The President of Iran said recently, "America will never elect a woman or black man to be President."
Last night was a blow to that despotic anti-Jew blowhard.
Today's announcement of an orthodox Jew to be his White house chief of staff is another.
Rep. Rahm Emanuel has reportedly accepted the job.
Here and around the world, the selection brought swift reaction. The Web site for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Wednesday was filled with articles on what an Obama presidency would mean for Israel.
The top story, on Emanuel, noted his deep Jewish roots.
Emanuel is the son of a Jerusalem-born doctor who worked for the Israeli underground before the nation's creation following World War II. The congressman belongs to an orthodox congregation in Chicago and worked as a volunteer in Israel during the first Gulf War.
Though Obama was accused of being conciliatory toward Iran and toward Palestinians during the presidential race, an Emanuel appointment could combat those perceptions.
President-elect Barack Obama on Wednesday offered the job of White House chief of staff to Democratic Congressman Rahm Emanuel, who reportedly accepted the offer. Emanuel is the Chicago-born son of Israeli citizens.
Emanuel, 48, is a member of the Orthodox Jewish community of Chicago and grew up speaking Hebrew with his father, a pediatrician who was a member of the Jewish resistance in Palestine before the War of Independence in 1948.
During the Gulf War in 1991, Emanuel came to Israel to serve as a civilian volunteer.
Emanuel was named the Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2005.
With Emanuel, Obama is Sending a Signal to Israel.
Barack Obama, by tapping a prominent Jewish congressman to be his chief of staff, earned renewed support from the Jewish community here and abroad.
Obama's offer is an early signal to the Arabs and Iran that the new president intends to follow through on his promises to uphold the U.S.-Israeli alliance in his administration.
"It's just another indication that despite the attempts to imply that Obama would somehow appoint the wrong person or listen to the wrong people when it comes to the U.S.-Israel relationship ... that was never true," said Ira Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council.
Forman said Obama's selection of Emanuel helps build confidence that the United States will be vigilant in responding to any threats to Israel posed by Iran.
"Rahm has certainly never been accused of being too naive or not decisive in his analysis of these types of issues," Forman said.
Emanuel has indicated consistent support for Israel's rights.
Emanuel has explicitly condemned Fatah and Hamas leaders.
In June 2007, Emanuel condemned an outbreak of Palestinian violence in the Gaza Strip and criticized Arab countries for not applying the same kind of pressure on the Palestinians as they have on Israel.
"Fatah and Hamas are tearing the Palestinian area of the Gaza strip apart in what they call a political rivalry, and the Palestinian people are paying a price for Palestinian violence," he said at the time. "Governments from around the world and the Arab world have said nothing. ... I just want you to think for a second, if this were the result of Israeli-Palestinian hostilities, would the international silence and the silence of the Arab world be this deafening?"
At a 2003 pro-Israel rally in Chicago, Emanuel told the marchers Israel was ready for peace but would not get there until Palestinians "turn away from the path of terror," according to the Chicago Tribune.