Wednesday, January 9, 2013

CFR Fellow Bashes CFR Member

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) distanced itself from statements made by Senior Fellow Elliott Abrams calling Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel an anti-Semite.

Hagel is the Chairman of the think tank Atlantic Council of the United States (ACUS). Hagel is also a member of CFR.

Here is what Laura Rozen writes in Al-Monitor:
Meantime, the Council on Foreign Relations told Al Monitor Tuesday that controversial accusations made by its senior fellow Elliott Abrams in an interview Monday did not represent the views of the institution.
Abrams, the former Bush White House Middle East advisor, called Hagel an anti Semite in an interview with NPR’s All Things Considered. The accusation was widely lambasted on social media sites after the interview aired. Asked by Al-Monitor what evidence he has to support his accusation, Abrams did not respond.
“As you may know, the Council on Foreign Relations takes no institutional position on matters of policy,” CFR’s vice president for global communications and media relations Lisa Shields told Al-Monitor by email Tuesday. “The views expressed by our more than seventy experts, who reflect a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives, are theirs only.”
Here is what the Daily Beast has to say:
Abrams's remarks about Hagel are getting noticed: the Council on Foreign Relations, as establishment as think tanks get, is facing pressure to be answerable for its fellow's baseless accusations. Remarkably, CFR pushed out Henry Siegman after "complaints from Jewish members" about his outspoken criticisms of Israel's right-wing leadership. One wonders if the group faces similar complaints about Abrams's conduct.
Here is what ThinkProgress, the blog connected to pro-Obama think tank Center for American Progress (CAP), has to say.

CFR President Richard Haass went on Meet the Press to further distance himself from Abrams' comments.