Posted by Joshua on Friday, November 14th, 2008
[Landis Comment] The ADC got a quite apology from Rahm Emanuel in a phone call, but he declined to meet with them until an undetermined “appropriate time in the future.” No time could be more appropriate than now, when the new administration is reaching out and the wound is fresh.
Rather inexplicable, the main stream press is soft balling Emanuel’s first big text. None are carrying it even on an inside page. It is relegated to the blogs. A sad commentary on the position of Arabs in American society. One can take comfort in Emanuel’s apology to Mary Rose Oakar.
Emanuel Calls ADC to Repudiate Negative Comments About Arabs
Washington, DC | November 13, 2008 | www.adc.org | Today, Congressman Rahm Emanuel, recently appointed White House Chief of Staff to President-Elect Barack Obama, called American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) President Mary Rose Oakar to repudiate negative comments about Arabs made by his father Benjamin Emanuel .
In the phone call, Congressman Emanuel said, “From the fullness of my heart, I personally apologize on behalf of my family and me. These are not the values upon which I was raised or those of my family.” During the phone call, Emanuel added, it is unacceptable to make remarks such as these against any ethnic or religious group.
ADC President Mary Rose Oakar said, “We cannot allow Arabs and Muslims to be portrayed in these unacceptable terms. I welcome Rahm’s apology and his pledge to meet with our Community. I also thank our members and friends who responded who expressed concern about this matter. ”
NEW YORK TIMES political blog (not paper): Emanuel Apologizes for Father’s ‘Arab’ Comments November 13, 2008, 3:47 pm
Emanuel Apologizes for Father’s ‘Arab’ Comments, By Sarah Wheaton
Representative Rahm Emanuel, President-elect Barack Obama’s chief of staff, called the president of an Arab-American group today to apologize for comments his father made to an Israeli newspaper.
In the remarks, Benjamin Emanuel discussed the potential impact of his son’s new position on U.S.-Israeli relations.
“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,” the elder Mr. Emanuel told the Israeli daily Ma’ariv, according to English-language reports in The Jerusalem Post and The Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Calling the comment an “unacceptable smear,” the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee had sent the younger Emanuel a letter (copied to Mr. Obama) calling on him to “disavow and repudiate these remarks publicly.”
“All we ask is to be treated in the same way as any other ethnic, racial or minority group,” said Kareem Shora, the A.D.C.’s executive director. “We’re not treating it as simply an Arab-American issue, we’re trying to treat it as an American issue.”
That led to Rahm Emanuel’s apology today.
“Today, Representative Emanuel called Mary Rose Oakar, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, apologized on behalf of his family and offered to meet with representatives of the Arab-American community at an appropriate time in the future,” said Nick Papas, a spokesman for the congressman.
Before Mr. Emanuel made his apology, Mr. Shora said the structure of the elder Mr. Emanuel’s remarks made their meaning clear. “The sequence of the statement was very important,” he said, adding that the ‘Arab’ line “was not separated in any way” from the ‘mopping’ line. He said there would be public outcry if “Arab” had been replaced with the name of any other ethnic group.
Benjamin Emanuel is not yet available for comment, according to an associate at the office of Ari Emanuel, a Hollywood agent and the congressman’s brother, to whom a message on the father’s answering machine referred press calls. Mr. Obama’s campaign declined to address the issue.