Trending Topics:

Oh, the joys of high office: going drinking with Shmuley Boteach

on 25 Comments

Samantha Power’s climbdown from an enlightened stance on Israel/Palestine to a forcibly benighted one is a sad thing to see, but it is really about the character of the Establishment. If you aspire to higher office, you have to kiss the lobby’s ring. Ask Chuck Hagel. Ask Barack Obama. They both said enlightened things about Israel and Palestine that they had to crawl back from.

For all those who aspire to high position, another warning. It’s not all that much fun. Samantha Power is now joined at the hip to Shmuley Boteach, an orthodox rabbi, friend of Sheldon Adelson, and rightwing Republican loser in a NJ congressional race whom Power assiduously courted to get her Israel cred up, and Obama’s too, even though Adelson did all he could to defeat Obama.

Boteach has nine children and is a relentless self-promoter, i.e., he’s a crashing bore, and he was at Power’s side for her confirmation hearing yesterday. Indira A. Lakshmanan reports at Bloomberg:

Among Power’s invited guests in the hearing room was Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a writer and radio host who two years ago criticized Power’s views on Israel. Power — whose husband, Harvard University legal scholar and Bloomberg View columnist Cass Sunstein, is Jewish — invited Boteach to the White House to explain her views and won him over. Boteach has spoken on her behalf to members of the Jewish community.

After the hearing, Boteach accompanied Power, her Irish-born parents and a small group of family, friends and administration officials to celebrate at The Dubliner, an Irish pub on Capitol Hill.

Also: Two weeks ago I did a post saying that Power’s views on Syrian intervention were calculated to please the neoconservatives. Bloomberg again:

Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, who last year was among the lawmakers who blocked then-UN envoy Susan Rice from being nominated as secretary of state, praised Power’s statements on Syria and her view that the U.S. should act to stop humanitarian crises and genocide.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

Other posts by .

Posted In:

25 Responses

  1. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    July 19, 2013, 1:47 pm

    Felating the donkey on Capital Hill AND putting up with Boteach?? Wow, the entry fee to get one’s butt in the UN chair is higher than I thought!!

    • Krauss
      July 19, 2013, 2:31 pm

      Phil may excuse her actions as “this is what it takes to join the establishment”.

      Well, some people refuse to sell their souls. Some people do have principles. And some people try to change the power structure, not merely adopt it’s ways to join it in the pursuit of material wealth and comfort.

      Samantha Power is not one of those people. And I don’t think she should be given a waive on her moral choices, which are real and disgusting.
      Adelson and company dont even pretend to be liberal, which is better than can be said for Power.

      • Chu
        July 19, 2013, 4:26 pm

        Yeah, she’s their new agent. It’s like she got a new job and they said, ‘You can do whatever you please, but don’t touch our special issue, Sam. You must swear this to in congress and be seen with Schmuley to symbolize we’ve broken you.

      • eljay
        July 19, 2013, 6:33 pm

        >> Krauss @ July 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm

        Good post.

      • NoMoreIsrael
        July 20, 2013, 6:46 pm

        Agree 100%. As one of endless examples, Obama most certainly COULD have called for a complete investigation of war crimes charges when the Goldstone Report was issued. Yes the dirtballs in the lobby would have become hysterical and he would have had a fight on his hands. The EU and UN would have backed him and he would have won, instead of his blocking of Goldstone and pressuring of other UN states to disregard it.

        A man with a sand grain of human decency would have RESIGNED as president before stooping to such abominations. (Ditto for is repulsive condemnation of Palestinian statehood efforts at the UN. )

        Thank heavens for people like Edward Snowden and Glen Greenwald. I thank them for reminding us through their courage that not everyone is a sellout.

  2. Cliff
    July 19, 2013, 1:55 pm

    More fodder for House of Cards.

    You could make a TV show about just the Israel Lobby and it’s effects on American politics.

  3. Citizen
    July 19, 2013, 2:02 pm

    Must be a faux Irish pub, for sure. I’m sure, even knowing the coxed atmosphere was merely veneer, Boteach had all he could do to hide his distaste for both Power and her parents, and everything he thinks is Irish. What a price the poor man pays, just to make sure Uncle Sam kotows to Israel 24/7. He probably even had to drink a beer or two. He can’t escape it, even Obama is half-Irish. Probably thanked his lucky star of David he didn’t have to go to a bar catering to Hagel’s roots. Hagel’s father was of German heritage (oy vay!), while his mother was of Polish (yikes!) and Irish descent (“drunks”).

    • Taxi
      July 19, 2013, 9:12 pm

      Who paid for the grub and beer is what I wanna know.

      • dbroncos
        July 20, 2013, 11:57 pm

        We did.

    • piotr
      July 19, 2013, 11:53 pm

      I guess that a breaded slab of pork, boiled potatoes and some strong grain spirits could satisfy Poles, Germans and Irish. My other recommendation would be blood sausage.

      • Citizen
        July 20, 2013, 5:43 am

        @ piotr
        Yep. But for me, I’d say regular sausage, and maybe some boiled or steamed cabbage too.

      • piotr
        July 20, 2013, 6:42 pm

        Blood sausage (kaszanka) is also known in Germany and Scotland, so perhaps in Ireland too. Boiled cabbage as a side dish is not known to me, either stuffed cabbage, or a cabbage and meat bigos, or cabbage soup, or a salad made of raw cabbage.

        For drinking, I would choose kaszanka or bigos.

  4. LanceThruster
    July 19, 2013, 2:03 pm

    [first lines]

    Lt. Col. Korn, XO: [speaking to Yossarian] All you have to do is be our pal.

    Colonel Cathcart: Say nice things about us.

    Lt. Col. Korn, XO: Tell the folks at home what a good job we’re doing. Take our offer Yossarian.

    Colonel Cathcart: Either that or a court-martial for desertion.


  5. Pamela Olson
    Pamela Olson
    July 19, 2013, 4:42 pm

    This is why I didn’t want a “real career.” Bullshit gives me too much indigestion.

    • Citizen
      July 20, 2013, 5:47 am

      Yep. I had a “real career” but ditched it for the same reason. I blame my father, he always told me and my sibs, “If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a LIE!”

  6. anthonybellchambers
    July 20, 2013, 9:23 am

    I suggest you ask Rav Bo Teach to share with us what prompted him to leave London with so little notice all those years ago?

  7. amigo
    July 20, 2013, 9:33 am

    Look at the bright side.

    As she is was born in Ireland, she can never be POTUS.

  8. Citizen
    July 20, 2013, 11:21 am

    Power’s being vetted by congress on CSPAN now.
    Sen Tim Kaine asked her, since UN was instrumental in making Israel legit, why is Israel now the UN’s punching bag?

    Power: Most UN states are not democratic, and they scapecoat Israel. We protest this continually, standing against Goldstone report, cutting down attempts to cut down Israel, while there is no standing attempt in the UN to cut down anyone but Israel, e.g., no similar attempts to cut down Cuba,etc.

  9. Citizen
    July 20, 2013, 11:27 am

    Power: Standing up to the US at the UN (impliedly, re Israel) is a cheap way of gaining cred in the small home country. They vote against their own interest all the time. (She means what? Forgoing US economic carrots to vote against Israel?)

  10. Citizen
    July 20, 2013, 11:35 am

    McCain: Glad you’re able to correct your record on what you said in the past. Re calling failure to respond to Syria a big deal, elaborate?

    Power: UN SC has done nothing to help there.

    McCain: Art 52 of UN Charter could be base for international intervention in Syria by regional orbs?

    Power: Dunno

    McCain: Look at Art 52, looks like a possibility. Congressional resolution authorizing force against Iran if crosses red line?

    Power: POTUS would need flexibility…

    McCain: It does do that. Nobody would argue Iranians have not proceeded in ability to use nukes in 6 mo to year. Agree?

    Power: Seems so.

    McCain: Everybody on hill gives cheap advice. Look to Jean Kirkpatrick’s record, it’s a roll model for you in speaking for US at UN.

    She was forceful advocate on Bosnia, I will review her record as you suggest, as a role model for me.

    McCain: I know U will preserve your belief in the good US role in the world.

  11. Citizen
    July 20, 2013, 11:43 am

    Sen Jim Risch (R Idaho): Americans are not happy with expanding size & reach of UN in areas of sovereignty for states.

    Power: UN treaties raise sovereignty concerns. WE can’t allow Al Quaida to gain power in Maui. Iraq & Afghan missions are bigger now, and we need to grow there to grow democracy there.

    Risch: Is our reach broad enough?

    Power: There’s plenty of corruption, and while there’s our reach there, not sufficient substance. American people are making fiscal cuts, and UN should not be immune, needs to tighten its belt.

    Risch: I hope U take the view that US is unique and exceptional, and not apologize in this world, but lead it. We are a proud people who do good things, and you need to carry this message. A lot of us concerned about Israel. We need to curtail UN activities granting Palestinian full membership, and we need to cut their funding if they do.

    Power: We need to curb the Palestinians in any way we can. We don’t want Palestinians to act unilaterally within the UN tools. There’s a price tag for those doing contra.

    • American
      July 21, 2013, 1:43 am

      The Fat Lady will eventually sing on the Powers, the Rischs, all of
      I-Firstdom. We just to wait for them to build their funeral pyre a bit higher.
      *To protect the innocent I took the liberty of inserting Zionist where they say Jews.
      President Ford
      Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State
      Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

      ‘Kissinger: Lew Wasserman said the only one who could beat you was Kennedy. He said how you should use spots and saturate the media for three days.
      He is concerned about the Jews. He says the present course in Israel will lead to massive anti-Semitism here and the power of the institutional Zionist must be broken.’

      ‘I don’t know and I am not asking you to do anything. But I do hope that you can prevent a Jewish assault on the United States Government. The Zionist may win the first battle, but you can be sure that they will lose the war. ‘

      • Citizen
        July 21, 2013, 11:17 am

        @ American, thanks for the link.

        Here’s a few additional excerpts from Kissinger’s meeting in 1975:

        “Kissinger: But you know, Israel is a lot like Germany before the First World War in that there is this tendency to produce what it most fears.

        Kissinger: The strength of Israel is needed for its own survival but not to prevent the spread of communism in the Arab world. So it doesn’t necessarily help U. S. global interests as far as the Middle East is concerned. The survival of Israel has sentimental importance to the United States, but believe me it is not easy to maintain this. It would not be wise to push luck to an extreme. $2.6 billion for 3 million people—I don’t believe it is in the interests of the Jewish community to push it too hard.

        One of the tragedies of history, it seems to me, is that the Jews have been persecuted for having a cosmopolitan outlook. But now it seems that they worry too much about their own particular problem—just that one small part of the world. You see, just now when they really need a Rothschild11 they have a soldier peasant.

        Question: What can we do?
        Kissinger: I don’t know and I am not asking you to do anything. But I do hope that you can prevent a Jewish assault on the United States Government. The Jews may win the first battle, but you can be sure that they will lose the war. This must be avoided. On substance, don’t just always assume that the Israeli Government is right and the United States Government is wrong. This reflects a basic misperception.

        Question: Can you comment on the question of Soviet Jewry?
        Kissinger: When we came into office, Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union was 400 per year. We increased that to 32,000 a year. The President and I never failed, when we talked to the Soviets, to tell them look it would improve the atmosphere if you let some more Jews out.
        Then it became a big political issue between Jackson and us. And for what? No country could allow its domestic regulations to be dictated as we were pushing the Soviets to do. So now it is back down to 11,000 and we have also lost the leverage. The Soviets can now get private credits and European credits. I think it was a serious mistake that the Jewish community got hung-up on it.”

  12. Citizen
    July 21, 2013, 11:48 am

    Other interesting info in the State Dept’s Office of the Historian, e.g.:

    Central Intelligence Agency Information Report B–321/33403–67, November 9, 1967, summarized a report received from an unnamed U.S. citizen who said that on a recent trip to Tel Aviv, some Israeli friends had commented on the attack on the Liberty. According to the report, “They said that Dayan personally ordered the attack on the ship and that one of his generals adamantly opposed the action and said, ‘This is pure murder.’ One of the admirals who was present also disapproved the action, and it was he who ordered it stopped and not Dayan. My friends believe that the attack against the US vessel is also detrimental to any political ambition Dayan may have.”

Leave a Reply