Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah’s Sen. Mike Lee grills Hagel on Israel
Hearing » Utah senator is leaning against nomination.
First Published Jan 31 2013 03:33 pm • Last Updated May 21 2013 11:31 pm

Washington • In an exchange with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, President Barack Obama’s pick to lead the Defense Department said he regrets saying there’s no justification for Israel to "keep Palestinians caged up like animals."

Former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel made the statement in 2009 and during his lengthy confirmation hearing Thursday he acknowledged it was a poorly articulated point.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"If I had the opportunity to edit that, like many things I’ve said, I would like to go back and change the words and meaning," Hagel told Lee. "I regret using those choice of words."

Lee, a new member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is leaning against supporting Hagel’s nomination and wasn’t impressed with the nominee’s performance at the hearing.

"Senator Hagel did little to help himself today," said Lee, who spent all of his allotted time pressing Hagel on his views on Israel. In particular, he pointed to speeches in 2002 and 2009 where Hagel expressed sympathy for the Palestinians.

Republican senators repeatedly questioned Hagel’s commitment to Israel, a key U.S. ally. Hagel sought to convince the senators that he opposed any Palestinian attacks on Israel and recognized the nation’s right to defend itself.

"I would encourage peace and a secure, safe Israel," Hagel said. "That is what I think most of us would want to see."

The Senate is expected to hold a confirmation vote on Hagel, a Vietnam veteran, in the coming days.


Twitter: @mattcanham

story continues below

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.