Arutz Sheva – New Jersey Republican Congressional candidate Rabbi Shmuley Boteach released the full text of a letter dated September 26, 2012, in which Congressman Bill Pascrell (D. NJ) offered his support for the renaming of a section of Clifton’s Richardson Scales Park in memory of Chester Grabowski, the late publisher of Polish-American newspaper The Post Eagle, who denied the Holocaust and was widely known for his anti-Semitic diatribes.
In the letter, Pascrell said he “whole heartedly” supported the effort and called Grabowski “a great friend” and “a kind and a respected man” who “was a friend to all.”
“Congressman Pascrell knowingly misled the media and the public at our recent debate when he said he did not know about Chester Grabowksi’s anti-Semitism,” Boteach’s campaign said in a statement. “We now have the full text of a recent letter written by Pascrell proving that he knew Grabowski for decades and considered him a close friend. Grabowski has been widely known for his vicious racism – his hateful comments against Jews and outright denial of the holocaust have been widely documented, as well as his decision to run for Congress in 1990 under the Populist Party that had supported former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke during his presidential run in 1988. Grabowski’s Congressional bid came at the same time that Pascrell was Mayor of Paterson, the largest city in the district.”
“It’s impossible not to have known about his very public anti-Semitism and racism, and this putrid letter demonstrates that Pascrell was not telling the truth,” the statement added.
(Carl) The NJ-9 Congressional race just got even uglier than it was already. Incumbent Democrat Bill Pascrell has threatened Republican challenger Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, and his main benefactor Sheldon Adelson, with ‘suffering‘ for having the nerve to challenge him (Hat Tip: Jack W).
Bill Pascrell, Democratic incumbent Congressman from New Jersey’s 9th district, has threatened his Republican opponent, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, with “suffering.” Referring to Boteach, Pascrell blustered: “He’ll have to suffer with the people who he’s getting the money from.”
Pascrell didn’t stop there. He attacked Boteach’s major-donors, mega-philanthropists Sheldon and Miriam Adelson: “We know their record. We know they’re being investigated. If he wants to take money from them, fine.”
Pascrell is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, which has power over all taxation, tariffs, and other revenue-raising actions. Pascrell is obviously threatening to use his influence to destroy Boteach and the Adelsons, simply to advance his own career.
I find it bone-chilling that a sitting Congressman would threaten his opponent for simply engaging in the democratic process. It is one thing for Bill Pascrell to try and intimidate me and my supporters. It is completely another to threaten unspecified retaliation in the form of ‘suffering’ for simply exercising First Amendment rights. We expect harassment of political opponents in Iran and the former Soviet Union. We certainly don’t expect an elected official in New Jersey to act in this manner. The Adelsons are the foremost Jewish philanthropists in America. It is particularly troubling that a sitting Congressman would threaten people who have done so much good in the world. I find it rich that Pascrell, who spent $2.5 million to defeat Steve Rothman just three months ago, is suddenly whining about money and politics.
But this is now common practice for the Democrats, using the Department of Justice to punish their opponents, especially the Adelsons. The Obama Administration has been after Adelson since 2010, knowing that he was likely to back the Republican nominee.
Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable.
My objection to your stance on Israel lies, rather, in other actions with which you have been associated that are extremely troubling to the pro-Israel community. Most notably, you signed the infamous Gaza 54 letter, condemning Israel for “collective punishment” against Palestinians in the Gaza blockade. While this may not have been your intention, your participation in this cruel attack on Israel is highly injurious to the Jewish State’s ability to defend itself.
As you know, Bill, Israel withdrew unilaterally from Gaza in 2005. I can tell you personally how painful that withdrawal was, since I visited the flourishing Jewish communities of Gush Katif in Gaza many times. Brave Jewish residents – nearly all of whom had family members or close friends killed by terrorists in Gaza – made the desert bloom, growing fruits and vegetables of the highest quality out of the desert sands, literally. They offered the hope that Gaza might be turned into a land of agricultural excellence, exporting produce to the entire world and benefiting Jew and Arab alike.
I contrast this civilized landscape with the unspeakable poverty and misery that I witnessed in Palestinian-controlled Gaza City. Not long after the 9/11 attacks, Reverend Al Sharpton came to Israel for a trip of reconciliation with the Jewish community, jointly hosted by me and Shimon Peres, Israel’s then foreign minister, to whom President Obama has just given the Presidential Medal of Freedom. While in Israel, Rev. Sharpton insisted on visiting Yasser Arafat, and though I refused to meet the man who had the blood of my people on his hands and who had stolen billions of dollars from impoverished Palestinians, I did accompany Sharpton to Gaza and witnessed the squalor that reigned in the Palestinian Authority-controlled cities, despite billions of dollars in foreign aid. The New York Times reported in 2004 that “the Palestinians are already the world’s largest per capita recipients of international aid.” But I did not witness this trickeling down to average citizens.
Regardless, Israel uprooted the Jewish communities of Gaza – including my wife’s cousins who years later are still confined to a trailer – and evacuated from Gaza completely. Their reward? Thousands of rockets from Hamas on Israeli nurseries, homes for the elderly, and buses.
Hamas, as you well know, Bill, is sworn to Israel’s destruction and to attacking Jews wherever they may be found. Its covenant is deeply racist and contains vicious genocidal aspirations, such as the following: “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah’s victory is realized.”
Now, given these facts, I am mystified as why you broke with close to 90 percent of Congress, voting to condemn Israel for imposing a blockade on Gaza. Surely you do not want to see Israeli children with their extremities blown off. Surely you do not want to see Hamas possessing the military capability to execute suspected Palestinian “collaborators” without trial. But without Israel stopping war materials from entering Gaza, more innocent Israelis and Palestinians will be murdered in the most gruesome way. That’s the purpose of a blockade – to stop terrorists from getting guns and bombs.
And why would you have compounded this error, Bill, by blaming Israel for collective punishment against the Palestinians? Is Israel responsible for the suffering of the Palestinians, or Hamas, which has chosen to use all of Gaza as a launching pad for a war of annihilation against Jews?
Would you really blame the victim, Bill?
The new ninth district, whose Congressman you seek to become, is different from your old tenth district. There you had a large Arab population, which continues in Paterson. No doubt you feel obligated to represent their interests, which I can completely understand. Arabs are my brothers, equal children under the one G-d. As a rabbi, I salute your constituents’ commitment to their Islamic faith. But how does supporting Hamas and condemning Israel help Arabs? On the contrary, Hamas is poison to the Palestinian cause. Palestinians need a government that will utilize the vast foreign aid flowing in to Gaza to build hospitals, roads, and universities to benefit the citizenry, not to buy rockets to kill Israelis. It is not helpful to any Arab to live under a terrorist entity that suppresses its rights. But in addition to your Arab constituents, your new district also contains very large neighborhoods of committed Jews who are deeply puzzled by your being one of the Gaza 54. You owe it to them to either explain your signature or repudiate it.
Israel is not the reason Arabs are suffering the Middle East. Rather, it is the Mubaraks, Kaddafis, Assads, and woman-hating House of Saud that are the scourge of the Arab world, as the Arab Spring has finally made clear.
I respectfully request of you, Bill, to either explain your signature on the Gaza 54 Letter, or, if it was a mistake to sign it, as I suspect you now believe, to please repudiate it. Likewise, I believe you when you tell me that Imam Qatanani is a man of peace. But that claim must be backed up by the public action of his repudiation of any ties to Hamas and his denunciation of Hamas as a terrorist group whose murderous actions are inimical to a peace-loving Islam.
I can’t wait to see how Pascrell answers this one…. Heh.
…the strange thing is… this guy is about the most liberal rabbi out there. Even he get it.
(Free Beacon)Republican congressional candidate Shmuley Boteach is threatening to sue a major Jewish newspaper for running a “libelous” and “utterly untrue” article that accused him of improperly using his internationally celebrated charity as a personal ATM. Boteach, a well-known author and Orthodox spiritual leader, told the Free Beacon that a recent article in the Forward newspaper, which raised questions about disbursements made by his charity, amounted to “defamation.” Lawyers representing the rabbi have sent the newspaper a letter decrying what they claim is its defamatory and false coverage, the Free Beacon has learned, marking the first signs of a possible lawsuit. The Forward’s biased reporting on Boteach comports with a longstanding practice of antagonizing and mischaracterizing all those who do not toe the liberal line, media operatives and Jewish insiders allege. “If you’re a Republican or a conservative, and the phone rings and someone tells you the Forward is calling, you know it’s a hit piece and you better get ready,” said one Jewish Republican media operative who has worked with the paper. “The clear liberal bias in their reporting is not news to anyone who reads it.”(MORE)
Shmuley is a Conservative? That’s news to me.
Oy vey…. I knew I wasn’t going to like this article when in the second paragraph, Orthodox Rabbi Shmuely Boteach described the Irish-born shikse married to a JINO (Jew in Name Only) as ‘one of my heroes.’ It gets worse from there. It sounds like Boteach was overly impressed with the fact that she invited him to meet with her at the White House.
The principal comments attributed to her come from an interview she granted in 2002, when she was asked to respond to a “thought experiment” regarding what she would advise an American president if it seemed that either party in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict were moving toward genocide. Power, fresh on the national scene, was baited and answered that preventing such a genocide could entail being prepared to alienate a powerful constituency – by which she meant the American-Jewish community – and sending in a protective force. From these comments – putting Israel and the possibility of genocide in a single sentence – Power has been conflated with other enemies of Israel.
In our conversation, she rejected utterly the notion she had any animus toward Israel and acknowledged that she had erred in offering hypothetical comments. She said opponents of Obama had unfairly taken her disorganized comments further and characterized them as “invade Israel” talk. She said that if she really believed Israel could even be remotely accused of genocide, then the correct forum for that view would have been in the 664 pages of her book, wherein she details all the genocides of the 20th century.
They’re not the only comments – we’ll come back to the others – but although I have shown it before, let’s once again go to the videotape of that infamous 2002 interview.
Does that sound like a friend of Israel?
Rabbi Boteach goes on to cite another point in Power’s favor.
In addition, some leading members of the American Jewish establishment told me that Power was instrumental in having America decline attendance at Durban II in April 2009, otherwise known as the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, which promised to be, like Durban I in 2001, a UNsponsored Israel hate-fest.
How’s that for a vague description? Who were these ‘leading members of the American Jewish establishment’? Will they come to Power’s defense too? If not, why not?
Actually, it ‘s worse than just vague. Recall that by the time the US pulled out of Durban II, it was too late to torpedo the conference. In fact, Power did everything she could to turn the conference into something that the US would feel it could attend. She is also an admirer of Durban II Secretary General Mary Robinson, who received a President’s medal along with the Jew-hating South African Bishop Desmond Tutu – probably both on Power’s recommendation.
And then Boteach really goes off the deep end.
THERE HAVE been other comments by Power that have been interpreted as hostile to Israel, but the interpretations rely on the presumption, generated in 2002, that she is anti- Israel. Based on Power’s clarification – and much more importantly, her actions – I believe this perception to be without merit.
Huh? Let’s look at some of Power’s comments that were hostile to Israel other than that original video and see whether they stand in their own right.
In a lengthy article on President Obama’s on President Obama’s foreign policy advisers during the 2008 campaign, Ed Lasky had a lot to say about Samantha Power. Here are some highlights that have nothing to do with that 2002 video.
Power also showed her animus toward Israel in another instance, appearing to argue with the New York Times for more negative coverage of Israel in the paper. As Noah Pollak writes:
“Martin Kramer points us to an interesting quote from the 2003 book Ethnic Violence and Justice, in which Samantha Power, one of Barack Obama’s foreign policy advisers, asks a question of David Rohde, a reporter who covered the intifada for the New York Times. The quote is as follows:
Samantha Power: I have a question for David about working for the New York Times. I was struck by a headline that accompanied a news story on the publication of the Human Rights Watch report. The headline was, I believe: “Human Rights Report Finds Massacre Did Not Occur in Jenin.” The second paragraph said, “Oh, but lots of war crimes did.” Why wouldn’t they make the war crimes the headline and the non-massacre the second paragraph?
(The article to which Power refers is here, and its headline is: “MIDEAST TURMOIL: INQUIRY; Rights Group Doubts Mass Deaths in Jenin, but Sees Signs of War Crimes.” Obviously, Power has misremembered the headline.)
Here we have another window into the thinking of Power: Israel is accused in sensational press reports of a massacre in Jenin, and is subjected to severe international condemnation; Human Rights Watch finally gets out a report and says there was no massacre; the NYT reports this as its headline; and Power thinks the headline still should have been: Israel guilty of war crimes!”
Revelations regarding Power’s views of Israel can be found in her new book, Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira De Mello and the Fight to Save the World, a biography of the UN official killed in Baghdad in a 2003 terrorist bombing. A series of terrorist attacks emanating from the mini-terror state created in Southern Lebanon by the PLO had led to an Israeli occupation of the southern portion of Lebanon. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon had been inserted to quell the conflict, but was proving ineffectual. Israeli forces remained in place.
” Israeli forces refused to comply with the spirit of international demands to withdraw and the major powers on the Security Council were not prepared to deal with the gnarly issues that had sparked the Israelis invasion in the first place: dispossessed Palestinians and Israeli insecurity”.
The “spirit of international demands” to withdraw? Aside from wondering what that means and the enforceability of such a spirit, how about that phrase “dispossessed Palestinians and Israeli insecurity”? The dispossessed Palestinians had left Palestine mostly at the behest of calls by their Arab brethren to step out of the way as armed forces invaded Israel upon its founding. They and their descendants were denied rights by Lebanon and were unable to assimilate — unlike the 600,000 Jews who were stripped of their possessions in Arab lands and whom Israel welcomed. The term “Israeli insecurity” makes it seem as if the Israelis were suffering from an emotional or psychological condition. In fact, it was not insecurity, per se, that the Israelis suffered from. It was Palestinian terrorism that the Lebanese government refused to prevent.
There is more from Ms. Power. Israel warned UNIFIL of its upcoming move into Southern Lebanon. Power talked of this move as a “ploy” and then wrote of “humiliation” that was to come as Israel ignored UN efforts to stop them. She wrote:
“Israel had thumbed its nose at the Security Council resolutions that demanded that Israel stay out of Lebanon, and in the course of invading a neighbor, its forces had trampled on the UN peacekeepers in its way”.
She quotes the subject of her book — really a hagiography — calling the Israelis “bastards”. She writes that the degradations suffered by UNIFIL before the Israeli invasion was felt far worse after the Israelis came into Lebanon. She writes that the Israeli authorities “threatened the peacekeepers and denigrated them”.
And then there’s this from another Lasky article on Power.
She sat down for an interview with England’s New Statesman magazine and what she said may surprise many Americans. During the interview, she stated that President Obama would engage with President Ahmadinejad, North Korea, and Syria. Then she is asked, “…is there anyone he wouldn’t talk to”?
She responded that there was no one among “elected heads of state. He won’t talk to Hamas, but he would talk to Abbas”. The interviewer points out that inconsistency inherent in her answer by informing the Harvard foreign policy expert that Hamas was a democratically-elected government and that Abbas’ Fatah party lost the last popular vote.
Professor Power backtracked and then said that Barack Obama would talk to “heads of state” and swiftly veered off into a discussion about how America has supported dictatorships in the past. This seems to cut both ways. Would President Obama talk to Hamas? Is Hamas a dictatorship, democratically elected?
Even the interviewer doubts Power’s sincerity at that point, titling the next section ” The Odd Fib” and indicating that he did not believe she’s convinced by what she is saying and that dissembling does not come easy to her (for confirmation of this, see her defensive interview with Shmuel Rosner and the critique of the same by Paul Mirengoff of Powerline.)
The interviewer notes (presumably because America is in the heat of the primary season)
“…it is politically impossible for Obama to talk to Hamas, even if he wants to. She can’t say that, though” because of what he depicts as internet smears. The interviewer characterizes these criticisms as allegations that she is anti-Semitic. So far as I have seen, nobody has ever made this allegation. The focus has been on her policy principles.
Then, in the money quote, Power plaintively complains:
“So much of it is about: ‘Is he going to be good for the Jews?'”
How much comfort can pro-Israel voters take in a candidate whose possible Secretary of State feels free to characterize legitimate concerns and questions as revolving around the issue of “is it good for the Jews”? Ms. Power might be unaware that support for our ally Israel is widespread across America and cuts across all religious and ethnic groups.
This is what Boteach calls a ‘friend of Israel’?
In this article from February 2010, Power was also critical of Israel’s handling of the Goldstone Report:
Heading the Israeli delegation was the Foreign Ministry’s deputy director for international organizations, Eviatar Manor. The delegation met with officials including the U.S. assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, Michael Posner, and President Barack Obama’s adviser on human rights, Samantha Power.
The Americans were interested to hear whether Israel had decided on whether to set up a committee to investigate Operation Cast Lead. Power asked about Israeli public opinion on this issue.
Power did not hide her criticism of Israel’s handling of the Goldstone report; she asked whether Israel’s thinking on the issue was “strategic or tactical.”
“Is the correct strategy fighting Goldstone on all fronts?” she asked.
A main message of the U.S. officials was that the humanitarian situation in Gaza was directly linked to the ability of Israel’s critics to push the Goldstone report forward and the ability to block the report’s consequences.
Translation: Power to Israel: ‘You brought Goldstone on yourselves, and we’re not going to help you out of it unless you ease up on Hamas.’ A pro-Israel attitude, Shmuely?
I searched in vain for quotes from Samantha Power decrying Muslim hatred or Islamic terrorism. I didn’t find any. I did, however, find this from the New Statesman interview cited above:
All we talk about is ‘Islamic terrorism’. If the two words are associated for long enough it’s obviously going to have an effect on how people think about Muslims. But I think Obama’s going to do wonders for closing those chasms. Even just opening up a conversation is going to get us some of the way. And it’s not insignificant that he spent time in a Muslim country, that he is half Kenyan – a lot of barriers have been bust through.
She’s likely one of the architects of the Obama administration’s newspeak in which ‘Islam’ and ‘terrorism’ are never used together (and ‘terrorism’ isn’t used at all).
Rabbi Boteach seems enamored with Power. He has fallen completely for the spin that will try to present her as a fitting choice for Secretary of State if God forbid Obama should be re-elected. Whether Boteach was impressed by the visit to the White House, or by Power’s opposition to his next door neighbor, Muammar Gadhafi (which may have resulted in the US supporting al-Qaeda-backed rebels at Power’s behest), Boteach seems to have fallen for Power lock, stock and barrel. We should not make the same mistake.
think about the kind of background Samantha Power comes from. The head of Columbia University who is also the top guy at the Washington Post and chairman of the board of the NY Fed Bank is the man who gave her the Pulitzer Prize. This Samantha rubs shoulders with the scum who destroyed America… surely she can come up with a rabbi to be a friend with… oh wait… she just did.
Rabbi Boteach will be on Larry King tonight. being that his facebook profile is breaking the terms here, I’m wondering if the facebook administration will delete it in time for the Rabbi to tell Larry King and the world. Rabbi Boteach uses the word “Rabbi” on his facebook profile, which is against the terms apparently because you are not allowed to declare yourself religious clergy in your name. I’m disgusted with facebook’s abuse. Why is Zuckerberg looking for loopholes to abuse, delete people who are standing up for community values and people against terrorism?
delete him. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=523031396
Rabbi Shmuley BoteachRabbi Shmuley on CNN Larry King Live Tonight 9pm