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Rightwing rabbi seeks to pit Power against Rice on Iran ahead of AIPAC speeches

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Here are two images you can find this morning on rightwing Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s “values network.” Above is a picture of himself with US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power. The two have been regular associates in recent years. They flank Elie Wiesel at the center.

And here is a full-page ad published by Boteach today in the New York Times saying that Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice condones genocide against the Jews. Huh? Because she “attacks” and “scolds” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his concerns about the Iranian negotiations, thereby dismissing his desperate pleas for Israel’s existence in the face of the perceived threat from Iran.

Boteach ad in NYT today

Boteach ad in NYT today

You can see that Boteach uses Power against Rice in that ad; he states that Power once criticized Rice for her comments re the Rwanda genocide, thereby demonstrating Rice’s “callous disregard for genocide.”

Next picture from AIPAC, the Israel lobby group. Rice and Power are both scheduled to speak at the policy conference in D.C. that gets going this morning. AIPAC is proud of their appearances; they’re big names and AIPAC likes to insist that there is no daylight between Israel and the U.S. government. AIPAC has reportedly been horrified by the adversity growing between the Obama administration and Israel’s government, and it wants this chapter to end, in a hurry. AIPAC is no supporter of the Iran talks, but its priority is keeping all powerful officials behind Israel.

AIPAC promotion of Obama speakers

AIPAC promotion of Obama speakers

Boteach, and his funder Sheldon Adelson–who also “owns” Netanyahu (per Uri Avnery)– are doing all they can to demolish the U.S. policy of talking to Iran; and pitting Rice and Power is their latest tactic.

So far Power has had nothing to say on her twitter account about Boteach’s hysterical statements. That’s not a surprise: Power seems to need Boteach more than he needs her. The rabbi’s  support for her a couple of years ago was seen as crucial to her getting the hecksher of the pro-Israel community, so that she could get her job in the first place.

Boteach is not some no-account. Yes he’s a nutty rightwing rabbi who pens books about lust in marriage and Jewish rights to the West Bank, but he is financially backed by Sheldon Adelson, the Republican boss who has said that Obama should nuke Iran as Boteach sat by. And Republicans are conducting their Adelson primary right now. Why do you think that Mike Huckabee, who foreswore dancing as a young man, is dancing the Hava Nagila in Israel right now?

Oh what a web we weave when we need the support of the Israel backers in U.S. politics…

Update. The National Jewish Democratic Council has condemned Boteach’s ad and says that many other Jewish groups have. It calls on the Republican Jewish Coalition to do so too. Notice the usual emphasis on lobby unanimity:

Last night, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach was roundly criticized for an advertisement in the New York Times attacking U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice, which the National Jewish Democratic Council denounced as being “disgusting and astonishingly beyond the pale.” Israeli leaders and Jewish organizations from across the spectrum, both politically and denominationally, joined in this criticism. However, the Republican Jewish Coalition, the self-described “unique bridge between the Jewish community and Republican decision-makers,” has yet to speak out against this offensive and over-the-top attack.

We at the NJDC firmly believe that for the sake of the safety of the Jewish state, Israel must not become a political wedge issue. Attacks such as Rabbi Boteach’s do nothing but endanger Israel’s security. It is beyond disappointing to see that the RJC has failed to condemn what virtually the entire Jewish community has spoken out against. We hope that our Republican friends have not become so blinded by the partisanship they have helped to create in regards to Israel that they can no longer exercise moral judgment about what goes too far.


Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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47 Responses

  1. a blah chick on March 1, 2015, 11:14 am

    I must confess to be ambivalent to this “confrontation” as I cannot stand either of them.

    It’s like the Cowboys playing the Patriots in the Super Bowl, is it possible that they could both lose?

    • biggerjake on March 2, 2015, 4:56 pm

      I have no use for Susan Rice or Samantha Power as neither one has the courage to condemn Israel for the ongoing genocide and brutal occupation in Palestine.

      I wish someone would tell me why the US supports Israel at all. We have nothing in common with the Israelis, they continue to commit crimes against humanity which the US would condemn if any other country committed them and there is no upside to supporting Israel. The downside however is huge. Every Islamist terrorist organization lists the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the unconditional support of Israel by the US government as their MAIN REASON for attacking Americans and American interests. If there was no Israel, there would never have been the attacks of 9/11.

      This rabbi Boteach deserves…well, I can’t say what he really deserves…but he needs to be dealt with VERY severely. How does he dare to speak of genocide after what Israel has done to the Palestinians?And why didn’t Israel help in Rwanda if it was so important to them?

      How could ANY American official appear in the same picture with such an evil man?

  2. ramzijaber on March 1, 2015, 11:26 am

    To me, the TRUE and LASTING impact of the nutnyahoo stunt this Tuesday is not really about splitting Democrats and Republicans or Democrats within regarding their support to the zionists. The REAL impact in my humble view is splitting the ZIONIST and JEWISH and AMERICAN ZIONIST communities among each other. This is LASTING.

    When one part of the ZIONIST, JEWISH, and/or AMERICAN ZIONIST communities (including neocons) starts to use other compatriots of theirs to attack Clinton for example, is really the underlying telling future of this story.

    Then comes the next generation of American pols who will ask: why we are all PEP?? How can that be? How fair that is? And the zionist neckless unravels…

    • echinococcus on March 1, 2015, 2:48 pm

      I think you are counting them before they are hatched. These splits don’t amount to much: no matter how totally, certifiably insane the leadership, those who make a career of it as well as the emotionally involved foot soldiers continue to obey in lockstep. Study the history of the Nazi dictatorship.

      • tokyobk on March 1, 2015, 6:07 pm

        I agree with Ramzi Jaber based on my knowledge and experience with various American Jewish groups and leadership. There is a fault line and this fight is on agitating it, at the very least.

      • Mooser on March 1, 2015, 6:16 pm

        “I think you are counting them before they are hatched.”

        They may not be quite hatched, but they are definitely in the incubator, and little beaks may be pecking through the shells any day now.

        To get right down to it, all it would take for Zionism to be mortally wounded among American Jews is to go out of fashion.

        “The REAL impact in my humble view is splitting the ZIONIST and JEWISH and AMERICAN ZIONIST communities among each other.”

        Once there is an operating, visible, non-Zionist Jewish denomination operating, all bets are off, and the food-fight begins!

      • Mooser on March 1, 2015, 6:35 pm

        “Once there is an operating, visible, non-Zionist Jewish denomination operating,”

        They may have to hold revivals at major sports stadiums through-out the US before the main media admits they exist, of course, there is that.

      • seafoid on March 1, 2015, 7:37 pm


        Jewish gore doesn’t seem to be as popular as it was in the 60s.
        Fashion is really cruel.

      • Mooser on March 2, 2015, 4:27 pm

        “Fashion is really cruel.”

        And that IDF T-shirt they once wouldn’t be seen without goes back in the closet with the disco-suit.
        And, as we see here every day, there’s no shame in being a “was-a-Zionist” it’s almost a badge of honor, of validation, of escaping from the belly of the borscht. Good-bye Columbus!

  3. Kathleen on March 1, 2015, 11:45 am

    Despicable ad about Rice. As if Netanyahu etc have not pissed the administration off enough Hope the administration gives her permission to address that this ad went way too far. Wrong, disgusting and absolutely not accurate.

    We all know that both Rice and Power’s will tow the Israel, I lobby line at the Aipac conference. Although it would be incredible if they actually were factual that the P5+1 negotiations serve the National Security of Israel, the U.S. Iran and all nations. That diplomacy will benefit movements toward peace and security.

    “That’s not a surprise: “Power seems to need Botech more than he needs her” Pathetic Powers had to cower to the I lobby to get her position. Although when you hear her speak she does not seem manipulated seems sincere. Her racism towards Palestinians is evident. I think she believes that Israel’s theft of Palestinians lands is aok

    All about Israel and their persistent, alarmist and unsubstantiated claims about Iran. Not a bit of concern about the strong possibility that the P5+1 negotiations will benefit the world including Israel

    • amigo on March 1, 2015, 12:04 pm

      “Pathetic Powers had to cower to the I lobby to get her position. ” Kathleen

      Let,s hope in her efforts to please the I-Lobby at the AIPAC do , she will pee Obama off sufficiently to get her self fired.Then she will need the I lobby.I would not trust her as far as I could throw her.All that rubbing shoulders and arms around Slimey boteach is just a tad over the top .

      We very well might see a sizeable “Clean out” of pro Israel insiders .Obama just might demand full loyalty to “His” program or show them the road.

      • lysias on March 2, 2015, 4:17 pm

        After all, Power did marry Obama’s buddy Cass “Cognitive Infiltration” Sunstein.

  4. Citizen on March 1, 2015, 11:54 am

    Make no mistake: it was people in the Black Caucus that raised this “wedge issue” between Tweedledee & Tweedledum whores for Zionist campaign dollars & main media hula dancers. I hope Bibi lets it all hang out on March 3. Eventually, maybe somebody allowed on main media news and infotainment shows will start asking the question attendant any serious attack on Iran: by US or Israel: “Where will USA get our boots on the ground from?”

  5. Citizen on March 1, 2015, 12:04 pm

    Juan Cole: GOP imported Bibi To Light the Fire For War on Iran:

    I agree, & Bibi’s the willing imported executioner. My question is, once the fat’s in the fire, where will America gets those much to be needed boots on the ground from? A war with Iran will morpth into more like Vietnam War than Iraq War.

    • Kathleen on March 1, 2015, 7:40 pm

      GOP did not “import” Bibi. GOP demonstrating who still owns them.

      • annie on March 1, 2015, 8:01 pm

        i don’t believe for one minute this speech was cooked up by the gop. this had netanyahu and dermer written all over it. or sheldon adelson.

      • DaBakr on March 1, 2015, 8:29 pm


        adelson may be rich but he’s not smart enough to cook up anything except to see what his money can buy. and while boehner has been awfully quiet lately I would not discount that the republicans are scheming to wrest power in a more ‘permanent’ way from the democrat party. after the dust settles it will remain to be seen how many American democrats[Jews and Zionists in particular] switch parties to the republicans (which is absolutely something I can imagine-especially in light of the Cuba re-alignment and how important Florida will be in the next election with the Broward Co. Cuban and Jewish votes.

      • lysias on March 1, 2015, 10:41 pm

        Only a right-wing zealot or a Republican Party apparatchik calls the Democratic Party (its official name) the “Democrat Party”. Anybody who even drops the caps and calls it the “democrat party” is a real partisan.

        (I’m someone who is registered as an Independent and generally votes third-party when he can, so I do not say this out of partisan loyalty.)

      • pjdude on March 2, 2015, 12:17 am

        @dabakr hate to break it to you but as voters a shift of jews to the republican party would be meaningless in the demographic changes. the republican party is dead as a national party and dying in most parts of the US. the republicans ability to gerrymander themselves into office is going to end and than you’l start seeing republicans losing in the house in droves. remember based on total vote counts the democratic representatives and senators got millions more votes

      • Mooser on March 2, 2015, 4:33 pm

        Yessiree-bob, if I was an affluent, politically active American Jew, that’s just what I would want to do, switch my Jewish allegiance over to the Republicans just in time to share blame for the failure of the Iran negotiations, or even a War on Iran.
        And of course, associate themselves en masse with the Tea Party and the Republican Clown Car on social issues.

  6. amigo on March 1, 2015, 1:00 pm

    Feinstein lashes out at “Arrogant ” Netanyahu.

    “Diane Feinstein, the Democratic senator from California, told CNN on Sunday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s contention that he is speaking for all Jews in lobbying against an agreement between the US and Iran is “arrogant.”

    Netanyahu, upon boarding a plane to Washington for what his office says will be a historic address to Congress, said Sunday that he is going as an “emissary of all the citizens of Israel, even those who don’t agree with me, and the entire Jewish people.”

    Netanyahu, whose speech has triggered a great deal of friction with the White House said, “I am greatly concerned about the security of the citizens of Israel and I will do what is necessary in order to ensure our future.”

    “He doesn’t speak for me on this,” Feinstein told CNN’s State of the Union. “I think it’s a rather arrogant statement. I think the Jewish community is like any other community. There are different points of view. I think that arrogance does not befit, Israel, candidly.”

    The senator said that she will attend Netanyahu’s speech, even though some of her Democratic colleagues plan to stay away in protest to what they feel is the Israeli premier’s overt undermining of President Barack Obama and his administration.

    “I intend to go, and I’ll listen respectfully,” she said. “I don’t intend to jump up and down.”

    • a blah chick on March 1, 2015, 1:20 pm

      “He doesn’t speak for me on this,” Feinstein told CNN’s State of the Union. “I think it’s a rather arrogant statement. I think the Jewish community is like any other community. There are different points of view.”

      Gee, where was this attitude last summer?

      “I intend to go, and I’ll listen respectfully,” she said. “I don’t intend to jump up and down.”

      No, she’ll rise gracefully from her seat, clap vigorously then lower herself in a lovely fluid motion.

    • Citizen on March 1, 2015, 2:25 pm

      Oh hum, Bibi’s doing what the Jewish Establishment everywhere does, pushing the envelope, seeing what he might gain?

      • hophmi on March 1, 2015, 11:04 pm

        “Oh hum, Bibi’s doing what the Jewish Establishment everywhere does, pushing the envelope, seeing what he might gain?”

        Thanks, Father Citizen Coughlin.

      • Mooser on March 2, 2015, 4:37 pm

        “Thanks, Father Citizen Coughlin.”

        In case anybody has not acquired the, ah patina necessary to remember Father Coughlin, he was a radio broadcaster, ostensibly a Catholic Priest, who sold a brand of cough syrup heavily laced with codeine. “Father Coughlin’s Cough-less”, it was called. Many people swore by it, some at it.

  7. Pixel on March 1, 2015, 1:15 pm

    A sampling of my main man’s recent tweets…

    Rabbi Shmuley @RabbiShmuley
    3/1/15  4:26 AM  GMT -6

    4h 4 hours ago
    Our Ad that Appeared in Today’s @NYTimes is getting a lot of attention 
    5h 5 hours ago
    Obama to veto bill letting Congress weigh in on Iran deal 
    7h 7 hours ago
    Hamptons synagogue winter ball 
    Feb 27
    Elie Wiesel, Ted Cruz to Attend Bipartisan Dialogue on Eve of Netanyahu Speech – Breitbart don’t miss our event
    Feb 26
    Fifty Shades: Why Women Love Lust 
    Feb 26
    The symbol of Brussels. A boy urinating, believe it or not

  8. Krauss on March 1, 2015, 1:30 pm

    Now he’s throwing Power under the bus. Samantha Power really has no shame in how far she’s willing to crawl for a bigot who uses and abuses her like trash.

    At this point I’m not even angry but just disgusted by her actions.

    • annie on March 1, 2015, 2:08 pm

      boteach (w/more than a little help from sheldon adelson) has tried to set himself up as america’s rabbi, and leaders of the organized american jewish community have just knocked him down a big notch.

      • chet on March 1, 2015, 2:31 pm

        As per my unfailing M/W post re re Boteach —

        …. Rebbe Shmuley Glick

  9. ramzijaber on March 1, 2015, 1:56 pm

    It gets sweeter by the second……

    JUST IN, Boteach: “My good friend Samantha Power is the one who called Rice complicit in genocide.”

    Boteach, under fire for controversial ad, blames Power for his woes

    • Kathleen on March 1, 2015, 7:36 pm

      Throwing both Rice and Powers under bus. Powers Israel and I lobby ass kissing has been shameful. Would love to be a fly on the wall when other International leaders talk about her presentations at the UN.

      Both Powers and Rice will tell all Aipac conference goers how there is no light between Israel and U.S. relationship. Our best ally, bff etc. The salivating will be disgusting.

  10. Pixel on March 1, 2015, 2:05 pm

    There’s a difference between being “a no-account” and being OF no account.
    Shmuley -is- absolutely of account. Right now, he’s playing a timeless role best played by “a no-account”.

    He’s the goofy, clueless younger sibling you rope into doing/saying stuff you know is mean or wrong. When s/he gets in trouble for it, you can barely contain your laughter. If they ever point at you, you feign complete innocence. “Who, ME?”

    The best part is that your sibling falls for it every time. Ha!

    Of course, it’s not something I ever did. (wink)
    I’ve just heard that it works that way.

  11. Pixel on March 1, 2015, 2:28 pm

    …and no offense to Elie’s stylist but I’m pretty sure the asymmetric look went out in the 80’s.

  12. ckg on March 1, 2015, 4:21 pm

    I’m making popcorn.

  13. a blah chick on March 1, 2015, 5:22 pm

    Well, after all this drama Butcher Bibi better “bring it.” If his speech doesn’t have people smelling burning Iranian flesh I will consider it a let down.

    Anyone want to propose a drinking game?

  14. seafoid on March 1, 2015, 6:49 pm

    My exposure to America’s arsehole Shmuley is limited to this site but he always seems to be photographed with the same people, the genocide gang. And poor Power has to hang out with them as part of her job, apparently.

  15. piotr on March 1, 2015, 9:48 pm

    “These splits don’t amount to much: no matter how totally, certifiably insane the leadership, those who make a career of it as well as the emotionally involved foot soldiers continue to obey in lockstep.”

    I beg to differ. You cannot “march in lockstep” if your leadership forms a circular firing squad. Good folks of UC Hillel branches toil to keep BDS in check, and what do they get? First, boys and girls of David Horowitz paste incredibly inflammatory posters on campuses, and when they object to retain credibility, his lordship Horowitz is enraged and calls the delusional Judenrats. And Boteach is on the same team which we may call “A-Zionist” or “Team Adelson”.

    The fact that “Zionist Unity” could exist in spite of huge differences is not particularly natural. Most American Jews are either not religious enough or under-educated enough to swallow gladly the mix of weird religiosity and obscurantism that permeates GOP, and when they do support Israel they do their best not to notice such stuff over there. But Team Adelson that includes Boteach, David Horowitz, ZOA, and EIC makes it harder and harder.

    To appreciate consequences for “Brand Israel” imagine that the leadership of Coca Cola corporation is splits and one part issues statements like “Diet Coke is a terrible swill” and the other “old-fashioned Coke is a perfect drink for those who want to be obese”. Where is the lockstep? Where is the brand image?

    • piotr on March 1, 2015, 9:49 pm

      Sorry, “edit” does not work for me, so please figure out my grammatical mistakes.

  16. Kathleen on March 1, 2015, 9:49 pm

    Phil, Annie …MSNBC Steve Kornacki had David “axis of evil” Frum on as a counter guest to Rep Yarmuth from Kentucky who will not attend the Netanyahu speech. Interesting discussion “Will Netanyahu speech sabotage Iran talks?’

    Not sure why Korancki keeps giving the Iraq warmongers a platform to push for the next war that they want with Iran. A couple of weeks ago he had Iraq warmonger and U.S. Gov 1 in the Aipac espionage investigation Kenneth Pollack on. Why would you give warmongers who knowingly pushed an unnecessary war based on what they knew to be lies? These are accomplices to the Iraq war. They too belong to be on trial at the Hague for their parts in that invasion.

  17. Shingo on March 2, 2015, 3:01 am

    The sad fact is that Boteach is right about Rice. But Power is just as bad. Both women were champions of the attack on Lybia.

    Still it makes you wonder what these political hacks must think behind closed doors when having been such shameless sycophants for Israel, Israeli supporters turn on them so ruthlessly.

    Surely one day, one of these political whores (and I mean both men and women) is going to grow a backbone and bite back.

    • Kay24 on March 2, 2015, 6:39 am

      Unfortunately Americans are unable to grow a backbone and bite back. They have been drinking that zio koolaid for too long, it has prevented them from ever growing one (sometimes it affects their brains too). Maybe the next generation might be luckier.

    • lysias on March 2, 2015, 4:13 pm

      Not only Libya. They have been among the biggest proponents in the administration of intervening in Syria against Assad.

      I recently read James Mann’s The Obamians, which indicates they take these stands for basically careerist reasons.

      • Mooser on March 2, 2015, 4:45 pm

        “I recently read James Mann’s The Obamians, “

        What a book, it carries you right back to old sweet home Obama!

    • Mooser on March 2, 2015, 4:51 pm

      “Surely one day, one of these political whores (and I mean both men and women) is going to grow a backbone and bite back.”

      Of course, expecting the military to say ‘Well, no, we can’t do that, deal with it’, instead of saying “Of course we can! Overthrow some foreign leader, loot the country, kill a lot of people and make everybody love us and make money doing it, in the process? Of course we can! We’re the US Army’ is also a forlorn hope.

      • lysias on March 2, 2015, 6:37 pm

        The bureaucratic way to stop a policy is to delay it to death, consign it to studies that never get completed.

  18. Mooser on March 2, 2015, 8:10 pm

    “The bureaucratic way to stop a policy is to delay it to death, consign it to studies that never get completed.”

    If I am not mistaken, the Pentagon can produce, at a moment’s notice, a complete and detailed plan for attacking subduing, looting, and converting to democracy any place on the globe. The studies have all been done, and the plans are ready, awaiting only the President’s order (even tho it is Congress who declares war, for what that’s worth) to start, carry out and complete their mission successfully! And they are poised to do it at a moment’s notice!
    And have they ever failed, sir? I warn you sir, I will not bear such a slur on the home-bred, corn-fed and well-led American boys and girls which make up our Armed Forces!

    • lysias on March 3, 2015, 10:25 am

      I speak as a retired naval officer who has worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the E Ring of the Pentagon.

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