Friday, November 14, 2008

Under the bus

Ok, this is all kind of creepy.

US President-elect Barack Obama's White House chief of staff apologized to the Arab-American community on Thursday for remarks his Israeli-born father made to Ma'ariv.

Last week, Benjamin Emanuel talked about his son Rahm Emanuel's new job and told the Israeli daily that "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."

That prompted an outcry from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, which called on Rahm Emanuel, a former Israeli citizen, to condemn the "unacceptable smear."

On Thursday, Rahm Emanuel called the group's president, Mary Rose Oakar, to apologize on behalf of his family.

"These are not the values upon which I was raised or those of my family," the group quoted him as saying.

Oakar said the apology was accepted.

I think Dr. Emanuel's comment was taken the wrong way, but I can see how it could be interpreted badly. It would have been nice to see his son stick up for him and explain what he really meant rather than tossing him under the bus, but that wasn't how things were done during the Obama campaign and it looks like we can expect more of the same in the Obama administration. Too bad.

Shabbat Shalom.