Though known for close ties with the Israelis, Emanuel had never given them a free pass and has consistently supported a dovish policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“His approach was always ‘Don’t pull one on me,’” said a former Israeli official who was in touch with Emanuel during President Clinton’s drive for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement. “He was very supportive, but never a blind supporter.”
In his years as a senior adviser to President Clinton, Emanuel focused on domestic policy, but his background and openness to the Jewish community made him a point man on issues relating to Israel.
“We could discuss issues with him before raising them at a higher level and get a sense from him on what the thinking in the White House is,” recalled Zalman Shoval, former Israeli ambassador to Washington and now a member of the Likud party.
Though all agree that Emanuel did not play a major role in American relations with Israel, recent weeks have brought to the fore many anecdotes regarding his involvement. But not all seem to be true.
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