Since many of our Christian brothers and sisters are offline for the Christmas holiday, I thought this would be a good time for the pro-Obama Jews to caucus.
What do we want the next four years to be like? Do we want to spend the next four years under the jackboot of the neocons, even though we beat them in the last three Presidential elections, starting with the 2008 Democratic primary?
If we don't want to spend the next four years under the jackboot of the neocons, then we have to stop the neocons from blocking the nomination of diplomacy advocate, war skeptic, and decorated Vietnam combat veteran Chuck Hagel to be the next Secretary of Defense.
I'm not saying that we're necessarily going to win this. But at least we can have a real fight. This is like the Warsaw Uprising: the odds against us may be daunting, but we'll never have a better venue to make our stand. If we have to go down on some hill for a democratic Israel, the two-state solution, and real Iran diplomacy, we won't find a better hill to go down on than this one. We have allies right now that we may not have in the future.
Look who's on our side right now. Former military officials. Former diplomats, including five U.S. Ambassadors to Israel. J Street. Americans for Peace Now. Former Israeli consul general in New York Alon Pinkas. Israeli-born Nebraska Rabbi Aryeh Azriel. Former U.S. Senator and decorated Vietnam combat veteran Max Cleland. Jon Soltz, head of VoteVets. Paul Rieckoff, head of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Jan Scruggs, president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. Robert Bergdahl, father of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only American POW in Taliban custody. Peter Beinart, author of The Crisis of Zionism. Foreign policy expert Steve Clemons.
With all these allies on our side, if we can't beat the neocons on the Hagel nomination, how are we going to beat the neocons on supporting real U.S. diplomatic engagement with Iran? With all these allies on our side, if we can't beat the neocons on the Hagel nomination, how are we going to beat the neocons on stopping Bibi from ringing East Jerusalem with settlements to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state?
As Rabbi Hillel said: "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?"
Here's what you can do right now.
Second: call Washington on Wednesday - or as soon as you can - demanding that diplomacy advocate, war skeptic, and decorated Vietnam combat veteran Chuck Hagel be the next Secretary of Defense.
You think if fifteen thousand people call Washington, demanding that Chuck Hagel be the next Secretary of Defense, Washington's not going to notice?
You can call the White House here: (202) 456-1111. Here's your script: "President Obama, we have your back. I support your choice of Senator Chuck Hagel to serve as the next Secretary of Defense. I will urge my Senators to support his confirmation." You can report your call to the White House to MoveOn here.
You can find the phone numbers for your two U.S. Senators here. Here's your script: "I support President Obama's choice of Chuck Hagel to serve as our next Secretary of Defense. I urge you to speak out on Senator Hagel's behalf and to support his confirmation as our next Secretary of Defense." You can report your phone calls to your Senators to MoveOn here.
A miracle can happen here. Let's not let this go down without a real fight.
Robert Naiman is Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy.
9:33 PM PT: Tom Friedman came out for Hagel today!!
Give Chuck a Chance