The fight over Chuck Hagel’s fitness to be the next secretary of defense has now triggered a bagel battle.
Maybe it was inevitable, since much of the debate about the Republican former senator from Nebraska has focused on whether he is sufficiently supportive of Israel.
The anti-Israel charge stems largely from a single remark Hagel made in 2008 to author Aaron David Miller, that “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here.”
The Emergency Committee for Israel, a group led by William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard magazine, already has run a TV ad on Washington area cable stations attacking Hagel.
Now comes J Street, which describes itself as “the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans.” Coming to Hagel’s defense, the advocacy group has a new slogan and petition campaign on its website:
“Smear A Bagel, Not Chuck Hagel.”
Here’s part of the petition’s pitch: “For every 18 people that sign, we’ll send bagels to local food banks in honor of Bill Kristol to fight the smears.”
For the record, a bagel is normally schmeared, not smeared.