USC Students for Justice in Palestine

history, analysis, news, and event updates on the struggle for justice in palestine

Israel Opens Gaza Border; Rahm Emanuel Apologizes for Father’s Remarks

Posted by uscsjp on November 15, 2008

Israel Briefly Opens Gaza Border Crossing

“Israel temporarily opened a border crossing with Gaza today to allow a limited supply of humanitarian aid to reach the territory. Thirty trucks, including eleven from the United Nations, were allowed to travel into Gaza. On Friday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency announced it had run out of food and was unable to replenish storage facilities because of the Israeli blockade. The UN provides food aid to 750,000 Palestinians. Israel says the blockade is needed because Palestinian militants continue to fire rockets at nearby Israeli towns.”

–Democracy Now, Nov 17, 2008

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/11/17/headlines#8

Obama aide apologises to US-Arabs

“Benjamin Emanuel told an Israeli newspaper that his son, who is Jewish, would ‘obviously influence the president to be pro-Israel’. He also referred to Arabs in a way which a leading Arab-American group called an ‘unacceptable smear’. A spokesman for Rahm Emanuel said he had called the group to apologise.

Mr Emanuel also offered to meet members of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. In the interview last week with the Israeli daily newspaper Ma’ariv, Israeli-born Benjamin Emanuel talked about his son’s new job.

Anger at remarks

He said: ‘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’…”

–BBC, Nov 14, 2008

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/us_elections_2008/7729046.stm

See also:

Rahm Emanuel Apologizes for Paternal Insult of Arabs

“Exactly 48 years ago in Atlantic City (on Nov. 16, 1960), Rabbi Bernard Bergman, president of the Religious Zionists of America, made a plea to President-elect John F. Kennedy: Time to get the Israelis and the Arabs together for some peace negotiating. Not a bad idea after two wars in 12 years. Specifically, the rabbi said, Kennedy, once president, should do everything in his power to get then-Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser to the same table. Bergman was addressing the annual National Convention of the Religious Zionists of America at the Chelsea Hotel in Atlantic City.

Wonderful sentiments and worthy aims, you might tell yourself. Especially in light of what we know happened in the intervening 48 years. Imagine if Kennedy had taken just such initiative. He didn’t. He wasn’t interested in the Middle East.

But wait. There was something more about those wonderful sentiments by the rabbi, once he got done with the obvious. According to an account in The New York Times, ‘Rabbi Bergman said the Arab countries would benefit from Israel’s great store of trained personnel if they abandoned their “foolhardy and nonsensical program of bestiality, venom and rancor toward Israel.” ‘

Was the rabbi kidding us? Bestiality? It gets worse…”

–Pierre Tristam, About.com Guide to Middle East Issues, Nov 16, 2008

http://middleeast.about.com/b/2008/11/16/rahm-emanuel-apologizes-for-paternal-insult-of-arabs.htm

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