The Benjamin Netanyahu-Rahm Emanuel “self-hating Jews” kerfuffle continued apace this week. To recap: earlier this month, according to Haaretz, Netanyahu called Emanuel, President Obama’s chief-of-staff, and David Axelrod, Obama’s top political adviser, “self-hating Jews.” Then, earlier this week, a spokesperson for Bibi denied that his boss said it. And today Haaretz runs a massive profile of Emanuel that quotes Emanuel’s father—a one-time member of the Irgun, the militant Zionist group of Mandatory Palestine—and others on the subject of just how ridiculous the notion of “Rahm Emanuel, self-hating Jew” is. “I’m simply surprised that in Israel they jump down his throat,” Benjamin Emanuel tells the newspaper of his son. “I love the country, my children are Zionists, they came to Israel every year, and I don’t know why they’re attacking Rahm. I support Netanyahu.”
The lengthy piece mostly focuses on the crazed, brilliant, mad, pleased-with-himself Emanuel rather than this contretemps specifically, and it contains little that will be news to those of us who have read the umpteen profiles of Emanuel that have showed up in the American press. But appearing in Israel, in the same newspaper that originally broke the alleged “self-hating Jews” remark, the article could repudiate not only Netanyahu’s particular characterization of Emanuel but perhaps also Netanyahu’s larger attempt to discredit the U.S.’s calls for a more moderate approach to the Palestinian question.