Israel's "Spy" in the White House
MER - Washington - 29 January 1998
Take the word "spy" here in the overall context of the background, role, connections and allegiances of Rahm Emanuel.
He's been on TV quite a bit in the past few days -- tasked with convincing the world that Bill Clinton is to be believed in the latest "Zipper-Gate" scandal. According to Emanuel, Bill just didn't do it!
Actually in this second Clinton term Emanuel has gradually come out more and more into public view after so much behind-the-scenes work going back to Clinton's first Presidential campaign. When Clinton wants to tough-it-out he often now turns to Rahm Emanuel and the many Emanuel can call on his behalf.
These days Emanuel's title is "Senior Political Adviser" and his office is close by to the Oval Office where he can and does constantly monitor all that's going on in the Clinton Presidency.
Emanuel's real role combines money with politics with public relations -- he is a rather unique figure in the Clinton "Kosher Kitchen" White House. Most unique of all in fact is that Emanuel is a kind of out-front spy for Israel while primarily serving as Bill Clinton's main money man.
More so than ever before, money and politics are the heads and the tails of the same coin in the Clinton White House. Both the "show me the money" slogan from last year's hit movie Jerry McGuire, and the current hit movie "Wag the Dog", are take-offs on what contemporary Washington politics has truly become in the Clinton era.
Emanuel has essentially made himself indispensable to Clinton because he is the main link to the money, especially the huge sums of American Jewish money that have poured toward Bill Clinton ever since he became their man anointed to take down George Bush.
Very little if anything goes on in the Clinton White House that Emanuel doesn't know about. And while his super close relations to the Israeli lobby are well known by Democratic insiders, few want to speak on the record about this most sensitive of subjects -- the extraordinary power and clout of the Washington Israel/Jewish lobby that totally dominates the Clinton/Gore Presidency.
DUAL U.S./ISRAELI CITIZEN
Emanuel was a dual Israeli-American citizen until he was 18, he's now 36. His father was in the right-wing Israeli underground in the 40s, the same group that is rumored to have had ties to the Deir Yassin massacre and possibly to the assassination of U.N. negotiator Count Bernadotte.
Emanuel may have given up his second citizenship (quite possibly for tax reasons some indicate); but he never gave up his dual allegiance. During the 1991 Gulf War Rahm in fact volunteered for the Israeli Army (volunteers were not sent to combat but rather to support jobs).
ISRAELI LOBBY PROTEGE
Emanuel got his feet wet in politics back in 1980, just a year after giving up his Israeli citizenship, as an Israeli/Jewish lobby operative.
There was this mildly pro-PLO Congressman from Springfield, Illinois -- Paul Findley -- whom the Israeli/Jewish lobby wanted out of there. Emanuel's first major political and money job was to become the Finance Director for Democrat David Robinson, the man who unseated the long-serving Findley.
Ever since Emanuel has been among the insiders of the Israeli/Jewish lobby, though he has never worked directly for it, unlike the new Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East, Martin Indyk, and the Special Middle East negotiator, Dennis Ross, both among Emanuel's close friends, as is CNN's Wolf Blitzer, also a former lobby official.