Professor Hagel

Hagel’s Georgetown syllabus littered with anti-Israel authors

January 30, 2013

As a professor at Georgetown University, secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel taught a foreign policy course based primarily on anti-Israel materials and far left manifestos that castigate America’s role in the world, according to a copy of Hagel’s 2012 course syllabus.

Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, taught a Georgetown course focused on foreign policy since at least 2009 and planned to teach a similar course this year, according to the university’s records.

Constructed on the premise that America’s global supremacy is waning, Hagel’s seminar featured writings that criticize America’s standing in the world, advocate in favor of shuttering American military bases, and refer to Israel as guilty of war crimes.

The prominent use of these texts comports with Hagel’s belief that America should soften its alliance with Israel, and negotiate with Iran and other state sponsors of terror.

Hagel’s defenders have claimed in recent weeks that the nominee has recanted his most controversial positions. However, the Georgetown syllabi provide evidence that as recently as late last year Hagel still endorsed a fringe foreign policy outlook.

The course is based on the premise that America is losing its preeminence across the globe, according to the syllabus.

"The 21st Century has ushered in a global transformation that is redefining the world order," states the course description. "This transformation is shifting geo-political centers of gravity and is re-casting geo-political influences as the world experiences an unprecedented diffusion of power."

Several of the texts listed on the 2012 syllabus demand that Israel vacate all "settlements" and compensate Palestinians by granting them portions of Jerusalem, as well as monetary compensation.

"Israel will evacuate nearly all of its settlements in the West Bank, and Palestinian land elsewhere to compensate for the settlements it keeps," New York Times correspondent Stephen Kinzer prescribed in his 2010 book Reset, one of several books listed on Hagel’s syllabus.

Palestine’s "capital, like Israel’s, will be in Jerusalem," Kinzer writes. "Palestinians will have the right to return to this state from wherever they are, and to be compensated for land and homes they lost in what is now Israel."

Hagel also recommended that students read Parag Khanna’s How To Run The World, which accuses Israel and America of violating the laws of war.

"The United States, Israel, and Ethiopia have been known to sidestep the laws of war in their invasions of Afghanistan/Iraq, Gaza, and Somalia, respectively," writes Khanna, who serves as a senior research fellow at the left-leaning New America Foundation, an organization known for criticizing Israel.

"Gaza is so densely populated that Israel’s 2008 incursion to rout Hamas inevitably killed several hundred civilians, including many children," Khanna said later in the book.

Also on Hagel’s reading list is former Carter administration official Zbigniew Brzezinski’s book, Strategic Vision, which negatively compares America’s effort to prevent illegal immigration to Israel’s efforts to prevent terrorism.

"America’s decision to construct a wall/fence to separate itself from Mexico as a mechanism to support border security has already stimulated anti-American sentiments," writes Brzezinski, who has claimed that Israel "buys" influence in the U.S. Congress. "It evokes the negative images of Israel’s construction of a ‘security barrier’ in the West Bank or of the Berlin Wall."

Derek Leebaert’s Magic and Mayhem is also featured on the reading list.

Leebaert argues in the book "it is increasingly difficult to see Israel as unquestionably an American moral interest."

Peter Beinart, publisher of the anti-Zionist Daily Beast blog, Open Zion, is also featured on Hagel’s reading list.

"After 9/11, in the name of fighting terror, the Bush administration declared war or cold war on Iraq, Iran, Syria, the Taliban, Hezbollah, and Hamas, virtually every significant regime and militia in the greater Middle East that did not kiss our ring," Beinart writes in his 2010 book The Icarus Syndrome.

Beinart also argued that the Bush administration failed to adequately pressure Israel on human rights issues.

"The freedom agenda, as the Bush administration defined it, meant pressure for democratic elections, but only if they produced the outcomes we wanted; pressure for human rights, but not on war-on-terror allies like Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan," Beinart wrote.

The course also recommends former Clinton administration official Charles Kupchan’s No One’s World, which argues "the Pentagon can also husband its resources by shuttering some of its 750 overseas bases."

Lawmakers and others have criticized for advocating in favor of deep cuts to the Pentagon’s budget.

Other books featured on Hagel’s reading list, such as G. John Ikenberry’s Liberal Leviathan, argue that America’s influence is waning.

"Even if a return to multipolarity is a distant and slowly emerging future possibility, calculations about the relative decline of American power reintroduce the importance of making investments today for later decades when the United States is less preeminent," wrote Ikenberry, a Princeton professor, in his 2012 book.