Emanuel heckled during visit to Jerusalem


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Activists heckled White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel as he and his family toured the Old City of Jerusalem in honor of his son’s bar mitzvah.

Emanuel and his entourage visited the newly restored Huvra Synagogue on Thursday amid shouts of "anti-Semite."

When the family arrived at the Western Wall, Emanuel did not approach the wall but his son did, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Heavy security surrounded the family during its tour of Jerusalem, according to reports.

Activist Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has threatened to protest the bar mitzvah of Zach Emanuel, waited for the family Thursday morning at the Western Wall and was physically restrained by police during its visit, Ynet reported.

Ben-Gvir filed a complaint Wednesday with the Jerusalem District Court for Administrative Affairs, charging that Emanuel’s plan to hold his son’s bar mitzvah Thursday at the Davidson Center, a tourist facility located in the archeological park near the Western Wall, is illegal since the center is not licensed to hold such events. The court gave Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and the East Jerusalem Development Company, which owns the center, 24 hours to respond.

The court declined to issue an injunction on such events until a ruling is made, according to the Jerusalem Post. The bar mitzvah celebration reportedly is set for Thursday evening.

Emanuel and his son met with Israeli President Shimon Peres on Thursday afternoon, Zach Emanuel received a kiddush cup and a book of psalms with a personal inscription as a bar mitzvah present, according to the President’s Office.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Israel military in coordination with the Foreign Ministry gave the family a tour of its bases in the north and south of Israel.

Emanuel met the same day with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and invited him to meet with President Obama next week at the White House.

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