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Beinart slams Stephens, Joel and Boteach for saying nothing when Adelson called for nuking Iran

on 16 Comments
Peter Beinart

Peter Beinart

I tried to make hay out of this last week and got nowhere. Why did Richard Joel, president of Yeshiva University, Bret Stephens, Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist, and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, America’s rabbi and Samantha Power’s too, sit there grinning like fools and say nothing when Sheldon Adelson said that Obama should nuke Iran, not talk to Iran?

I believe it’s because Adelson gives a lot of money to people on the right.

Peter Beinart got a rise out of Shmuley Boteach on this one.

Boteach begs to differ. He received $500,000 from Adelson in 2012, and he’s been full of disinformation since this story broke (and he declined my request for an interview).

I haven’t seen Richard Joel or Bret Stephens explain their silence.

PS. If you look at Open Zion’s front page, they’re making a lot of hay out of Sheldon Adelson’s thuggish comments, without any reference that I can see to the fact that we broke the story.

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16 Responses

  1. German Lefty
    German Lefty
    November 2, 2013, 3:31 pm

    If you look at Open Zion’s front page, they’re making a lot of hay out of Sheldon Adelson’s thuggish comments
    Well, they are Zionists and upset that a fellow Zionist shows his hatred of Muslims so openly. Zionists are supposed to be more subtle so that people don’t become suspicious.

    without any reference that I can see to the fact that we broke the story.
    Do you seriously want appreciation from Zionists?

    • bilal a
      bilal a
      November 3, 2013, 9:06 am

      Is there any evidence that Adelson was expressing the wishes , unsaid, of a large portion of the American Christian -Jewish Zionist community, that is, the desire for the genocidal mass murder of those who oppose Israeli hegemony in the Middle East through the application of unilateral nuclear attacks? It does indeed seem a populist meme.

      Should the U.S. start turning some deserts into glass parking lots?

      We should nuke Iran ,Toronto Sun, Saturday, September 2, 2006,
      “He said “People have called me an anti-Semite. I thought it quite rich since my father’s family was massacred in the Holocaust”.[3] Michael Coren was profiled on Credo, on Vision TV, and said that his father told him he could not attend his son’s wedding in a Catholic Church without becoming “physically sick.””

      Michael Savage: this is why Israel should have nuclear weapons [because Iran wants to kill all the Jews], youtube

  2. Philip Munger
    Philip Munger
    November 2, 2013, 4:17 pm

    I haven’t yet received a reply from President Joel to my letter, in which I asked him to distance himself from Adelson’s addled statements.

  3. ritzl
    November 2, 2013, 4:22 pm

    “r u comparing Adelson to Ahmedinajad?…”

    Damn sure betcha, and not favorably, to Adelson.

    • DaveS
      November 2, 2013, 4:39 pm

      One of them explicitly called for nuking another country, and the other one we all pretend made such a call. Besides, what an idiotic response, even if Ahmadinejad had called for nuking Israel. What is Boteach saying? That threats to nuke are OK if made by the good guys?

  4. xanadou
    November 2, 2013, 4:24 pm

    That Adelsohn would make such an insane and dangerously irresponsible comment is not that difficult to grasp: he’s old and, likely, impaired with progressive senile dementia, he’s also projecting what has remained unsaid for a very long time and he’s too far gone to give a damn. However, for the rest of the panel to stay silent is a clear indication of their own lack of worldly sophistication, unconscionable irresponsibility and unfathomable stupidity.

    Adelsohn’s idiocy will only sharpen the edge of the axe that is splintering the Jewish community asunder, even away from their heritage. The dumb (both meanings apply) panelists have only pushed said axe even deeper.

    That money is the best gag ought not to be a surprise. Let’s just consider our own congress and senate…

    Sane voices could stop the rot by calling to relegate the religion to where is belongs: the synagogue and the holiday tables, but first strip it clean of all politics. But then a look at our own retarded bigots shows the pointlessness of that wish. Nevertheless, any religion that seeks and finds commonality with retarded bigots is in deep trouble.

    It’s important to bring the evil deeds and words to the public’s attention. But to try and confront them is a waste of time and a self-inflicted offense to one’s own common sense, no? The better and far more effective solution is exactly what Mondoweiss is doing: bring the truth to the light and let the morons macerate in their own bile.

  5. ritzl
    November 2, 2013, 4:31 pm

    It’s not surprising that OZ wouldn’t cite you all for breaking the story, despite its significance and haymaking usefulness. They are dismissive of sources not them, while simultaneously refusing to do the “dirty work” of exposure themselves. A bit of a paradox that, but a huge opportunity, if not portent.

    MW still has a bad rep inside the Jewish community, but that is a good thing imho. You all are leaders, navigating a very fine line. You all shine lights where others refuse to look, or if they do look, to talk about as out of self-motivation. Apparently the same “others” that find a need/usefulness/importance for the info. It will change. Keep up the great and yet unrecognized work.

    There is a well-used cycle in media and politics where a story/rumor is planted or originated outside of MSM and then MSM picks it up as a “somebody said.” It works, and it can hopefully work for MW to make things broadly recognized.

    I can’t imagine how difficult it is to labor on such important issues in obscurity though. But keep it up, please.

  6. Justpassingby
    November 2, 2013, 4:59 pm

    Why? Because these people supports nuking.

  7. seafoid
    November 2, 2013, 5:42 pm

    Shmuley and co remind me of Dar Williams’ song Empire

    “And we’ll kill the terrorizers
    and a million of their races,
    But when our people torture you,
    that’s a few random cases.
    Don’t question the sun.
    It doesn’t help anyone”

  8. irishmoses
    November 2, 2013, 7:31 pm

    My wife told me she heard MW referenced on an NPR story a day or so ago. I’m pretty sure it was a segment on the Adelson gaffe.

    • Kathleen
      November 2, 2013, 10:18 pm

      Great. Does she remember which day, program? I believe Chris
      Hayes was the first MSM outlet to pick up the story.

  9. Allison Deger
    Allison Deger
    November 3, 2013, 8:47 am

    Rabbi Shmuley is really branching out from advising couples on their marriages. Shalom in the home and nuke Iran!

    • piotr
      November 4, 2013, 2:05 pm

      I suspect that his advise for couples was as inane as his geopolitics.

  10. Susie Kneedler
    Susie Kneedler
    November 3, 2013, 9:08 am

    I heard this nod to Mondoweiss by Peter Kenyon last Tues. on “Morning Edition”:
    “Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire American casino magnate, for instance, recently told an audience at Yeshiva University in New York that instead of negotiating with Iran, the U.S. should launch a nuclear strike. Amateur video of his comments was posted on the website mondoweiss.” “Will Hard-Line Critics Scuttle Iranian Talks?” Oct. 29.

    “Amateur video”? “Was posted” [passive voice]? Kenyon’s refusal to credit either Phil’s scoop or the expertise in Phil’s great journalistic ethics tells us all we need to know about the amateurish lack of rectitude in NPR, “Morning Edition,” and Kenyon himself.

    • Philip Munger
      Philip Munger
      November 3, 2013, 2:11 pm

      I’ve been observing Peter Kenyon’s work for over 20 years. Before working for NPR, he was a reporter for the Alaska Public Radio Network. He interviewed me for a criminal justice story in 1991 or 1992, when I was Director of the Cordova Center in Anchorage, Alaska’s biggest halfway house. Of the NPR reporters working eastern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, he may be the least egregious. I’ve never caught him slipping Hasbara into his stories, unlike Linda Gradstein, Brooke Gladstone, et al.

      Here’s a link to an address he gave in Anchorage, back in 2011. He looks back over his career in radio news.

      Two questions from the audience after his talk, give a glimpse into what I view as some masked sense of outrage toward Israeli policies. At 27:00 he recounts a middle school Israeli Arab girls’ soccer team’s road to the Maccabee Games, where they became runner up. At 38:00 he answers a question about the Gaza blockade runners, stating that he was considering reporting on a blockade run as an on-board reporter.

      His comments on Turkey (he’s been based in Istanbul for over three years) are interesting. Several times during the talk he castigates arms sales as only benefitting their makers and sellers to the detriment of real people.

      I don’t know what to say about his seeming denigration of Phil Weiss. Most people considered to be bloggers, or without affiliation to a major media outlet experience being dissed by the so-called pros.

  11. bilal a
    bilal a
    November 3, 2013, 6:24 pm

    bigotry sensitivity is one sided:

    t the very least, a man who is not embarrassed to say that he thought a female MBA candidate from China would be at a synagogue “shopping for a Jewish husband” betrays an attitude toward women that can politely be described as unacceptable. I like the term knuckle dragger, but I don’t want to cast any undeserved slurs at Neanderthals.

    Mr. Stephens, readers might recall, practically accused Chuck Hagel of anti-Semitism for using the term “Jewish lobby” instead of “Israel lobby.” And yet, a man who is fine tuned to the vaguest whiff of anti Jewish sentiment blithely slurs Pakistanis, Chinese and women. He sits by silently as Sheldon Adelson, his co-panelist, glibly suggests lobbing a nuclear bomb at an unpopulated swathe of Iranian desert, chiming in only to disparage liberals for advocating diplomatic negotiations with Iran (three-quarters of Americans “favor direct diplomatic negotiations with Iran”.)

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