Pro-Israel hawks have cast a portrait of Hagel as too soft on Iran and not chummy enough with Israel. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said a day before the Jan. 7 announcement that if confirmed, Hagel would be "the most antagonistic secretary of defense towards the State of Israel in our nation's history."
The Hagel nomination comes two months after Obama won re-election amid much debate about Obama’s relationship with Israel. Obama still won the vast majority of the Jewish vote, but by less than 2008.
The Emergency Committee for Israel, a pro-Israel group whose board members include high-profile conservatives Bill Kristol and Gary Bauer, aired an ad in December attacking Hagel, even before Obama officially announced his pick to replace Leon Panetta who is retiring.
"Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel?" asks a disgusted sounding narrator. "President Obama says he supports sanctions on Iran. Hagel voted against them. Hagel voted against labeling Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group. And while President Obama says all options are on the table for preventing a nuclear Iran, Hagel says military action is not a viable, feasible, responsible option. President Obama, for secretary of defense Chuck Hagel is not a responsible option."
There are a lot of claims in that ad, but PolitiFact wanted to check if Obama and Hagel disagreed about military options for preventing a nuclear Iran.