Monday, April 27
Latest News
  1. Deutsche Bank Q1 profits fall 50% over $2.5 bn rate fixing fine
  2. Witnesses: 2 protestors shot dead in Burundi capital
  3. Small groups of protestors, police clash in Burundi capital
  4. Clashes rage in Yemen as calls for peace talks grow
  5. EU AgenPolice arrest 26 across Europe in horsemeat scandal
  6. Home ministry: At least 114 killed in Nepal quake
  7. US: Russia failing to fully implement Ukraine ceasefire
  8. Kerry urges Yemen rebels and their allies to enter talks
  9. Ex-Yemen leader urges rebel allies to heed UN, pull back
  10. Iraq lacks DNA results to test body of 'Saddam deputy'
  11. Family: Syria's sacked political spy chief dead
  12. Officials: 14 Somali, Afghan immigrants killed by train in Macedonia
  13. UNICEF: At least 115 children killed in Yemen since March 26
  14. Athens stocks jump 4.4% on hopes of EU deal
  15. EU clears 19 genetically modified products
  16. Seismologists: Strong earthquake rattles New Zealand
  17. EU says progress 'not sufficient' for Greece debt deal
  18. World leaders join silence at ceremony marking Armenian genocide
  19. Jordan's crown prince at UN takes on militant 'dark world'
  20. US officials: Iranian ships turn back from Yemen

Netanyahu keeps clear of Hagel confirmation fight

Jan. 13, 2013 12:07 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 13, 2013 12:08 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu steered clear of the brewing battle in Washington over the nomination for defense secretary of Chuck Hagel, whose record on Israel and Iran is under scrutiny.

"I do not interfere in the political appointments of the US president. It is his prerogative," Netanyahu, who has had a testy relationship with Barack Obama, told Army Radio on Sunday when asked about the nomination.

"Congress decides and confirms, and we will work with whoever is chosen."

Many Republicans say Hagel, a former Republican senator whose nomination was announced by Obama on Monday, has at times opposed Israel's interests.

He voted repeatedly against US sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program and made disparaging remarks about the influence of what he called a "Jewish lobby" in Washington.

Hagel sought to beat back the bias allegations last week, telling the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper his record showed "unequivocal, total support for Israel" and that he had "said many times that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism."

Last week, a columnist for Israel's biggest selling newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, said Hagel's confirmation as defense secretary would be Netanyahu's "nightmare".

Netanyahu, widely forecast to win a Jan. 22 parliamentary election, faced criticism by some US Democrats before the American election in November that he was interfering in US politics by criticizing Washington's handling of Iran.

The conservative Israeli leader denied those allegations.
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015