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Shmuley Thinks More of Moore

Shmuley Boteach does a backflip on Michael Moore (who had previously snubbed him) and proclaims that the filmmaker is not an anti-Semite.

But last night at the Republican National convention, I was working on my laptop from one of the press desks when a Secret Service agent suddenly walked in and told me that the empty seat next to me would now have an occupant. A moment later Michael Moore sat down beside me. He was there to write a column on the convention for USA Today. I shook his hand, welcomed him, and asked him if he was feeling comfortable surrounded by Republicans. He told me that everyone had been friendly and kind to him since his arrival.

 

A moment later, he was swarmed by the press, until it became such a distraction that they were whisked away by the Secret Service. Suddenly, it was him and me alone, again, this time cordoned off by a secret service perimeter, and I had my chance. I leaned over. “Mr. Moore, you were quoted in the New York Times as saying that you place Israel in your own private axis of evil. It was very painful for Jews to read that. Do you stand by the quote?”

 

“No, I don’t, he said. That quote was taken completely out of context. I believe strongly in Israel’s security and Israel’s right to defend itself.”

 

“Well, Mr. Moore,” I said, “the impression, sadly, is that you’re an anti-Semite. That’s a shame. However much you and I disagree on the major issues, you shouldn’t come across as a Jew-hater. Joe Scarborough even asked me on his MSNBC show whether or not I believed you were an anti-Semite. That’s the impression you’ve been giving. I trust that you are not a Jew-hater. Indeed, I bet you don’t consider yourself any kind of hater. So why give that impression?”

 

He told me, “Of course I’m not a hater, and you would be surprised at just how little you and I disagree on all the issues, and on the Israel issue in particular. I really want to correct that, because I am not an enemy of Israel. I should really sit down and do an interview just about this, because I want it corrected.”

 

“You know,” I said, “there are people who want you to visit Israel, so you can see the situation there for yourself.”

 

“I like Israel,” he said, “I’ve visited twice, the first time during the first intafada.”

 

“Well, then you’ll know that Israelis are victims, too, and that they have suffered terribly under terrorism. But Jews have the impression that you don’t identify with Israeli suffering, that you forget that the Jews have suffered horrific oppression. And that’s a shame, because it undermines the morality of your message.”

 

He then said something that I did not expect. “I regard the Jewish people as the most oppressed people on earth.”

Shmuley even finds himself involved in some sycophantic behavior:

“Well, then it’s important that that be known. Look, Mr. Moore,” I said. “I am a political conservative, so I am certainly not on the same page as you. I was deeply critical of your most recent film. But ‘Bowling for Columbine,’ your previous film, was important because it brought to light how Americans have incarcerated themselves in a prison of their own making, in a cage of fear. I greatly praised that aspect of your film in my upcoming book on the same subject, “Face Your Fear.”

Quite a backflip. Shmuley would do the gymnasts proud.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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