THE PLANK JUNE 9, 2009
So says Newsweek:
Emanuel's status as a near-native son gave some Israelis and Jews
the impression he would be their guy on the Obama team—the pro-Israeli
with the receptive ear. He had those golden Zionist credentials, after
all: His father, Benjamin, had been a member of the Irgun, the
right-wing Jewish militia that existed before Israeli independence. His
Uncle Emanuel had been killed in a skirmish with Arabs back in the
'30s, prompting the family to change its name from Auerbach to honor
him. But some in the Jewish community have been disappointed. Even his
own rabbi, Asher Lopatin, has doubts about his absent congregant.
"There is a lot of disappointment," says Lopatin, who presides over the
Modern Orthodox Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel Congregation in Chicago. "In
some ways there was a heightened expectation because Rahm is so
connected to Israel and the Jewish community. Instead what we've seen
is more of the tough Rahm Emanuel. Not the warm Rahm."
And here's a good detail:
Leaks from meetings Emanuel has had with Jewish leaders since January
suggest his role is to nudge the Israelis toward a more accommodating
stance on the issue of a Palestinian state and negotiations with Iran.
Emanuel begins his meetings with Jewish leaders with a warning: if
anything leaks, he says, according to several participants in such
gatherings, neither he nor anyone else in the White House will ever
speak to the leaders again.