Thursday, June 7, 2012

Shmuley Boteach, Running for What?

A few weeks ago, the big political trivia  news item was the long-time friendship between Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and United  States Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney
“We can almost speak in shorthand,” Romney said in an interview with the Times. “We share common experiences and have a perspective and underpinning which is similar.”
Netanyahu attributed their “easy communication” to what he called “BCG’s intellectually rigorous boot camp,” he told the Times through an aide.
Apparently Bibi has another interesting friend in American politics.

Yes, that's New Jersey Congressional hopeful Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.  According to his article published by he has not only known Netanyahu for years, but also knew his late father Benzion who just recently passed away.  It is a real name-dropper of an article, but then again, Boteach isn't shy when it comes to self-promotion.
...and Wednesday morning I met privately with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his senior adviser Ron Dermer at the Prime Minister’s office.
Ron was one of my closest students and friends when I was the Rabbi at Oxford University and is today regarded by many as the single sharpest mind on the Middle East. Prime Minister Netanyahu and I reminisced about his two visits to the University of Oxford, where I hosted and he addressed thousands of students and where he mesmerized even his detractors in masterful defenses of Israel. We also spoke about his father, Benzion, who passed away last month at age 102 and whom I had befriended after a series of lectures we hosted where the great man discussed his opus on the Spanish Inquisition.
Boteach first came to my knowledge when he was a rabbi in England and won the "Preacher of the Year" Award from The Times.  The winners are generally Christian and not American-born.

I haven't yet heard Boteach in person, but it seems to me that he and Bibi make quite a pair.  Both are smooth, knowledgeable talkers who can keep their audiences mesmerized.  They have a charisma and are probably happy that they aren't in competition.  Netanyahu had his time in the states, but he can't be President, since he wasn't born there.  In Israel he is Prime Minister.  Boteach is still young and born in the United States, so he can run for any office in America. Ambitious he is, but does he have the patience for a real political career/

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