JERUSALEM—Top-ranking government officials in Jerusalem confirmed Tuesday that Israel would exercise its longstanding, constitutionally granted veto power over American policy if U.S. lawmakers confirmed retired congressman Chuck Hagel as the United States’ next Secretary of Defense. “In light of Mr. Hagel’s worrying remarks on Israeli-Palestinian relations and questionable classification of Israeli interests as ‘the Jewish lobby,’ we consider him a highly inappropriate choice for Defense Secretary who stands far out of line with our national priorities, and therefore we are prepared to swiftly and resolutely use our official veto power over this U.S. action,” said Israeli government spokesperson Mark Regev of the legal maneuver that the small Middle Eastern nation has employed to block U.S. Cabinet nominees, U.S. legislation, U.S. international relations, and U.S. domestic policy over 1,400 times in its 64-year history. “Because congress does not possess the necessary nine-tenths majority to override an Israeli veto, they’ll have no choice but to head back to the drawing board and provide a Defense Secretary whom we find more suitable.” Sources confirmed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had sent the White House a list of three individuals the Israeli leader considered appropriate to head the American military from which U.S. President Barack Obama could choose.
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