Rahm Emanuel apologized to an Arab-American group for his father’s disparaging remarks about Arabs.
“From the fullness of my heart, I personally apologize on behalf of my family and me,” Emanuel (D-Ill.), designated as President-elect Barack Obama’s White House chief of staff, said in a phone call Thursday to Mary Rose Oakar, the president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. “These are not the values upon which I was raised or those of my family.”
A spokeswoman for Emanuel, an Illinois congressman, confirmed the call. She said Emanuel offered to meet with representatives of the Arab-American community “at an appropriate time in the future.”
Benjamin Emanuel, an Israeli-born doctor, last week told the Ma’ariv daily, “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 American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee called the remarks “an unacceptable smear.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.