White House officials reach out to Jewish community to answer Hagel concerns
January 7th, 2013
12:33 PM ET

White House officials reach out to Jewish community to answer Hagel concerns

By Kevin Bohn, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Senior members of the White House staff called key American Jewish interest groups on Sunday to tell them about the impending nomination of Chuck Hagel to be Defense Secretary and to try to answer their concerns about his record, several sources familiar with the calls told CNN.

One of the call recipients, who generally supports the nomination, who requested anonymity to freely discuss his call, told CNN the outreach shows "not only there is some concern, but the White House takes the concern seriously and wants to have the very conversation at the highest levels of the White House."

Officials are hoping the outreach will help lesson the intensity of any opposition.

Among the officials who made the calls was White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, several sources familiar with the outreach told CNN, signifying the importance of the Jewish community to the White House as it proceeds with the Hagel pick. Lew is one of the more prominent Jews in the Obama administration.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Foreign policy • Israel • Judaism • Politics

soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Science

    Free speech helps educate the masses................POLITICIANS too !.............time to EVOLVE !!!

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN

    Gravity is not up for debate !

    BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !

    Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet..............................E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas.

    Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before


    Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

    The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

    The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

    Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.


    April 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |

    May 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |

    Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young


    And NO ANGELS the pope KICKED them OFF the TEAM last year !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


    the wrong path is Adam and Eve !

    Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

    Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.


    No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

    Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.

    No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !

    Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

    Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.


    Ca-nabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) – National Cancer Insti-tute


    Mar 21, 2013 – [1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. ... have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. ... In lung cancer cell lines, CBD upregulated ICAM-1, leading to ...

    Good stuff !

    The fact...............the earth is to old for this nonsemse ! Time to EVOLVE !

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.


    For what...................... ? Make sure to read what the pope said !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN


    Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.

    Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

    Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
    bears his name as the “God particle.”


    Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
    Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \



    Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
    By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...


    April 7th, 2012

    08:32 PM ET

    The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth


    Make sure to read comments

    April 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |

    Breaking News

    NASA: Three planets found are some of best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our solar system.


    NASA: Mars could have supported life

    Star Dust we are


    Holy Hallucinations 35


    The ORIGIN story is bullsh-it...............so is the bible............... nasty !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


    BBC. Planet of the Apemen. Battle for Earth 1. Ho-mo Erectus


    BACKFILL on E =mc2.....

    Einstein letter, set for auction, shows scientist challenging idea of God, being 'chosen'

    By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

    Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a "delusion," one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.

    “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. "No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”


    May 4, 2013 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |


    May 4, 2013 at 9:05 am |
  2. Stiv Peterson

    My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can't believe how easy it was once I tried it out. The potential with this is endless. This is what I do, Big44.ℂOM

    January 8, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • TrollAlert

      Click the report abuse link to get rid of this trash.

      January 8, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  3. Mohammad A Dar

    Obama you just open a can of worms

    January 8, 2013 at 12:59 am |
  4. GodsPeople

    America is not responsible for, or to, Israel. There is no need for American politicians to kiss the bum of either Arab or Jew. We should have no interests over there, and they should have none here. They should live there, and we live here. That makes life a lot easier.

    January 7, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
  5. Rundvelt

    I thought this was an article about bagels!

    January 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
  6. niknak

    What the headline to the article really means;

    White House assures American Jews that the US will continue to blindly fund the apartheid nation called Isreal.

    January 7, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  7. Marty

    Who cares waht the oven dodgers think?

    January 7, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • D Sans

      Maybe Hagel can win them over by showering pennies on their communities.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • I Have Herpes and I Like It

      Hopefully Hagel will release the truth about the bloated numbers from the holohoax.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • L@@K

      I'll have to admit I've never heard the "oven dodgers" term before. So ovens are being thrown around and others dodge them?
      Semantics is a word. Look it up.

      January 8, 2013 at 2:30 am |
    • fred

      Your day is coming, Redemption is nigh. We will soon watch G-d's vengeance upon you & those like you. Keep the comments coming. How you will howl with excuses about how you "didn't really mean it" when the Angel of Death stares you in the face, but how it will be far too late. There is no escaping prophecy –the moment is coming. G-d will requite your arrogance much sooner than you think. "He will crush heads over a vast distance. He will drink from a stream along the way. Israel will hold it's head high" "Do not fear the destruction of the wicked when it comes". Pass the popcorn.

      January 8, 2013 at 9:53 am |
  8. Milton


    January 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  9. sam

    He kind of looks like the dad from Frasier.

    January 7, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Akira

      That's IT, sam!
      That's who he reminds me of...I couldn't put my finger on it!

      January 7, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  10. Mike from Toronto Kanada

    ...Our problem is that some foreign policy is too much based on a christian perspective! This is wrong...as "JESUS CHRIST" never existed!!

    January 7, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • New Athiest

      What this article omitted is that the jewish lobby has tremendous financial backing, and neither party wants to offend them.
      Or does it make me anti-semitic if I tell the truth?

      January 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Yes New it does,

      Read my previous posts

      Resist theocracy and you are a NAZI

      January 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • captain america

      What state is Toronto in? Since our politics is none of your f'n business your opinion is useless. There's your sign

      January 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Robin

      Mike, how about he's anti-Israel and opposed labeling Hezbollah a "terrorist organization.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Capo..sounds like it is in a better state than you.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
  11. Jeffrey

    This is not about Israel or the Jewish "lobby", it's about recognizing evil. Support for Israel means that a person understands that Israel is an ally who has our best interest in mind, while Hamas is a terrorist group who should not be negotiated with just as Al-Qaeda shouldn't be negotiated with. Since Hagel doesn't recognize the inherent danger that extremist Islam presents to America and the world, I question his appointment as Secretary of Defense. How can a person "defend" America when they support the same people who want to see our nation destroyed? Israel is the only nation in the Middle East based on the same values that we as Americans uphold. By locking out Israel and opening negotiations with Islamic terrorists, what kind of a message does that send to our allies and our enemies? In order to protect America, you must first understand who we need protecting from. Israel is our closest ally, while the Palestinians continue to elect American murdering terrorists as their leaders. I question the left's patriotism as well as their common sense. Support Israel, fight Islamic terror.

    January 7, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • sam

      Actually, Isreal is just the least of all evils over there. And that's about all.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Who among this world's nations has tarnished pasts? America and Israel and England has tarnished pasts and yet when the spotlights are pointed in their directions their past deeds are never the issues. Was it not in 1948 that the world body of unionized nations saw fit to give Palestinian lands to their Jewish cohorts and for what reasoning was such a contract made without Palestinian approval? The then unionized world order seems to have done an injustice and we all now do see the fruits of the united world's power play. Can one truly blame Arab dissonance reprisals against the blunt taking of lands for the sole purposes of paying homages to the Jewry causes based upon religious venues for reclaiming an old times Jewish homeland?

      January 7, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Israel as ally?

      Don't make me laugh

      With freinds like them, who needs enemies?

      They are a theocracy, and an abomination to all free thinkers everywhere

      January 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Robin

      God has declared,

      In Jerusalem shall My name be forever. (2 Chronicles 33:4; also verse 7)

      January 7, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
  12. William Demuth

    Your average Palestinian is a Semite. (due to almost ZERO emiigration in the past fifty years)

    Your Average Israeli is not a Semite (Due to enormous emmigration from Europe for half a century)

    Based on that, Chuch is Anti-Israeli and Pro Semite.

    I support him heartily on both positions

    January 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • New Athiest

      well, if you trist the intended meaning of words and forget all concept of context, you can prety much make any point you want to from this article. However, it does not make for useful discussion.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • William Demuth

      So words are relative now? Progress redefined I suppose.

      Words give context to communication. He who rules the words rule the world

      This is at the core of the Fox News Agenda. Redefine to reeducate, and to obfuscate as needed.

      For example, ask a right winger to explain the difference between freedom and liberty.

      The answer is really meaningless without context, but the REACTION to the question is amazing, because they have been indoctrinated to reply a certain way.

      Thus the whole Anti-Semitic versus Anti-Israel question!! One can be fully supportive of a Jews right to be religiously or culturally Jewish, yet reject the concept that this acceptance gives them the God Given right to have a State of their own.

      We don’t need Jewish States, or Muslim States, or even Christian States. In fact, even the concept of a religious foundation for Statehood guarantees theocracy, and as such should revolt all truly free men, ESPECIALLY Americans.

      So if I must be labeled an Anti-Semite for rejecting theocracy, so be it, but what I really am is an AMERICAN!

      January 7, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
  13. Portland tony

    Israelis should stay out of American politics. We are a sovereign nation and any interference in our nation's business was once considered an act of war. I personally am insulted by the actions of the Jewish PAC and so should all Americans who believe in the spirit, if not the letter, of the Declaration of Independence!

    January 7, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  14. Mohammad A Dar

    I don't understand which way CNN is spinning, are they for or against his nomination?

    January 7, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • William Demuth

      They shouldn't spin either way!

      January 7, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  15. Mohammad A Dar

    Senator Hagel must apologizes the people of Israel, and all Jewish groups, how dare he made anti-semantic comments, no matter how trivial they were? Did he forget he was living in America?

    January 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm |


    January 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
  17. Reality

    Israel- Its formation was approved by the UN in 1948. It should honor the original UN agreement and live within the described borders. Considering the hate generated by passages in the koran and OT, erecting dividing walls between Muslims and Jews should continue. UN forces should control these walls.

    And Jerusalem should be made into an international city under the control and protection of the UN.

    January 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Mopo

      I cannot believe that the Palestinian Authority will be cooperative in giving up their portion of Jerusalem up for International control. Keep dreaming.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • New Athiest

      Reality, As much as i usually agree with you-
      Are you really suggesting that there is some way to get past the jews keeping thier holy city for themselves?
      This is a religious thing, Rational thought and any input from non-jews is irrelevant. Thier god said it was theirs. That prety much ends the discussion.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • William Demuth


      I believe the Shintoist believed similar

      Two low yield atomic weapons discredited their arguments quite handily.

      Jeruslalems destiny is to rot as a radiactive hell hole for 25,000 years

      January 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Robin

      Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you." (Psalm 122:6)

      January 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Reality

      A quick, safe, and peaceful solution to all concerned:

      January 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • Reality

      Putting the kibosh/ on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

      • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

      • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.