It's good to see strong pushback on the false charges that Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel is "anti-Semitic." This weekend, prominent figures in foreign policy, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, New York Times columnist Thomas "Moustache of Understanding" Friedman, and Council on Foreign Relations chief Richard Haas knocked down the charges coming from the neocon / Likudnik establishment in Washington, led by the likes of the Weekly Standard's Wee Willy Kristol and Iran Contra conspirator Elliott Abrams.
Just as there are political divisions in the U.S., there are political divisions in Israel. The right-wing Likud Party and its coalition allies line up with the U.S.'s most conservative elements, including the Rethuglican Party. Over a generation, they've succeeded in muting any criticism of actions by the Israeli right (say, for example, expanded settlements in the West Bank) by alleging the critic is "anti-Semitic" and "anti-Israel." Hopefully, with Hagel's nomination and the pushback on the charges of him being anti-Israel or anti-Semitic, the free pass our right wing smear artists have had is at an end.