Many prominent pro-Israel lobbying organizations have expressed a quiet disappointment over the nomination of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Organizations that typically avoid partisan politics are wondering if maybe they should get more involved in future confirmation fights in which they feel they have a stake. Others believe there is nothing the Israel lobby could have done and taking on the fight would be a waste of their political capital.
Jewish news was rocked with reports of anti-Semitic comments made by Hagel. These later turned out to be false rumors, but some of Hagel’s policies worry people in the pro-Israel community. Namely he wants to save money by cutting foreign military aid to Israel and to all nations. Hagel was brought on board by Obama to oversee cuts in the military as two long wars begin to wind down. Hagel faced stiff opposition from many Republicans over his stance towards Israel, but many political observers believe the GOP was trying to gin up their base and embarrass Obama. It is highly uncommon for a president to not get his choice for his cabinet.
Although they are not thrilled with the outcome many pro-Israel groups felt it would damage their reputation to do work not explicitly related to promoting Israel, especially on such a partisan issues.