Friday, November 7, 2008

Rahm Choice

Jake Tapper asks about the potential repercussions from the Rahm Emanuel appointment.

Will the Arab World Take Issue With Rahm's Israeli Roots and Pro-Israel Views?

Israeli newspapers are already rejoicing about President-elect Obama's selection of Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., to be his White House chief of staff.

As the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz notes, Emanuel "is the son of a Jerusalem-born pediatrician who was a member of the Irgun (Etzel or IZL), a militant Zionist group that operated in Palestine between 1931 and 1948." Emanuel's father told the newspaper that his son was named after a fallen combatant named Rahamim.

In the Israel newspaper Ma'ariv, Emanuel's father, Dr. Benjamin Emanuel said, "Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn't he be? What is he, an Arab? He's not going to clean the floors of the White House."

Rahm Emanuel headed Bill Clinton's finance committee during the Arkansas governor's first presidential run, but he left to be a civilian volunteer for the Israel Defense Forces during the 1991 Gulf War. He rust-proofed brakes in one of Israel's northern bases.

Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifadah seems upset at Obama's selection of a "pro-Israel hardliner."

"There could not be a more provocative appointment than Rahm Emanuel, if he wanted to send a signal that he is going to stick by a quite hard-line pro-Israel policy," Abunimah said on Democracy Now.

Abunimah pointed out that Emanuel's middle name is "Israel," and described Emanuel's father as "a gun runner for the Irgun, the Zionist, pre-Israel Zionist, militia that carried out numerous terrorist attacks on Palestinian civilians, including the bombing of the King David Hotel. Of course, Rahm Emanuel himself is not responsible for any of that, but his record is sometimes far to the right of President Bush when it comes to supporting Israel."

In the coming hours we'll see what the reaction is from the Arab media.

1 comment:

Mariane said...

Imagine what the media would be saying if Sarah Palin's father had said something similar to Emanuel's father (what is he, an Arab?)
Substitute appropriate ethnic group
(what is he, an X or Y or Z...) .....