Statement: Boteach ad crosses a line of decency that should not be breached

February 28, 2015

A full-page advertisement bought in the New York Times by "Our World," a group run by unsuccessful Republican congressional candidate Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, contains vile accusations against National Security Adviser Susan Rice and crosses a line of decency that should not be breached.

To single out Rice, who was not then at the top ranks of the US administration, for responsibility for the 1994 catastrophe in Rwanda is absurd. The fact is that the entire international community failed to respond in time. Rice expressed regret over what happened in Rwanda, saying “I swore to myself that if I ever faced such a crisis again, I would come down on the side of dramatic action”–a lesson she evinced when she pushed through a UN resolution authorizing military action to avert another mass slaughter in Libya in 2011.

Regarding Boteach's outrageous accusation about Rice's role in the storming of the US compound in Libya, a two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee issued last November found no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees.

This advertisement amounts to a scurrilous scapegoating of a devoted public servant and a good friend of Israel. It is full of incendiary language, accusing the Obama administration of treating Israel like Czechoslovakia in 1938, a vile, false and offensive characterization that has no basis in fact. The Obama administration has been a staunch friend and defender of Israel and has taken unprecedented measures to protect its security.

It is shameful that Rabbi Boteach, a public figure who is also a religious leader, would sink to this level.