Israel Nervous Over Hagel Nomination

    US Senator Chuck Hagel waits for his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso in Tokyo on October 16, 2008. Senator Hagel is here on a three-day visit.  AFP PHOTO/Junko Kimura/Pool (Photo credit should read JUNKO KIMURA/AFP/Getty Images)

    Pool photo by Junko Kimur

    President Barack Obama's decision to put Chuck Hagel at the helm as U.S. secretary of Defense is making some Israelis nervous. The former Republican senator's positions on Iran's nuclear program, Palestinian relations, and refusal to sign a letter in support of recognizing Hezbollah as a terrorist group, aren't in line with Israel's government. "I support Israel, but my first interest is I take an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States, not to a president, not to a party, not to Israel," he once said. "Because of his statements in the past, and his stance toward Israel, we are worried," said Reuven Rivlin, the speaker of the Israeli parliament. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office refused to comment.

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