Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has blasted The Times of London for refusing to run an ad featuring Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel condemning Hamas for using children as human shields, The New York Observer reported
The ad, sponsored by The Values Network founded by Boteach, has already run in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, among other American newspapers. And, according to the Observer, President Barack Obama was shown the ad by Wiesel personally last week.
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A Times representative wrote to Boteach's ad-buying firm, saying the newspaper believes that "the opinion being expressed is too strong and too forcefully made and will cause concern amongst a significant number of Times readers."
Boteach, an Orthodox rabbi who was named The London Times' Preacher of the Year in 2000, said he was "appalled" by the newspaper's ban.
He told the Observer, "At a time when Israel is fighting for its very existence against the genocidal terrorists of Hamas, the British media, already infamously skewed against Israel, refuses a paid ad that every major American outlet … was proud to run as a full-page ad.
"I am shocked that The Times would engage in censorship of the worst kind to cater to such bigotry."
Hundreds of children were killed in Gaza during the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas, according to The Times of Israel
, citing Palestinian sources. Hamas has been accused of sacrificing the lives of Palestinians, including children, by placing weapons and fighters in areas near civilians.
The ad, which began running last week, was headlined "Jews rejected child sacrifice 3,500 years ago. Now it's Hamas turn."
In the ad, Wiesel writes, "In my own lifetime, I have seen Jewish children thrown into the fire. And now I have seen Muslim children used as human shields, in both cases, by worshipers of death cults indistinguishable from that of the Molochites.
"What we are suffering through today is not a battle of Jew versus Arab or Israeli versus Palestinian. Rather, it is a battle between those who celebrate life and those who champion death. It is a battle of civilization versus barbarism."
Citing a White House source, the Observer also reported that last Friday, Wiesel had lunch with Obama and showed him the ad. "The president literally read it in front of Elie Wiesel's face," said the source. The lunch was not on the president's listed itinerary for that day.
Boteach, whose offer to revise the ad has been rejected by The Times, defended Wiesel in his statement, saying he's "one of the most respected human beings alive, a Nobel Peace Laureate, and is the living face of the Holocaust. No greater expert on genocide exists in the whole world."
The rabbi added, "His call for the end of child sacrifice by Hamas, who use children as human shields, and a stop to their genocidal charter, which calls for the murder of Jews everywhere, could only offend the sensibilities of the most die-hard anti-Israel haters and anti-Semites."
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