Chuck Hagel Remarks at the 2007 Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference
"And I think that the United States has done great damage to itself in that
role of an honest broker. An honest broker implies obviously that, that
broker has the capability and the standing from both parties or how many
parties involved in the dispute or the issue - that there is some amount of
trust in that broker. And I talked about trust a few minutes ago - about the
currency of trust. And if you have a situation where one side doesn't trust
you or one side thinks that you're siding with the other side - in
particular the Israeli-Arab conflict then your point is very relevant then
we are essentially unable to be a so-called honest broker. Now, there's no
question in the Arab-Israeli issue that Israel is a nation today as a result
of the United States. Israel has been a strong ally. We have been a strong
ally of Israel since 1948, we will be and in my opinion should be. But I've
also said this. Not at the expense of our relationships with Arab countries.
Not at the sacrifice of our friendships with the Arabs. It does not need to
be that way. It does not need to be that way."