An embarrassing spectacle is currently unfolding on Capitol Hill, as former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) is being asked over and over — by Republicans and Democrats alike — about his level of support for the Israeli government. Most of the inquiries have little to do with specific policies, and more to do with his statements regarding what he called the "Jewish lobby" and its influence in Washington. Hagel said he regrets the remark, and that he should have said "pro-Israel lobby" instead.
The ironic part of all this is that these questions would be more relevant in hearing were Hagel nominated for secretary of state — the nation's chief diplomat. The secretary of defense is first and foremost charged with implementing the president's national security. This is perhaps instructive, as many lawmakers consider American and Israeli national security one and the same.