Anti-Defamation League Slams Hagel

Chuck Hagel / Wikimedia Commons

One of the nation’s leading Jewish community groups expressed fierce opposition Tuesday to the likely selection of former Republican Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel as the next defense secretary.

Hagel has long been rumored to be on Obama’s shortlist to head the Pentagon. His potential selection has prompted strong pushback from the Jewish community.

"Chuck Hagel would not be the first, second, or third choice for the American Jewish community’s friends of Israel," Abraham Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, told the Washington Post. "His record relating to Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship is, at best, disturbing, and at worst, very troubling."

"The sentiments he’s expressed about the Jewish lobby border on anti-Semitism in the genre of professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt and former president Jimmy Carter," Foxman said.

Hagel has long been cited for what observers claim are his anti-Israel beliefs.

He also has advocated for direct unconditional talks with Iran and has lined up behind deep cuts to the defense department.

The Free Beacon revealed last week that Hagel is paid to advise a bank that is under investigation for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.