J Street Invites Activists to ‘Smear a Bagel, Not Chuck Hagel

January 9th, 2013

WASHINGTON - In the face of a vicious attack on the character of President Obama's choice for Secretary of Defense, J Street is launching a new campaign, "Smear a Bagel, not Chuck Hagel,” responding to the distortions of Hagel's opponents with humor.

The pro-Israel advocacy organization is calling on supporters to sign a petition to senators urging Hagel’s confirmation by texting the word BAGEL to 69866. For every 18 texts sent, J Street will donate a bagel to a local food bank.

"Smearing cream cheese on a bagel is a grand Jewish tradition but so is the prohibition on bearing false witness," said J Street spokesman Alan Elsner. "Exodus, 23:1 tells us: 'You shall not spread a false report.'"

The bagels will be donated in honor of Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, who helped initiate the campaign against Hagel last month. J Street has been at the forefront of defending Hagel, including his record of support for Israel.

In an email introducing the new bagel campaign, President Jeremy Ben-Ami wrote: “We know the truth. Chuck Hagel is a dedicated public servant, a war hero, and an independent voice dedicated to our country. He’s been a true friend of Israel, the Jewish people and an advocate for a negotiated two-state solution. That’s why we’re fighting back against the lies.”