Israeli Defense Minister Praises Chuck Hagel At AIPAC Conference

Ehud Barak’s remarks get scattered applause.

Ehud Barak during a meeting at the Security Conference in Munich on February 3rd. Matthias Schrader / AP

WASHINGTON — Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, speaking at the AIPAC Policy Conference on Sunday, wished new Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel well.

“I wish Secretary Hagel all the best in his new role,” Barak said. “As Secretary of Defense he will no doubt serve his country with the same pride and honor with which he served both on the battlefield and in Congress.”

Barak’s words were met with uncharacteristically lukewarm applause from an enthusiastic audience that responded warmly to the rest of his speech. Hagel’s nomination was deeply unpopular among the pro-Israel community in America for his record on Iran and for past comments regarding the existence of a “Jewish lobby,” which Hagel later apologized for.

Barak is set to be Hagel’s first foreign visitor in the Pentagon on Tuesday.

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Rosie Gray is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Gray reports on politics, foreign affairs and international issues. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 52B1 92A9 D35B 3359 CF61 399B 0E8A 2948 10D0 8DD8
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