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White House, Israel reject reports of Emanuel warning

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WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama administration and Israeli officials denied a report saying that Rahm Emanuel warned that the United States could pull out of the peace process.

The Haaretz report Wednesday quoted Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, as telling Israel’s consul in Los Angeles last month that the administration was frustrated with both sides — the Israelis for delaying participation in the peace process and the Palestinians for not participating at all. If this continued, the Obama administration would withdraw from the process, Emanuel said, according to the report, which was based on an anonymously sourced Israel Army Radio report.

A White House official told JTA that Emanuel might have expressed his frustration with the process when he met Jacob Dayan, the consul, casually at a fund-raising dinner for U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), but denied that he issued any warning.

The White House also distributed a Jerusalem Post story quoting Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, as saying that he had contacted Dayan and he had "categorically denied" the conversation.

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