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Jan-14-2013 00:01printcomments

General Powell: 'But there is an Israeli lobby'

“I think he's had a very, very distinguished public service record that he can stand on.”

Colin Powell on Sunday NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Colin Powell on Sunday NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

(PORTLAND, OR) - From the Christian Science Monitor at

By contrast [to Senators Corker and McCain, the only opponent’s cited] former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War, called Hagel “superbly qualified,” in an appearance Sunday NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think he's had a very, very distinguished public service record that he can stand on.”

A maverick in an era of gridlock, Hagel riled many of his GOP colleagues for not supporting President Bush's conduct of the Iraq war. He alarmed senators on both sides of the aisle with his views on Iran and criticism of the power of the “Jewish lobby” in Washington.

“That term slips out from time to time,” said Powell, in Hagel’s defense. “And so, Chuck should have said Israeli lobby, not Jewish lobby, and perhaps he needs to write on a blackboard a hundred times it is the Israeli lobby.”

“But there is an Israeli lobby. There are people who are very supportive of the State of Israel. I am very supportive of the State of Israel. So is Senator Hagel and you will see this in the confirmation hearings,” he added. “But it doesn’t mean you have to agree with every single position that the Israeli government takes.”

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