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AJC Responds To New York Times Op-ed On U.S. Jews And Hagel

Third, our stance on Israel-related issues is staunchly centrist and non-ideological. An incredibly long paper and voice trail underscores that point, as do the daily examples of our diplomatic and political advocacy.

We fully support Israel's right to exist free of boycotts, divestment and sanctions, and the moral and political hypocrisy of double standards.

We steadfastly defend Israel's right to protect itself and its citizens.

We speak up for the special U.S.- Israel link, as serving the highest interests of both nations.

And we belabor under no illusions about the immense dangers Israel faces in a hostile, arms-laden region -- from Syrian chemical weapons to Iran's nuclear ambitions; from the deadly arsenals of Hamas and Hezbollah to the growing strength of political Islam.

At the same time, we have consistently, and over a long time, advocated for a two-state Israeli-Palestinian agreement.

We supported the Egyptian and Jordanian peace treaties, as well as Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and Israel's unilateral withdrawals from southern Lebanon and Gaza.We have expressed concern about settlement expansion (and settler-initiated violence) on multiple occasions dating back years, indeed decades.

Project Interchange, AJC's educational initiative bringing leaders from different sectors in the U.S. and other countries to Israel, visits Ramallah regularly to meet with the Palestinian Authority. AJC's Board of Governors, during its upcoming visit to Israel, also will meet with PA leaders, as it has consistently done on previous trips.

And no Jewish organization in the world has come close to our time spent, and relationships built, in the Arab or, for that matter, Muslim worlds.

Fourth, to begin the op-ed by using the possible nomination of Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense as a case study is wrong-headed, to say the least. The author's attempt to sanitize Hagel's world view is mischievous at best, malicious at worst.

There are good reasons to be concerned about Hagel in the Pentagon, and one need not be a "zealot" or "extremist" to hold such views.

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