Gil Troy writes a very strange piece on Hagel and Obama at Open Zion:
The cynic in me cannot wait to watch all the Obamaniacs who pitched the President as Israel’s BFF, shoehorning the Hagel appointment into their boosterish worldview.
Troy’s post is overflowing with mistaken assumptions. It is impossible to find any evidence from the first term of the Obama administration proving that Obama ever “seemed rooted in the Robert Taft-George McGovern school.” Starting off with such a bizarre claim, Troy never recovers. On foreign policy, there is no reason to believe that Obama has an “inner McGovern” that he could ever reveal. Just as Hagel is not a non-interventionist, Obama is not a McGovernite. Both are fairly conventional internationalists inside the bipartisan consensus on foreign policy with all of the baggage that that goes with that. Their main advantage is that they are not as obnoxious and reckless as more hawkish members of their respective parties.
Obama has been a very conventional supporter of Israel both during his time in the Senate and over the last four years as president. As it happens, “Obamaniacs” have been far more likely to oversell Obama’s potential as a more “even-handed” president, and they are likely to overstate the significance of Hagel’s appointment along the same lines. Troy is making it easier for them to do this by joining in the misleading attacks on Hagel. Troy’s response to the report of Hagel’s likely nomination is very odd, and it is all the more jarring for being on the same blog as Ali Gharib’s debunking of the smear attacks against Hagel.
I let Miller know by phone that the passage was seized upon to tar Hagel as an anti-Semite. “Seized upon is an understatement,” Miller told me. “It was hijacked.” In fact, Miller—a Mideast adviser to six Secretaries of State who no one in their right mind could ever call “anti-Israel”—quotes Hagel approvingly….The line introducing the one cherry-picked by this Senate aide, and reproduced uncritically by Halper, begins with this statement from Miller: “Hagel is a strong supporter of Israel and a believer in shared values.” [bold mine-DL] I asked Miller if he still viewed Hagel as “pro-Israel.” “I don’t think there’s a Senator of note in the Senate who is not pro-Israel,” he responded. “But there is a difference between a special relationship with Israel and an exclusive relationship with Israel. I believe in the former and Chuck Hagel believes the former.” [bold mine-DL]
This is something so obvious that it shouldn’t need to be said, but apparently it has to be.
Update: Prof. Troy responds in the comments.