White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has arrived in Israel as planned, to celebrate the bar mitzvah of his son. The event was originally set to be held at the Kosel. Emanuel was in Eilat on Friday, and then headed to Yerushalayim, where reports indicate he will be remaining for a number of days during this private visit.
It appears Emanuel will not be holding the event at the Kosel, seeking to avoid the display of opposition promised by right-wingers. Reports indicate he has opted to celebrate the event with “rabbonim” affiliated with Israel’s Conservative Movement, at a different venue.
Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Givir have announced that they will do their utmost to disturb any attempt by Emanuel to celebrate at the Kosel, releasing a media statement that the White House “token Jew” is most unwelcome in Eretz Yisrael.
While the players will undoubtedly extend the required political courtesy to the senior American administration guest, Emanuel is viewed by many as persona non grata, believed responsible for the White House’s harsh anti-Israel policies.
No meetings have been announced between Emanuel and senior officials but a meeting is likely with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu prior to his departure.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)