web analytics
April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



The Courage of Cory Booker


The author with his "brother," NJ Senator Cory Booker.

The author with his "brother," NJ Senator Cory Booker.

Share Button

President Obama has dropped the hammer on sixteen Democratic senators who have joined a bold Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, and Mark Kirk, Republican of Illinois, in co-sponsoring new legislation that will increase sanctions against Iran should they fail to follow through on their pledges to halt uranium enrichment. The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 has also attracted forty-three Republican co-sponsors bringing the total to 59. If they get to 67, they will have a veto-proof majority, something the White House is doing everything to prevent.

One of those brave sixteen is my close friend Senator Cory Booker, who has had a unique and special relationship with the Jewish community since I met him as an undergraduate at Oxford University in 1992. As is well known, Cory served as president of my Oxford L’Chaim society, where he arguably became the first African-American-Christian head of a major Jewish organization in history. Cory and I then began studying Torah on a regular basis and he has probably been invited to lecture more American Jewish communal venues than any other political figure in the United States. What Cory has seen, as have his other intrepid senate colleagues, is that Iran is an immense danger to the world in general, and Israel and the United States in particular.

Iran is a menace. This is a regime that exhibits brutality in every field. I just finished reading Days of God, by James Buchan, which is a phenomenal history of modern Iran, from Reza Shaw’s time, who ruled Iran from 1925-1941, to Muhammad Reza, who ruled as Shah until 1979, through Khomeini’s Iranian revolution of that same year to the regime currently run by the murderous and barbarous Ayatollah Ali Khameini.

This is a regime that recruited boys from the age of twelve to fight against Saddam’s armies in the ten year Iran-Iraq war. This regime even had ruthless Iraqi soldiers crying as they mowed down Iranian boys attacking them across battlefields, and Iran used children in the Iran-Iraq war to clear minefields, as detailed in Ami Pedahzur’s Root Causes of Suicide Terrorism. It is the same regime that stones women to death for accusations of infidelity. It hangs homosexuals from cranes in the capital of Tehran. It is the regime that our state department lists as one of the foremost global exporters of terrorism. It funds Hezbollah, which blew up 241 American peacekeeping marines, soldiers, and sailors in 1983 Beirut. It is the regime which mowed down their own people in the streets of Tehran in the Green Revolution of 2009, when innocent Iranians protested a stolen election. And it is the regime that publicly shot 26-year-old protester Nada Agha-Soltan in the heart.

Today Iran, like a heat-seeking missile, continues to seek out warm Jewish blood wherever it may be spilled, like the 2012 brutal murder of six innocent Israelis who planned simply to lie on a beach on a Bulgarian vacation but instead came home in a box.

That Obama is placing all the pressure on 16 Senators from his own party rather than squarely on the Iranians where it belongs is, sadly, true to form. Whatever debatable successes the President has had in domestic policies, what is indisputable is his catastrophic foreign policy. Iraq today has turned into one giant suicide explosion and large parts of the country, like Fallujah, where so many marines died, are slowly going over to Al Qaida. Egypt is a mess and utterly distrusts the United States. John Kerry comes to Israel every week to make what he calls an urgent peace between Israel and the Palestinians yet utterly ignores the 130,000 dead in the Syrian Civil War, just slightly to the north. Russia has gained the upper hand over the United States in global diplomacy and Vladimir Putin bestrides the world like a colossus. And with all that, President Obama is insistent on pressuring brave Democratic Senators of his own party, who want to keep Iran in check, so that he can hand over to the murderous mullahs $10 billion so that they can prop up their regime without demanding that they dismantle their nuclear framework. A great deal of the President’s pressure is falling on our newly elected Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.

Last month I and Birthright-co-founder Michael Steinhardt, who is also a former chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, took out full page ads in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal promoting the message of my hero and friend, Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel, to whom I introduced Senator Booker, beseeching President Obama, as well as the United States Senate, to insist that Iran’s nuclear facilities be dismantled. Inspections, Wiesel said, are not enough as we discovered with North Korean who agreed to a similar deal in 1994 only to lie and detonate a bomb in 2006.

Contrasting Wiesel’s call in the Jewish community was Peter Beinart, a member of Cory’s Rhodes Scholar class and someone I hosted at Shabbat meals at Oxford. While Beinart and I remain friendly, that did not stop him from savaging Cory (do I detect a hint of envy?) for his close relationship with the Jewish community in general, and me in particular, in a column where Beinart was forced to change the libelous subhead after he claimed it was written by an underling without his approval. Unlike Wiesel who is known as one of the most respected moral voices in the word, Beinart, of course, is best-known for calling for a boycott on Israeli products like Soda Stream because they are manufactured beyond the green line, the arbitrary armistice line of 1949 where the Arab armies, threatening Israel’s annihilation, were halted. Beinart’s column and forum, Open Zion, has now been canceled by the Daily Beast, presumably due to lack of interest, and he has been reduced to writing his screeds in Haaretz, where he has become yet another tiresome critic of Israel. Beinart has accepted my invitation to debate me on Iran and we hope to shortly stage the event.

Beinart and his kind scapegoat Israel’s settlers as principal obstacles to Middle East peace while Khomeini himself scapegoated the United Sates for the same. Khomeini’s followers coined the now familiar Iranian chant of America as the great Satan. Today, Iran is developing intercontinental missiles with a range that could reach targets in the continental United States. But even if that were not the case, imagine how courageous it must be, to be a Democratic senator like Cory Booker, to oppose, as one of your first acts as a newly elected Senator, the leader of your own party, the President of the United States, on insisting that Iran now acquire weapons of mass destruction.

In 1955 President John F. Kenney published his Pulitzer-Prize winning book, Profiles in Courage, which detailed gutsy actions on the part of United States Senator who followed their conscience on matters of principle even if it lost them votes or ran afoul of their own party. Since then the American people have significantly soured on Congress, which today has an approval rating of just nine percent. But what Cory and his 15 other Democratic colleagues have shown is that courage in the United States Senate is alive and well.

Share Button

About the Author: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the international best-selling author of 29 books, including The Fed-up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

2 Responses to “The Courage of Cory Booker”

  1. Olive Tree says:

    Add a comment…How do you like that. A super lib who loves Israel. What will the world see next.

  2. Cory Booker is a rarity. As mayor of Newark, he lived in an impoverished neighborhood and even risked his own life to enter a burning building to save the occupants. This is a true public servant. A Spartan of Reach. We need more in service who reach towards a higher purpose than themselves while still being able to lower a hand to reach those who need a lift. We need more like him in all walks of life.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Flyers ordered Jews to appear at a designated location in Ukraine, in Sept., 1941. The next day, the Jews lined up at the Babi Yar Ravine.
‘Jews Must Register’ Flyer in Ukraine an Echo of Babi Yar
Latest Indepth Stories
matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

Masked Palestinian Authority Arabs hurl blocks at Israel Police during and after "worship" at Temple Mount mosque. (archive photo)

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

Haredim riot after draft-dodger is arrested.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

Bitton-041814

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

More Articles from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meet in the Kremlin, Nov. 20, 2013.

On the one hand, Putin has been a friend to Chabad and to Israel. On the other hand, Putin is a brutal dictator.

The gradual trickle of self-hatred into the Jewish soul is evidencing itself in the American Jewish public.

Rabbi Schochet wrote the Johannesburg Beis Din: It is totally prohibited and unacceptable to hear someone like Boteach.

If you’re feeling down, stop reading right now. You’re only going to be more depressed.

The world and the United State continue to give Rouhani a pass.

American Jews – especially those working on campus – don’t accept that we have a battle on our hands.

But the most painful part of an otherwise illuminating and extraordinary Forum was Iranian President Rouhani’s speech.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/america-rabbi-shmuley-boteach/the-courage-of-cory-booker/2014/01/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: