Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rahm Emanuel attempts to sup at Israel's public trough, too!

Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff, stiffs Israel for private family meal at Eilat restaurant

By Gil Ronen
.com May 23, 2010

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and his family dined on seafood at an Eilat restaurant and left the bill for the Israeli Tourism Ministry, according to reports in Israeli media. The report was met with consternation by MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari of the National Union, who wants the bill sent back to Emanuel. Emanuel is in Israel on a private visit, not an official one, with his parents, wife, children and other family members, to make preparations for his son's upcoming Bar Mitzvah. Upon arrival in Israel Friday, the Emanuels headed for Eilat, where they dined on seafood at a restaurant. After the (unkosher) meal, which included cheviche (citrus marinaded seafood), calamari (fried squid), various fish, salads and hamburgers, the bill was handed over to a Ministry of Tourism representative who accompanied the Emanuels.

Ben-Ari fired off a letter to the Attorney General in which he said, "I was amazed to hear that following the sumptuous meal at the Boston restaurant
Emanuel handed the bill to a Ministry of Tourism representative who was present. In my humble legal opinion there is no possibility of making the State of Israel pay for such a meal, as part of a private visit by the White House Chief of Staff and his family."

"The public coffers are not up for grabs and the fact that the gentleman [Emanuel] sponsors anti-Semitic policies in the White House is certainly no
justification for digging into the public coffer at the expense of the old lady in the corridor of the hospital," Ben-Ari added in a reference to the shortage of hospital beds in Israel, which is attributed to budgetary problems. "I ask you, sir, to immediately cancel the debiting of the Ministry of Tourism's account and to promptly send the bill directly to Mr. Emanuel's private home," he added.

It is not known where the Bar Mitzvah ceremony will take place. Nationalists
have said that they will prevent Emanuel from celebrating at the Kotel (Western Wall). There have been reports that the ceremony will be held at the Robinson's Arch part of the Wall, which is slightly removed from the public area and which serves those of the Reform and Conservative communities who wish to hold prayer services that differ noticeably from traditional ones, as only traditional services are allowed at the public part of the Wall.

The media-savvy Emanuel made no attempt to keep his family's culinary experience in Eilat -- at the expense of the Israeli taxpayer -- from becoming known to the Israeli media and even posed for a picture with the restaurant's chef. The event might therefore be interpreted by some as a deliberate message by Emanuel, in keeping with a line of theatrically insulting messages to Israel delivered by the White House since it came under Emanuel's direction. The most notorious of these was the photograph released by the White House of President Barack Obama speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with his feet propped up on his desk and the soles thrust at the camera.


No comments: