-By Warner Todd Huston
At a recent rally for Chicago Mayoral candidate Gery Chico, the head of the Operating Engineers Local 150, James Sweeney, said that Rahm Emanuel was a “Judas” to the union cause. Now Emanuel, himself Jewish, is attempting to make this common phrase into some sort of anti-Semitic attack on him.
During the rally, Sweeney attacked Emanuel’s long record of supporting the North American Free Trade Act (NATFA) that he helped Bill Clinton pass in the 1990s.
We don’t need to be told that there’s an economic problem, we live it every day. Rahm Emanuel doesn’t live it, he’s nothing but a Wall Street Judas… a bag of silver that he collected when he went and passed NAFTA. That’s exactly what he is.
For his part Emanuel is saying the whole thing is “blatantly antisemitic.” But come on. It is obvious that Sweeney had no intent to inject any anti-Semitism into his campaign rally when he said that Emanuel was a Judas to unions. Using the term Judas is a common term that properly fits any situation and isn’t just a Jewish reference.
This is obviously just an attempt by Emanuel to gin up a controversy where none exists.
Sweeney was asked what he meant when he used the “Judas” reference. “When I referred to a Judas, that’s no different than a Benedict Arnold or any of the great traitors in history who traded on the people that believed in them,” he told CBS Channel 2 News.