Powered by WebAds

Monday, October 04, 2010


You'd have to have been a fool not to have seen this coming. Jewish support for Rahm Emanuel's candidacy for Mayor of Chicago is far from being a sure thing.
But Rahm Emanuel, who begins his Chicago "listening tour" this week, is about to discover that all politics aren't local.

In the Jewish neighborhoods on the Far North Side, Rahm Emanuel is more associated with what he did in Washington than what he might do in Chicago's City Hall.

"There are questions about his positions on Israel," said Chesky Montrose, 32, who was wearing a skull cap and pushing one child in a stroller while keeping an eye on two others bicycling down Devon. "It's not logical that international policy would influence a race for mayor. But there is some resentment here, no doubt."

There was rejoicing along Devon on Friday because it was Simchat Torah, a festive celebration of the divine laws Moses received on behalf of the ancient Israelites. But there also were questions about Emanuel timing his White House farewell announcement for that day.

"On yontif?" said Montrose, using the Yiddish for the holiday.

During the run-up to Simchat Torah, it's traditional for Jews to take their meals in a sukkah, an improvised hut like their ancestors dwelled in during their wandering years in the deserts of Sinai. A fast-food restaurant on Devon provides customers with a sukkah.

With rituals marking their forebears' exiles, it's hardly a wonder Jews fret over modern-day Israel. Obama got a huge percent of Jewish voters, many of whom assumed Emanuel would give voice to their concerns as chief of staff, noted Cheryl Jacobs Lewin, Chicago co-chair of Americans for a Safe Israel.

"That has not happened, judging by the White House's heavy-handedness toward Israel," Lewin said in an e-mail.


At 3:51 PM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

They could think of it this way: what Rahm Emanuel has "achieved" for Israel, he will "achieve" for the people of Chicago and Jews in particular.

A jackal does not change its eating habits.


Post a Comment

<< Home