Photo Credit: Screenshot: CNN
CNN's Poppy Harlow and Rabbi Boteach.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach delivered a masterful response on CNN Sunday night to critics of his organization’s New York Times full-page advertisement that described National Security Adviser Susan Rice as “blind to genocide.”

The advertisement was a response to Rice’s statement that Netanyahu’s speech to Congress tomorrow is “destructive” for the relationship between the United States and Israel.


Major American Jewish organizations and the White House harshly criticized the advertisement with adjectives ranging from “outrageous” to “perverse.”

The advertisement hit a raw nerve, and Rabbi Boteach explained to CNN’s Poppy Harlow that the goal of the publicity was “to raise consciousness in Americans to the indiscriminate slaughter of innocents around the world.”

He clearly illustrated that the Iranian threat to destroy Israel is only one of several threats or realities of genocide that the United States has not tried to stop. The problem is not the details of a deal with Iran. The problem is the fact that the Obama administration is even talking with Iran.

Harlow asked him to explain his goal by placing in the advertisement a picture of Rice next to skulls, with the headline “blind to genocide,” which smacked right in the middle of America’s conscience.

He answered:

We all have a blind spot when it comes to genocide, which is why we had Cambodia and Rwanda…. We have seen too many slaughters. This administration needs to step up and do something.

Iran is threatening the annihilation of the Jewish People. It is perverse that these negotiations are taking place without a demand that Iran first totally renounce their genocidal intentions against Jews.”

Rabbi Boteach justified his association of Rice with being blind to genocide based on a statement attributed to her by Samantha Power, her predecessor and now the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

He said that Power stated in 1994 that Rice, who was an adviser to Bill Clinton, had declared that genocide in Rwanda could not labeled as such because it would harm Democrats in mid-term elections.

“The reason those pictures [of skulls] are there – those are skulls…from a church…in Rwanda. I was in that church. 800,000 people were hacked to death, and the United States did nothing.

We have to begin to intervene in genocide.

Rabbi Boteach added, “God gave us this military power…. That is our responsibility.”

As for the criticism of Jewish organizations, the ones who are armchair Zionists and carry the traditional torch of die-hard Diaspora Jews who want Israel to make them feel comfortable where they are, Rabbi Boteach said:

We don’t have our principles and convictions determined by popularity or by praise. We believe in the infinite human value and dignity of human life. We believe the United States has to intervene when it comes to genocide.

We believe Susan Rice should not be condemning the leader of a tiny little Middle East country, which is facing a nuclear threat from the foremost sponsor of terrorism around the world. She should not be saying on national TV that he has no right to speak out and [that] if he does he will harm the relationship with the United States.

That is a form of bullying… It is unfair. This country believes in the freedom of speech.

The interview with Rabbi Boteach on CNN can be seen here.


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Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


  1. I'm sure this interview will piss off the politically deluded and spiritually compromised, but someone has to do it. Shmuley, your next book should be titled, 'Kosher Genocide, the history of world powers pretending to give a sh*t'

  2. Iran's threat against Israel may be concocted, not real. Iran wants to compete for the Caliphate, and ISIS is dirtying up the Arabian Sunni brand of Islam. So while America makes a deal with Iran , so should Israel make a deal with Russia, Iran and China to cover themselves .
    It is not rational for any would be Caliphate to destroy Jerusalem since the city itself is the key to any restored Caliphate The only real question is, can the Sunni Shia split, dividing Arabs and Persians survive modern history. If not, then Persia and Arabia, representing Arabs and Iranians is going to implode upon themselves. Israel should try to stay neutral, and give an offer to any side that might prevail in the future history of the Middle East. It appears that the making of threats against Jerusalem , is only intended to win support among the bipartisanship of the Sunni and Shia divided Islamic World . Thus, I doubt greatly that Iran wants nukes to destroy Israel, but it might be clearly a threat against the Emirates along the Persian Gulf States, and affect the world oil supply. Because of that, America ought to be drilling and using fracking more than ever to reach a potential of more than self sufficiency of oil energy, but to sell to the world, if Oil is disrupted.

  3. Shmuley is smarter than any ten American Jewish leaders together. Once again you have the Jewish leadershiip sucking up to the President and his minions. Which one of them ever spoke so powerfully against genocide and America's duty to stop it, like Rabbi Shmuley?

  4. I think what you may be missing here is the apocalyptic form of Shia'ism followed by the ayatollahs of Iran. In order to precipitate the return of their Mahdi, a messiah figure, there needs to be annihilation by fire. What better way to accomplish this that the deployment of an atomic bomb against Israel, when the Qu'ran clearly states that every Jew should be killed as a blasphemous infidel? When you combine this was the Iranian religious leaders' statements about Israel, there is a clear and present danger here.

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