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Reflexive anti-Semitism

| Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

I knew something was very wrong when I found myself enthusiastically agreeing with the points that Pat Buchanan made in his column “The GOP obsession” (Feb. 6 and TribLIVE.com) about former Sen. Chuck Hagel's Senate confirmation hearing.

For most of the column, Mr. Buchanan had me going, agreeing with his commonsense approach that the senators missed the significant issues that will face the next secretary of Defense — China, Russia, North Korea, the fallout from the Arab Spring.

And then, true to form, he didn't fail me; Pat Buchanan sees Israel and Jews behind every conspiracy he believes in. That the Republicans who are against Hagel's nomination use Israel as their poster child is unfortunately convenient and self-serving. What's stark is that none of them are Jewish.

The Jewish senators, Democrats, will likely vote for Mr. Hagel. That might be a mistake, given his indifferent responses to many questions, but that's not the fault or effect of AIPAC or anyone else.

Mr. Buchanan really does a disservice to the positions he espouses because of his reflexive anti-Semitism and inability to look beyond what he wants to see.

Richard Kaplan

Highland Park

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