Activists Vow to Protest Rahm Emanuel's Son's Bar Mitzvah in Israel
Last year, as the Jerusalem Post reports, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said he would come to Jerusalem on Memorial Day weekend for the bar mitzvahs of his son Zach and nephew Noah (son of his brother Ari).
That didn't sit well with far-right Israeli activists Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir, who say Emanuel is a "traitor" who is "worse than Hamas."
They believe Emanuel is the driving force between the Obama administration's Israel policy, which has resulted in strained relations between the U.S. and Israel.
Emanuel had planned to hold the bar mitzvah, a religious ceremony held around a boy's 13th birthday, at Jerusalem's holy Western Wall, a popular location for such ceremonies. In a letter to the chief of staff, the two far-right activists vowed to disrupt his plans.
"We promise to accompany your son's bar mitzvah events in Israel, we will make sure to receive you as you deserve to be received ... with catcalls and disgust," they wrote, according to ABC News.
Perhaps as a result, the White House and Jewish officials are declining to offer details about what is being pointedly called a "private trip." The Post reports there has been widespread speculation in the Israeli press about Emanuel's plans and questions about whether he moved the ceremony because of threats and/or concerns about the politics of the event, which would be held in what the U.S. technically considers occupied territory.
Ben-Gvir insisted he isn't interested in ruining the Zach Emanuel's bar mitzvah, but he has not choice but to make his voice heard.
"If the kid would come alone to the Wall without his father, we would be happy and we wouldn't complain," he told the Post. "But with all that Rahm Emanuel has done against the People of Israel and Land of Israel, we would have no choice but to demonstrate."
According to ABC News, the activists are offering to take Zach Emanuel "on a day of fun without his father" in order to "teach him a few things about the Jewish peoples' heritage."
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