Jubilation was heard in Tel Aviv as Haaretz, the Israeli daily, boasted November 6th: "Obama kick-starts transition, picks Israeli Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff."
Best known for his fundraising prowess among wealthy Jewish Democrats, the naming of Emanuel as the first presidential appointment echoes Sarah Palin's famous one-liner, "I love Israel." That claim was voiced in her vice-presidential debate with Joe Biden who is featured on a YouTube video famously proclaiming, "I am a Zionist."
In sharp contrast to Obama's claim that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake, Emanuel claims he would do it again today. As chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he directed party funds to pro-invasion candidates and recruited candidates to oppose anti-war Democrats.
Known in Washington as an outspoken pro-Israel hardliner, he joins Speaker Nancy Pelosi in bringing to the Middle East peace process a record of support for Tel Aviv's targeted assassinations of Palestinian political leaders. ("Pelosi supports Israel's attacks on Hamas group," San Francisco Chronicle, June 14, 2003).