Vice President-elect Joe Biden has appointed former Clinton administration aide Ran Klain as his chief of staff, one week after President-elect Barack Obama tapped Clinton aide Rahm Emanuel to head the White House as chief of staff.
Both appointees are Jewish, but while Emanuel is an observant Jew, Klain intermarried more than 20 years ago and his family observes Christmas.
Klain, like Emanuel, promoted the Oslo Peace Accords, which eventually exploded into the Oslo War that has been raging since September, 2000. Emanuel choreographed the handshake between Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin and Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn in 1993.
Klain was an advisor to Gen. Wesley Clark, who as a presidential hopeful said in 1994 that the Middle East needs "a sustained and energetic American engagement to resolve the conflict."
Vice President-elect Biden's new top aide also served in the same position for Clinton's vice president Al Gore.
The reliance on Clinton administration officials endows the Obama-Biden government leaders with strong organizational skills but also with a legacy of handshaking and making declarations as a way to solve the Israeli-Arab struggle.
Klain was not directly involved in developments in the Middle East, in contrast to Emanuel. A public relations consultant who worked with Emanuel stated last year said that Emanuel "would like nothing more than to participate in another peace agreement signing."
Klain's religious background is light years from that of Emanuel, whose father was in the underground Irgun resistance movement during the British Mandate and who is an observant Jew.
Klain grew up in the Midwestern state of Indiana where Jewish identity meant not having a Christmas tree, he stated in a New York Times article last year. He is married to a non-Jew with an agreement that they celebrate Christmas but raise their children as Jews.