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Senator Booker and Rabbi Boteach’s Iran Deal poetry slam

US Politics
on 23 Comments

We have posted (repeatedly) on the challenge to NJ Senator Cory Booker over the Iran Deal from his friend (or former friend) Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Bloomberg has jumped on the story, reporting that Booker is torn between two friends, President Obama and Rabbi Boteach; and the “controversial” rabbi is a rainmaker for political contributions. This is surely a high water mark of Rabbi Boteach’s influence. Wait till Booker comes out for the deal.

The drama is playing out on the two men’s Facebook pages. Boteach has said there is tension in the relationship, and I bet he can’t get his BFF on the phone. The two men are flinging quotes at one another online.

It began when Booker posted a pointed Alice Walker quote three weeks ago:

“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.”

Then two days ago, the senator posted three quotes about kindness that suggest he is going to support President Obama on the Iran Deal:

“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” -Albert Schweitzer

“Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.” -George Sand

“Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt

Yesterday Rabbi Boteach responded with three quotes justifying toughness: 

“The pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country and to humanity as is the most brutal wrongdoer.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”- Albert Einstein

“Those who are kind when they should be cruel will end up being cruel when they should be kind.” Insight from the Talmud

Two hours after that, Booker took to Facebook again, with a message that we should try and see the best in others, presumably including Iranians.

Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”
— Christian D. Larson (Your Forces and How to Use Them)

To be continued. Sure looks like a breakup to me.

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23 Responses

  1. CigarGod
    August 21, 2015, 8:53 am

    Boteach acts like a jilted lover justifying his extreme demostrations of love…which is consistent with his justifications for violence against our cousins.

  2. amigo
    August 21, 2015, 9:41 am

    “Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.” Oscar Wilde.

    Wouldn,t you think the people who made the desert bloom would know better than to spend their lives creating hatred towards themselves and withering away in that sunless garden. Unless , they somehow,always prefer to be victims

    • CigarGod
      August 21, 2015, 9:47 am

      Learn a lesson when you can blame the consequences of your actions on others?

    • Kris
      August 21, 2015, 10:58 am

      Thanks for that beautiful quotation from Oscar Wilde, amigo.

  3. Krauss
    August 21, 2015, 10:09 am

    Bloomberg is now running with your story, which you’ve run months/years before them. The break-up of the monolithic lobby.

    Key paragraph, however:

    “If the president prevails, which I believe he will, it means Aipac will not prevail, and that’s not a positive thing for the Jewish community,” said Wexler, now president of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace in Washington. “Even though I support the deal, I want Aipac to be highly effective.”

    Think about this time next you become overly optimistic about the this particular issue’s implications. The “we must stay united” crowd hasn’t gone away, even if they are on Obama’s side. Just like Rothkopf may be in Obama’s corner, but at the same time works hard to maintain unity/work to shield & conceal the lobby for another day.

  4. Kay24
    August 21, 2015, 10:15 am

    There should be some other way or avenue, for those congresspeople, who are torn, or on the fence, to make the right decision, without compromising their principles. Devious alien nations and their shameless agents here, should not even be an issue. They should be told to go jump in the Dead sea.

    Really Senator Booker, the bottom line is, you should be doing the best for our nation, not pleasing a traitorous Rabbi, who has shown loyalty to a nation interfering in our affairs, waving a checkbook.

    The Rabbi is right here, the world watches while Israel is doing evil to those they have occupied, and stolen lands from. The occupied are being destroyed:

    ““The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”- Albert Einstein

  5. Scott
    August 21, 2015, 10:30 am

    There are, I’m pretty sure, good Einstein quotes lamenting the kind of state Israel has become. He was, pretty much, the prototypical liberal Zionist of his time, no?

    • philweiss
      August 21, 2015, 12:52 pm

      Yes and when Booker posts them, we can retire to Havana and have parasol cocktails on the Malecon

      • Citizen
        August 21, 2015, 2:23 pm

        @ Phlip Weiss
        Only after the US treats Iran as it has just done with Cuba.

    • JLewisDickerson
      August 21, 2015, 2:56 pm

      RE: “There are, I’m pretty sure, good Einstein quotes lamenting the kind of state Israel has become.” ~ Scott

      Albert Einstein Quotations Opposing a Jewish State in 1938, 1946 & 1952 and Labeling Future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin a Fascist in 1948.

      Albert Einstein, on April 17, 1938, in a speech at the Commodore Hotel in New York City, said:

      “I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from practical consideration, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain — especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state.” [1]

      In January, 1946, in a reply to the question of whether refugee settlement in Palestine demanded a Jewish state, Einstein told the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry,

      “The State idea is not according to my heart. I cannot understand why it is needed. It is connected with narrow-minded and economic obstacles. I believe it is bad. I have always been against it.” [2]

      Letter to the New York Times, December 4, 1948, from Albert Einstein and other prominent Jews, denouncing Menachem Begin, a future prime minister of Israel who is highly regarded by the current ruling Likud Party, as a fascist. After the death of the first president of Israel in 1952, the Israeli government offered the post of president to Einstein. He declined the offer.


      Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the “”Freedom Party”” (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.

      The current visit of Menachem Begin [who founded the Likud Party in 1973 – J.L.D.], leader of this party, to the United States is obviously calculated to give the impression of American support for his party in the coming Israeli elections, and to cement political ties with conservative Zionist elements in the United States. Several Americans of national repute have lent their names to welcome his visit. It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughout the world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin’s political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents.

      Before irreparable damage is done by way of financial contributions, public manifestations in Begin’’s behalf, and the creation in Palestine of the impression that a large segment of America supports Fascist elements in Israel, the American public must be informed as to the record and objectives of Mr. Begin and his movement.

      The public avowals of Begin’’s party are no guide whatever to its actual character. Today they speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state. It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions we can judge what it may be expected to do in the future.

      Attack on Arab Village

      A shocking example was their behavior in the Arab village of Deir Yassin. This village, off the main roads and surrounded by Jewish lands, had taken no part in the war, and had even fought off Arab bands who wanted to use the village as their base. On April 9 (THE NEW YORK TIMES), terrorist bands attacked this peaceful village, which was not a military objective in the fighting, killed most of its inhabitants —— 240 men, women, and children —— and kept a few of them alive to parade as captives through the streets of Jerusalem. Most of the Jewish community was horrified at the deed, and the Jewish Agency sent a telegram of apology to King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan. But the terrorists, far from being ashamed of their act, were proud of this massacre, publicized it widely, and invited all the foreign correspondents present in the country to view the heaped corpses and the general havoc at Deir Yassin.

      The Deir Yassin incident exemplifies the character and actions of the Freedom Party.

      Within the Jewish community they have preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority. Like other Fascist parties they have been used to break strikes, and have themselves pressed for the destruction of free trade unions. In their stead they have proposed corporate unions on the Italian Fascist model.

      During the last years of sporadic anti-British violence, the IZL and Stern groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community. Teachers were beaten up for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their children join them. By gangster methods, beatings, window-smashing, and wide-spread robberies, the terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy tribute.

      The people of the Freedom Party have had no part in the constructive achievements in Palestine. They have reclaimed no land, built no settlements, and only detracted from the Jewish defense activity. Their much-publicized immigration endeavors were minute, and devoted mainly to bringing in Fascist compatriots.

      Discrepancies Seen

      The discrepancies between the bold claims now being made by Begin and his party, and their record of past performance in Palestine bear the imprint of no ordinary political party. This is the unmistakable stamp of a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews, Arabs, and British alike), and misrepresentation are means, and a “”Leader State”” is the goal.

      In the light of the foregoing considerations, it is imperative that the truth about Mr. Begin and his movement be made known in this country. It is all the more tragic that the top leadership of American Zionism has refused to campaign against Begin’’s efforts, or even to expose to its own constituents the dangers to Israel from support to Begin.

      The undersigned therefore take this means of publicly presenting a few salient facts concerning Begin and his party; and of urging all concerned not to support this latest manifestation of fascism.

      Alfred M. Lilienthal, in What Price Israel?, recounts that on April 1, 1952, in a message to the Children of Palestine, Inc., Einstein “spoke of the necessity to curb ‘a kind of nationalism’ which has arisen in Israel ‘if only to permit a friendly and fruitful co-existence with the Arabs.'” Lilienthal also relates a personal conversation with Einstein: “Dr Einstein told me that, strangely enough, he had never been a Zionist and had never favored the creation of the State of Israel. Also, he told me of a significant conversation with [Chaim] Weizmann [leader of the World Zionist Organization.] Einstein had asked him: ‘What about the Arabs if Palestine were given to the Jews?’ And Weizman said: ‘What Arabs? They are hardly of any consequence.'” [3]


  6. Kay24
    August 21, 2015, 10:37 am

    Things are looking better for Obama’s Iran nuclear deal. Bibi must be getting hysterical, and making all kinds of phone calls to his agents here:

    “WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran is picking up crucial support from swing-state Senate Democrats despite Republican opposition heightened by revelations of a secret side-agreement between Iran and the U.N. agency that inspects nuclear facilities.

    On Thursday, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., became the latest to declare her backing, saying in a statement, “This deal isn’t perfect and no one trusts Iran, but it has become clear to me that the world is united behind this agreement with the exception of the government of Israel.”

    McCaskill’s announcement followed a similar declaration a day earlier from Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., who said, “I am willing to give this agreement the opportunity to succeed.”

    I am glad Sen. Clare McCaskill has brought into focus the fact that is ONLY ISRAEL that is against what I consider an effort to avoid war. Bibi needed to get his agents to spend $40 million to poison American minds to turn against the deal. Really with all that money, why are we sending them all that aid? They waste money on sabotaging American policies, and still stretch out their greedy hands for aid.

    • Citizen
      August 21, 2015, 2:26 pm

      Looks like the zionist $40 million is working, if you believe the latest trend polls re Dick & Jane on the Iran Deal issue.

  7. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    August 21, 2015, 10:50 am

    Corey, he’s just not that in to you.

  8. JLewisDickerson
    August 21, 2015, 10:55 am

    RE: “Sure looks like a breakup to me.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Down dooby doo down down, breakin’ up is oh, so hard to do!

    A MIDSUMMER EVENING’S MUSICAL INTERLUDE, proudly brought to you by the purveyors of new Über-Xtreme Ziocaine™ Ultra CR (Controlled Release) Transdermal Patch: Let The Good Times Roll!

    . . . They say that breakin’ up is hard to do
    Now I know, I know that it’s true
    Don’t say that this is the end
    Instead of breakin’ up
    I wish that we were makin’ up again

    I beg of you, don’t say goodbye
    Can’t we give our love just one more try
    Come on baby, let’s start anew
    Breakin’ up is hard to do
    Breakin’ up is oh, so hard to do

    P.S. Ziocaine™ is a registered trademark of The Mooser Corporation, U.S.A

    • amigo
      August 21, 2015, 11:12 am

      “MY COMMENT: Down dooby doo down down, breakin’ up is oh, so hard to do! – See more at:” JLD

      I think this song should be the Zionist anthem.

      “Sorry seems to be the hardest word.”

      What have I got to do , to make you love me.
      What do I have to do to make you care.
      What have I got to do when lightning strikes me
      And awake to find youre not there.

    • peterfeld
      August 21, 2015, 12:34 pm

      I hope it’s more like this.

      • philweiss
        August 21, 2015, 12:50 pm

        Thank you for bringing this iconic anthem to my attention, Peter

      • JLewisDickerson
        August 21, 2015, 3:50 pm

        Neil Sedaka – Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (slow version)

      • JLewisDickerson
        August 23, 2015, 12:41 pm


  9. JLewisDickerson
    August 21, 2015, 11:07 am

    RE: “Those who are kind when they should be cruel will end up being cruel when they should be kind.” ~ Boteach’s insight from the Talmud

    FOR ANOTHER INSIGHT FROM THE TALMUD, SEE: “Would God want Israel to attack Iran?” ~ By (Rabbi) Michael Knopf, Haaretz, 3/04/12

    [EXCERPT] . . . With the American war in Iraq still fresh in our collective memory, Judaism’s standards for just wars become especially poignant. A decade ago, Bush Administration officials began calling for military action against Saddam Hussein. They contended that Hussein had secret weapons stockpiles, was producing weapons of mass destruction, and was supplying weapons to terrorists. Given Hussein’s belligerent attitude toward the West, his defiance of the international community, and his track record of brutality at home and abroad, these pieces of evidence were, at the time, offered to prove a clear and imminent threat to the U.S.

    So the U.S. invaded, igniting a nearly ten-year war that reportedly resulted in more than 150,000 deaths. Only amid the rubble and corpses did we discover that most, if not all, of the arguments in favor of the war were false. We let fears, not facts, govern our decisions. Our goal was to save innocent lives; we took many, instead.

    The Talmud teaches that, in 586 BCE, Judea was destroyed not because its defenses were too weak, but because the Jews were indifferent about shedding blood (Shabbat 33a). Let us pray that history does not repeat itself.


  10. eljay
    August 23, 2015, 2:21 pm

    Yesterday Rabbi Boteach responded with three quotes justifying toughness:

    “The pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country and to humanity as is the most brutal wrongdoer.” – Theodore Roosevelt

    “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”- Albert Einstein

    “Those who are kind when they should be cruel will end up being cruel when they should be kind.” Insight from the Talmud

    It’s good to see that Mr. Boteach finally understands and respects Hamas’ fight against the on-going (war) crimes of the “Jewish State”.

    • Kay24
      August 23, 2015, 9:07 pm

      That is an excellent point. Indeed it seems Rabbi Bo finally understands the reasons Hamas is sending rockets over there.

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