In an interview with Ma'ariv, [Obama Chief of Staff Rahm] Emanuel's father, Dr. Benjamin Emanuel, said he was convinced that his son's appointment would be good for Israel. "Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel," he was quoted as saying. "Why wouldn't he be? What is he, an Arab? He's not going to clean the floors of the White House."
The Ma'ariv article also quoted Dr. Emanuel as saying that his son spends most summers visiting in Tel Aviv, and that he speaks Hebrew, but not fluently. ("Emanuel to be Obama's chief of staff," by AP and Jpost staff, Jerusalem Post, Nov 6, 2008)