Rabbi Shmuli Boteach For years, he encouraged his dear friend Mohammed “D.” Oz, to run for office, spends hours talking about their shared desire to unite a “values-based campaign”, and what the version led by Oz would look like. Now, Oz takes his old friend’s advice and runs for Senate seat, and Boteach is disgusted with what he sees.
“The man running for the Senate is not Dr. Oz. This person is unrecognizable to me,” Boteach, a high-profile media personality and figure in conservative pro-Israel circles, says rolling rock. Boteach says Oz’s campaign for an open Pennsylvania Senate seat has reduced the candidate to “election– denial, GenocideDenial of a cartoon of the extremist.
In a phone interview, Bottic complained about Oz’s embrace of Donald Trump’s false allegations of a stolen election, blamed the Republican Senate candidate for his positions on the Armenian genocide and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and condemned the campaign’s personal punches against their Democratic opponent, John Fetterman.
Boteach jokes that Oz may have been kidnapped by “alien aliens” who replaced the popular TV host with a morally corrupt clone. But Boteach’s frustration with the campaign is serious, as he says the race is a “disgrace”, “horrible” and a “scam fest”. He says that if Oz plans to continue his race as he has so far – and especially if Oz continues to deal with the autocratic Turkish leader – he does not deserve a place in the Senate and should withdraw “immediately”.
A spokesperson for the Oz campaign did not provide a response when asked about Boteach’s comments and messages he exchanged with the campaign.
Bottic, the long-time Republican who ran for the US House of Representatives, maintains that his criticism of Oz should not be seen as an endorsement of Fetterman, but rather as a warning of what Botke sees as a lack of conviction in the principles Oz espoused throughout their tenure. friendship.
Oz and Boteach met in the early 2000s through their liaison with Oprah Winfrey and her various media properties.. Both are successful in their own right, Their subsequent friendship was often portrayed as a triumph of interfaith dialogue and cooperation. Boteach expresses a deep admiration for Oz in his writings, and describes him and his family as regular supplies and guests at Shabbat dinner in his home. 2013, Muslim Oz, and Boteach Travel to Israel togetherWhere they visited the Ibrahimi Mosque and danced Hora.
But tension between the rabbi and Oz appears to have been escalating for months before this apparent watershed, according to emails and other messages he reviewed. rolling rock. On August 24, in an email to the Republican Senate candidate and his advisers, Bottic appeared to be angry that Dr. Oz and his campaign had attacked Fetterman. for having a stroke earlier this year.
“Anyone with little self-esteem would condemn the actions of the campaign that mocked the stroke victim, especially when the campaign is America’s most famous doctor,” the rabbi wrote. “My father died of a stroke at the beginning of COVID. This statement is a disgrace and gutter policy at its worst.”
“I thought this campaign would inspire people,” Botic added. “What a waste!”
Bottic says the Oz campaign has become “a tragedy for the Jewish people” – as well as for the United States in general – due in large part to Mehmet’s approach to the Turkish president. Erdogan. Bottic regarding the President of Turkey as such “He is arguably the most anti-Semitic in the world” and as a tyrant who emptied Turkish democracy, Oz’s position on him is seen as “unqualified”.
In other emails browse through rolling rockBoteach has repeatedly tried to convince Oz and the campaign to be more clear and forceful in his position on multiple issues, including the Ezel affair and the Armenian Genocide.
After what Boteach described as a “heated conversation” with a close relative and advisor to Oz who “told me that I should stop pushing the Oz campaign to recognize the Armenian Genocide because the Jewish community mostly didn’t care about it and that genocide is a disputed historical fact”, he sent Boteach copied the candidate in an email expressing his frustration with the conversation and urging the campaign to acknowledge the “historical truth.”
In the phone interview, the rabbi said it was “obligatory” to speak out to criticize “friends in positions of influence” who tolerate or deny the genocide.
Oz, the son of Turkish immigrants, has generally ignored questions regarding the Armenian Genocide, which was carried out by Turkish forces in the Ottoman Empire. When asked about the problem, his campaign spokesmen usually send comments to reporters such as “Dr. Mehmet Oz opposes genocide and the killing of innocent people in all its forms. The evils of World War I must be remembered.” These comments are usually deleted, clearlythe phrase “Armenian Genocide” – an “all-life-order” approach to the genocide that Rabbi Shmuli and others find completely inappropriate.
Last year, near the start of Oz’s Senate campaign, Boteach Defend Oz in Jerusalem Post Of attacks related to his Turkish heritage, he wrote that Muhammad “has proven to be a friend to me and to the Jewish community as a whole”.
This enthusiasm waned as the campaign progressed. In a later article, Boteach Oz’s campaign has been described as a “tragedy” to the Jewish community, criticizing him for taking “the disastrous advice of political advisors who convinced Muhammad that highlighting his commitment to Israel and his attachment to the Middle East would harm his campaign”. By the end of this summer, Rabbi Shmuli was fed up, no longer wishing to be associated with Oz’s candidacy.
In June letters to Oz he received rolling rockBottic expressed disappointment that the campaign turned out to be a failure of “the 2020 election denial, the holding of the AR-15, and the Armenian Genocide denial” rather than the “values-based campaign” the two had discussed years ago. “I will always be your friend,” Bottic wrote, “but I will not be your flatterer.”
Now, as he speaks of his lament in public, the rabbi pauses when asked if he resident Oz – the current version of MAGAfied, anyway – is a friend. It’s a “fair question,” he says, adding, “You have to ask him that.”