Jerusalem — Activists heckled White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel as he and his family toured the Old City of Jerusalem in honor of his son’s bar mitzvah.
Emanuel and his entourage on Thursday visited the newly restored Huvra synagogue, amid shouts of “antisemite.”
When the family arrived at the Western Wall, Rahm Emanuel did not approach the wall, though his son did, the Jerusalem Post reported,
Heavy security surrounded the family during their tour of Jerusalem, according to reports.
Activist Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has threatened to protest the Emanuel’s bar mitzvah, waited for the family Thursday morning at the Western Wall. He was physically restrained by police during their visit, Ynet reported.
Ben-Gvir filed a complaint Wednesday with the Jerusalem District Court for Administrative Affairs, charging that Emanuel’s plan to hold his son’s bar mitzvah Thursday at the Davidson Center, a tourist facility located in the archeological park near the Western Wall, is illegal since the center is not licensed to hold such events. The court gave Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and the East Jerusalem Development Company, which owns the center, 24 hours to respond. The court declined to issue an injunction on such events until a ruling is made, according to the Jerusalem Post. The bar mitzvah celebration is reportedly set for Thursday evening.
Emanuel and his son were scheduled to meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres on Thursday afternoon, when Zach Emanuel is to receive a special blessing for his bar mitzvah, according to the President’s Office.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Israel military in coordination with the Foreign Ministry gave the family a tour of its bases in the north and south of Israel.
On Wednesday, Emanuel met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and invited him to meet with President Obama at the White House next week.