Rightwing rabbi Shmuley Boteach recently published a full-page ad in the New York Times accusing John Kerry of anti-Semitism. As you can see below, the ad begins with these words:
For the last few weeks, Palestinian terrorists have slashed, stoned, shot and rammed to death scores of innocent Jews on the streets of Israel.
That’s false. You cannot speak of scores dead when the number of Israelis killed was 15 at the time, according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (It is now 22; a little over one score.) I thought the New York Times did not publish ads that were so patently false, or asked for revisions. BTW, scores of Palestinians have been killed.
Two days ago, Newsweek ran a Tel Aviv diary by a pro-Israel writer, Marc Schulman. He wrote of the recent attacks on Israelis:
Without question, Israeli history is full of tragedies that are worse than the events of the past two months, such as wars that claimed thousands of lives and a second intifada during which busses blew up daily and took dozens of lives with them.
This is what Huck Finn called a stretcher. Buses didn’t blow up daily. Wikipedia’s list of Israeli civilian casualties of the Second Intifada says 887 were killed and lists many bus bombings over five years. They plainly did not occur daily. The toll in these terror attacks were, at the highest, 15, 19, 16, and 23, by my count. Yes, certainly dozens killed over five years, but Schulman is purposely exaggerating the truth.
This is not to diminish the slaughter of the Second Intifada on the Israeli side. But facts are facts; journalistic publications become reliable or not based on whether their facts are right. And if a speaker is misstating such basic information, why should you trust their judgment?
P.S. You can see that Boteach is proud of the fact that he has lately been called Ted Cruz’s rabbi in the press, a vital link for the rightwing Texas senator so as to apply for Sheldon Adelson’s millions. Remember that just two years ago Boteach was Ambassador Samantha Power’s rabbi to the Israel lobby; so that she could get a seal of good housekeeping so as to obtain her job. There is no more stark proof of the power of the Israel lobby in our politics than the manner in which the services of this intolerant man are sought out by right and left. And not because they like him. Because he’s necessary.