The home of the US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel (pictured right) became the target of anti-Semitic vandals over the weekend as they spray painted the word ‘Nazis’ on a fence outside of the house in Michigan. Emanuel, 63, a Jewish-American who was formerly the mayor of Chicago and is considered one of former President Barack Obama’s closest confidantes, was not home at the time of the incident which occurred in the beach community of Union Pier, around 75 miles north of the Windy City.
‘Our family is very proud of how our friends neighbors and the community have rallied to our support and in a singular voice in condemning hatred and bigotry,’ Emanuel said in a brief statement. Emanuel also thanked ‘local law enforcement for their diligence, swiftness and seriousness in which they have addressed this crime.’ There was no attempt at a break-in on Emanuel’s home and the former mayor quickly arranged for the word to be removed.
This is just the latest horrifying act of anti-Semitism for occur in the US since Hamas’ brutal assault on Israel on October 7 which claimed the lives of 1,200 Jewish people as well as the subsequent bombardment of Gaza by the IDF. ‘Unfortunately, it’s not that surprising. The brazenness with which people are expressing their antisemitism, and their hate has gone up dramatically,’ Anti-Defamation League Midwest Regional Director David Goldenberg told ABC Chicago in the wake of the attack on Emanuel’s home.
While reformed Neo-Nazi leader Jeff Schoep told the station that anti-Semitic groups have become ’emboldened’ by mass demonstrations denouncing Israel. Speaking about the attack on Emanuel’s home, Schoep said it’s ‘intended to be insulting. It’s extremely hateful and vile, and that’s the intention behind it.’ The graffiti attack was also condemned by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Prior to becoming the mayor of Chicago, Emanuel served as Barack Obama’s chief of staff from 2009 until 2010. During his tenure as mayor, his administration was roundly criticized for its handling of the police shooting of teen Laquan McDonald.
Shortly after decided not to release the footage of McDonald’s (pictured) shooting, Emanuel opted not to run for reelection. The combative Democrat is known for his use of colorful and sometimes profane language. At the start of his time at the Obama White House, he had a name plate on his desk given to him by his brothers that read: ‘The Undersecretary for Go [Expletive] Yourself.’
In Japan, his longstanding West Wing ties are seen as an advantage by the government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, which is eager to tighten bonds with Washington, a senior Japanese official told Reuters in September. Emanuel and his wife, Amy Rule, have maintained a retreat in Union Pier for decades. The couple was married in June 1994 at the same venue where Barack and Michelle Obama tied the knot in 1992. Emanuel’s marriage contract was signed Democratic Party kingmaker David Axelrod. The couple has three children together, a son and two daughters. Just this past weekend, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker pointed the finger at Republican frontrunner Donald Trump amid the rise in religious hate. Pritzker pointed out that Trump regularly uses words that were last heard ‘in the 1930s in Germany. ‘What I can tell you is that the things that he talks about are frightening to those of us who know the history of Europe in the 1930s and ’40s, Pritzker told MSNBC’s Inside With Jen Psaki.
A day earlier, Neo-Nazis marched unopposed on Wisconsin ‘s state capitol waving swastika flags, performing Hitler salutes and leaving onlookers shaking with fear. Around 20 members of the self-styled ‘Blood Tribe’ group halted outside a former synagogue chanting ‘Israel is not our friend’ and ‘there will be blood’ as state police looked on. With thousands in town for the Badgers game against Nebraska , the group carried their banners through the center of Madison from the University of Wisconsin campus to Capitol Square. ‘My stomach dropped, I felt disgusted, I was outraged, it was horrible,’ said Jewish student Jordyn Grover. ‘I’ve never felt more disgusted in my life. Seeing all of these people that just genuinely want me dead.’
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