Chuck Hagel's nomination to be secretary of defense two years ago was met with considerable angst on the part of many friends of Israel. His resignation today was met with regret, especially at the Israeli Defense Ministry.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon called him "a true friend of Israel" who made "large and significant" contributions to the two nations' security ties.
That's a far cry from the initial response to nomination of the maverick former Republican senator from Nebraska.
Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren on Tuesday night defended Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel as a friend of Israel -- and dismissed comments the former senator made about Zionist influence on Capitol Hill – during an appearance on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.”