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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776
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Why I’m Traveling to Rwanda in the Middle of My Congressional Campaign


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Rabbi Shmuley Boteach



I watched this week from London as Prime Minister David Cameron joked with the visiting Vladimir Putin about how the two would watch, but not participate in, Olympics Judo. Ha ha. But the cruel joke is unfortunately on the people of Syria as Western leaders continue to roll out the red carpet for a Russian President whose hands are dripping with innocent Arab blood.

As to the UN, well, this is the same body that lowered its flags last year to half-staff to mourn the death of the great leader Kim Jong Il of North Korea who starved to death more than three million of his people.

This past week we Jews read the Ten Commandments in Synagogues throughout the world. I was asked to speak at the Marble Arch Synagogue in central London where they were commemorating the one hundredth birthday of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands of Jews during the holocaust and paid for it with his own life.

I chose as my theme the sixth commandment, Thou Shalt Not Murder, and asked why, thousands of years after God issues this simple directive, mass slaughter continues to plague our world. I concluded that humanity has yet to muster the resolve to be truly horrified by murder or to feel repulsed by those who practice it.

It is in this spirit that I call upon President Obama to honor his campaign pledge of 2008 to recognize the Armenian slaughter of 1918 by the Ottoman Turks for what it was – a genocide. I also ask my political opponent for the Congressional Seat in the Ninth District in New Jersey, Bill Pascrell, to join me in a press conference where we both call upon the United States to put a $25 million bounty on the head of Bashar Assad for his arrest for crimes against humanity, and for the removal of the American Ambassador to Russia so long as President Putin continues to protect Assad’s murderous regime.

Some things transcend politics. Preventing genocide is foremost among them.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

About the Author: Shmuley Boteach, whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous rabbi in America,” is the founder of The World Values Network and the international bestselling author of 30 books, including “The Fed-up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering.” Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.


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