Chuck Hagel aims to reduce pressure on and isolation of terrorist groups and government sponsors of terrorism.
In 1998, Hagel began to imitate the thesis of the Syrian dictator. “In 1998, Mr. Hagel met in Damascus with a terrorist-supporting dictator, Hafez Assad, and returned to tell a reporter about the meeting: “Peace comes through communicating with people. Peace does not come at the end of a bayonet or at the end of a pistol.
In October 2000, Hegel was one of four senators who refused to sign a letter expressing support for Israel during the Palestinian Intifada.
In November 2001, Hegel was one of 11 senators who refused to sign a letter asking President Bush not to meet with Yasser Arafat until Fatah Arafat terrorists had ceased their attacks on Israel.
In April 2002, Hegel largely relieved Palestinians of responsibility for their terrorist campaign against Israel.
“We understand Israel’s right to self-defense. We are committed to this right. We have helped Israel defend this right. We will continue to do so. But this must not happen at the expense of the Palestinian people – the Palestinian people who are indifferent to them and innocent Israelis who pay a high price. Both the Israelis and the Palestinians are trapped in a war that they are not fighting.
In the same speech, Hegel suggested that NATO troops should be sent to Israel:
“Will America call for it, will NATO forces help guarantee this peace? Maybe.”
In May 2002, Hegel said he would oppose a House of Representatives resolution accusing Arafat and the Palestinians of terrorism.
“Would you vote against Tom Delay’s resolution in the House of Representatives?”
Hegel: “I would vote against it very strongly because it essentially singles out the Palestinians and Arafat as a real problem. And I think we should be very careful here, because we are working on a resolution and a final political settlement. And it won’t help when we take the public side on this issue and we castigate and put all the responsibility and all the blame on one side.
In June 2002, according to CNN, Hegel refused to call Yasser Arafat a terrorist and said that revelations about his direct role in organizing terrorist attacks against Israel forced the Bush administration to “make Arafat a problem,” to which Hegel objected, and insisted that Arafat should play a constructive role in the peace process.
“SEN. Chuk Hagel (R), Nebraska: I think what happened here – and I don’t know if this is an unintended consequence or not – but the fact is that the administration has now made Yasser Arafat a problem. Despite the fact that they say he shouldn’t be a problem or isn’t, they have made him a problem. The issue is not in Yasser Arafat. Whether you think he is a terrorist or not is a rhetorical game with swords. He is part of this process.
In June 2002, after two years of Palestinian suicide bombings and terrorist attacks that killed hundreds of Israelis, Hegel told an anti-Israeli conference that the U.S. alliance with Israel should not be at the expense of the Palestinians, and that the U.S. should impose the “end of the game” on Israel and the Palestinians. According to the conference report, “when Senator Chuck Hegel (R-NE) took the microphone, he also took the audience by surprise: “Israel is our friend and ally, and we must continue our commitment,” he said, “but not at the expense of the Palestinian people. The applause was deafening. Hegel continued: “What we need is not a ceasefire leading to a consistent peace process, leading to negotiations on a Palestinian state, leading to negotiations on refugees, Jerusalem, etc.”. That time has passed. We need to put an end to this game immediately.
In July 2002, in an article in the Washington Post, written after several of the deadliest months of suicide bombing of the Palestinians, Hegel said that the U.S. mistakenly “raised the issue of Yasser Arafat,” that the Palestinians could not be expected to implement democratic reforms as long as “Israeli military occupation and settlement activities continue,” and that “Israel must take steps to show its commitment to peace” after Israel twice offered the Palestinians a state in 2000 and 2001.
In November 2003, Hegel did not vote for the Syria Accountability Act. “The other came on November 11, 2003, when the Senate voted by 89 votes to 4 for the Syria Accountability Act, authorizing sanctions against Syria for its support of terrorism and occupation of Lebanon. Mr. Hegel – along with Mr. Kerry – did not vote”.
In April 2004, Hegel refused to sign a letter asking the UN not to support the “advisory opinion” of the International Court of Justice (i.e. automatic condemnation) on the Israeli security barrier, which stopped suicide bombers from entering Israel and saved countless lives. The letter received 79 signatures of the Senate, but not Hegel.
In December 2005, Hegel was one of 27 senators who refused to sign the letter to President Bush asking the United States to put pressure on Palestinians to ban terrorist groups from participating in legislative elections.
In July 2006, Hegel called on President Bush to demand an immediate ceasefire when Israel retaliated against Hezbollah after a terrorist group attacked Israel, killing and kidnapping IDF soldiers and firing rockets at Israeli civilians. Hegel said: “This madness must stop” and accused Israel of “systematically destroying an American friend, the country and people of Lebanon.
In various speeches that same month, Hegel accused Israel of carrying out a “heinous massacre” in Lebanon. In the same remarks, Hegel said that U.S. relations with Israel “are not and cannot be at the expense of our Arab and Muslim relations. It is an irresponsible and dangerous false choice.
In July 2006, after Hezbollah’s attacks provoked a war with Israel, Hegel called on the Bush administration to start direct negotiations with Hezbollah’s sponsors Iran and Syria. “Ultimately, the U.S. will have to engage Iran and Syria with an agenda open to all areas of agreement and disagreement. For this dialogue to have any meaning or lasting relevance, it must cover the entire agenda”.
In August 2006, Hegel was just one of 12 senators who refused to sign a letter asking the EU to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
In March 2007, Hegel refused to join the 72 senators in support of a bipartisan sanctions bill called Iran’s Proliferation Control Act.
In September 2007, Hegel opposed 76 senators by voting against the declaration of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran as a terrorist organization. Read “Congressional Sense on Iran”: “The United States must define the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran as a foreign terrorist organization… and place the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists.
In July 2008, Hegel voted in the Senate Banking Committee against legislation that imposes sanctions on countries doing business with Iran. Adopted 19-2.
In October 2008, Hegel was named “solely responsible” for the Senate’s adoption of a two-party bill on sanctions against Iran, which had 72 co-authors.
In March 2009, Hegel signed a public letter urging President Obama to open direct negotiations with Hamas.
In March 2009, in an interview with Al-Jazeera, Hagel agreed that the United States was a “world hooligan.
HAK HEGEL: “Well, her observation is good, and it is relevant. Yes, to her question.
In October 2009, Hegel said – as for many years – that the Syrian regime wanted to abandon Iran and terrorism and move towards the USA and Israel. “I believe that there is a real possibility to change Syria’s strategic thinking and policy. It is in their own interests, not because they want to do the US or Israel a favor”. If we can convince Damascus to pause and reconsider its positions and support against Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and radical Palestinian groups, we will make progress for the whole Middle East, Israel, and Syria wants to talk – at the highest level, and everything is on the agenda.