Benjamin Emanuel put his son in a little bit of hot water. Rahm is one of the US congressmen representing a district of Chicago, which happens to be the home of one of the largest concentrations of Muslims/Arabs in the US, but that didn’t stop his dad, Ben from making statements like,
“Obviously he’ll influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn’t he? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to be mopping floors at the White House.”
Rahm, to his credit, did the right thing by apologizing to Arab-Americans and saying he’d like to meet with a representative of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee at some point in the future. That’s the good news. The bad news is Emanuel’s lame apology statement which included this caveat: “These are not the values upon which I was raised or those of my family.” Umm, Rahm….this is your father we’re talking about. If you weren’t raised with his values then who raised you? It’s clear what Emanuel the father expressed is what he and millions of others like him expect from Rahm’s appointment and that no doubt Rahm will deliver, that “he will influence the President to be pro-Israel” and there’s every reason to be believe Obama will be possibly the best friend Israel has had in the White House in a very long time. He’s surely politically savvy enough to know the implications of his appointment of Emanuel to the post despite all the political baggage it brings, if in fact Obama was responsible for that pick at all, and it was surely meant to send a sign to all concerned that he would indeed by pro-Israel, but at least Rahm the son made the appearance of trying to smooth over his dad’s rough, blatant comments. In the end however one must remember, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.