Tags: Iran | Israel | MidPoint | Support Israel | Shmuley Boteach | Susan Rice | genocide

Rabbi: Sorry for Susan Rice 'Genocide' Ad, Not for Speaking Up

By    |   Wednesday, 04 Mar 2015 04:46 PM

The New Jersey rabbi who found himself virtually alone in his criticism of the White House national security adviser says he has apologized for a newspaper advertisement calling Susan Rice "blind" to genocide — but not for speaking out on behalf of Jews worldwide.

"So I apologize that I did not communicate what we wanted to say effectively, and we're not trying to be personal with Susan Rice," Shmuley Boteach, an author and television personality nicknamed "America's Rabbi," told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Wednesday.

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The full-page ad in The New York Times on Sunday was roundly condemned by other Jewish leaders and by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself as an over-the-top personal attack — even if one agreed with its premise that a U.S.-brokered nuclear deal with Iran threatens Israel's very existence.

"Here's what we wanted to say," said Boteach, rephrasing after a "MidPoint" interview on Monday in which he doubled down on the anti-Rice ad.

"Jewish people are being faced with an annihilatory threat by the largest state sponsor of terror anywhere in the world," he said on Wednesday, referring to Iran. "That has to be taken seriously. We want Susan Rice as a national security adviser to take it seriously. We want President [Barack] Obama to take it seriously."

Likewise, he said, the speech Netanyahu gave to Congress on Tuesday over many Democrats' objections should be taken to heart. Netanyahu warned that the nonproliferation deal being offered to Iran is "a countdown to a nuclear nightmare" that will leave Israel vulnerable to an Iranian first strike.

"That is the message we want to communicate," said Boteach, "that none of us — none of us — can turn a blind eye to the potential genocidal threats and to annihilatory threats which are now being directed at Israel."

Boteach brushed off downbeat reviews from prominent Democrats, notably House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who said the speech almost made her cry because it was "condescending" and an "insult" to Americans' intelligence.

"I was there — wow, it was an electrifying speech," said Boteach. "The prime minister is a world-class orator. [Pelosi] could say she disagreed. She could say she felt it inappropriate. Why it reduced her to tears? I would probably find more valuable things to cry about going on in the world: ISIS chopping people's heads off."

Boteach argued that it's a measure of America's greatness and confidence that Netanyahu wanted to make his case here, and that political leaders in Washington were open to his expertise on an issue of great import.

"That's a compliment to the U.S., and Nancy Pelosi should have taken it as such," he said.

Going forward, he said, Jews should not and will not remain silent about the threat posed by a potentially nuclear-armed country whose leaders want Israel to cease to exist.

"Of course, we have to rattle the cage now," said Boteach.

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The New Jersey rabbi who found himself virtually alone in his criticism of the White House national security adviser says he has apologized for a newspaper advertisement calling Susan Rice "blind" to genocide - but not for speaking out on behalf of Jews worldwide.
Shmuley Boteach, Susan Rice, genocide, ad, Benjamin Netanyahu
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2015-46-04
Wednesday, 04 Mar 2015 04:46 PM
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