (Fulbright Scholarship namesake) appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation. While discussing American policy in the Mideast, Fulbright stated, "Israel controls the United States Senate," thereby making one of the most sensational charges ever uttered by a U.S. Senator -- that a foreign power controlled the highest legislative body in the nation.
Fulbright suddenly found himself in political hot water. In the next election he paid dearly for the revolutionary act of telling the truth. Huge amounts of out-of-state money poured into Arkansas and Israel-Firster Dale Bumpers unseated Fulbright. Four hundred and thirty-five House members and 99 other senators "got the memo" that it is political suicide to take on the "Jewish lobby."
It will be interesting to see how Michael Owen Johanns and Debra Strobel Fischer vote on this confirmation. Their vote will tell Nebraskans and the American people who they feel their real constituents are.
By Kurtis Olson, Sutherland