Following are excerpts from an interview with Daoud Kheirallah, a law professor from Georgetown University, which aired on Russia Today TV on January 8, 2013.
Daoud Kheirallah: I think that Hagel is one of very few people who have demonstrated their independent decision-making in defending U.S. interests in the face of other parties, and especially the Israelis. He was able to say: “I am a senator who was elected to serve the U.S. before any other country. I am not against Israel, but...”
The position has brought on Hagel the hostility of some Republicans, who are committed to the Israeli cause. One senator said: “This is an insult to those of us who support Israel in the Senate.” Obama’s nomination of Hagel was considered a slap in the face to Israel’s supporters.
Interviewer: Will the new American government, with Brennan, Hagel, and John Kerry, depart from the previous U.S. policies?
Daoud Kheirallah: To a large degree, yes. I think that in particular, Kerry and Hagel, who were senators – one is a Democrat and the other a Republican – have their own views on the Middle East – on Syria, on Israel, and on Iran. Their way of dealing with the Middle East in general, with the Arab and Islamic world, differs from that of their predecessors.
To some extent, they depart from the general line of blind commitment to the Zionist cause.