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ei: Obama picks pro-Israel hardliner for top post

ei: Obama picks pro-Israel hardliner for top post: "One of the most influential politicians and fundraisers in his party, Emanuel accompanied Obama to a meeting of AIPAC's executive board just after the Illinois senator had addressed the pro-Israel lobby's conference last June.

In Congress, Emanuel has been a consistent and vocal pro-Israel hardliner, sometimes more so than President Bush. In June 2003, for example, he signed a letter criticizing Bush for being insufficiently supportive of Israel. 'We were deeply dismayed to hear your criticism of Israel for fighting acts of terror,' Emanuel, along with 33 other Democrats wrote to Bush. The letter said that Israel's policy of assassinating Palestinian political leaders 'was clearly justified as an application of Israel's right to self-defense' ('Pelosi supports Israel's attacks on Hamas group,' San Francisco Chronicle, 14 June 2003).

In July 2006, Emanuel was one of several members who called for the cancellation of a speech to Congress by visiting Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki because al-Maliki had criticized Israel's bombing of Lebanon. Emanuel called the Lebanese and Palestinian governments 'totalitarian entities with militias and terrorists acting as democracies' in a 19 July 2006 speech supporting a House resolution backing Israel's bombing of both countries that caused thousands of civilian victims."

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