White House Press Secretary Jay Carney agreed that Israel’s finds itself in a more dangerous foreign policy situation than it did five years ago, before President Obama took office.
The concession came apropos of the statement Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., made in support of Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Defense Secretary.
“Senator Hagel realizes the situation in the Middle East has changed, with Israel in a dramatically more endangered position than it was even five years ago,” Schumer said.
When a reporter asked Carney to respond to that statement — especially the idea that Israel has become less secure during the Obama presidency — the press secretary demurred, but only at first.
“I don’t want to embellish on what [Sen Schumer] said,” Carney replied, before pointing to Iran as a rising threat. “Iran is recognized as a threat to Israel and we certainly see it that way.”
Continuing, Carney said that “What is also clear is that this president believes deeply in the unshakeable bond between the United States and Israel,” adding that Hagel also recognizes that.
Hagel’s confirmation hearings promise to be contentious, in part because he has opposed sanctions on Iran and favored direct talks with Hamas.