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Friday, October 20, 2023 

Cory Booker should be ashamed of himself

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach talks about how Democrat senator Cory Booker, once a friend of his, was involved in the Iran deal, and though Booker seemingly paid a solidarity visit to Israel after the Hamas jihad bloodbath on October 7, he fled the country quickly after a rocket barrage aimed at the Tel Aviv area:
When the rocket barrage started and the terrorists infiltrated early on Saturday, October, 7, a day that will live infamy, beginning an attack that would end in the brutal slaughter of 1,400 soldiers and civilians, the disemboweling of pregnant women, and the decapitation and incineration of babies, arguably, the highest ranking American official in all of Israel was our own junior Senator from New Jersey, Cory Booker.

The day was Simchat Torah, a festival that had been special to Cory ever since we met each other on that exact day 32 years ago in Oxford, and danced on a table together with hundreds of other students. In the years that followed, Cory and I had always tried to spend Simchat Torah together — that is, until 2015, when Cory voted to give Iran access to $150 billion and to legitimize their nuclear program. He thought that our very close friendship would insulate him against my public criticism.

He thought wrong

I called a press conference with our governor at the time, Chris Christie, at Chabad of Rutgers University and slammed his vote as aiding and abetting genocide and supporting global terror. Cory, wounded that his closest friend – a rabbi who had delivered hundreds of public speeches with him in synagogues across the world, would attack him – skipped that year’s Simchat Torah celebrations at my community.

But even I could not have predicted the confluence of circumstances that would surround Cory’s vote to fund Iran.

I could not have predicted that eight years later, on the exact day of Simchat Torah, Iranian money would put Cory’s own life in danger while Cory was actually in Israel, in its capital of Jerusalem, jogging on its streets, as 30 miles away Jewish women were being raped and burned alive by the Iranian proxy, Hamas.

Even I could not have predicted that Cory would be in Israel – on a fluke, or should we say providence, as he had to give a speech the following Tuesday in Israel – at the very moment that the worst possible fruition of his vote to fund Iran would be realized.

Even I could not have predicted that Cory would be there to actually hear the sirens as they blasted in Jerusalem, making him feel immediately imperiled.

And even I could not have predicted the precipitous fall of my once-closest friend in terms of his own personal courage, honor, and bravery. That he would immediately flee the country – somehow managing to leave within 24 hours of the attack, as tends of thousands of regular Americans sought an exit from the country.

[...] It was I who arranged Cory’s first trip to Israel and, irony of all ironies, it ended up happening on the exact day that the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, leader of the Chabad movement, died in June 1994. I had to send Cory to Israel with one of my Oxford students as I now flew in the exact opposite direction, to the Rebbe’s funeral in New York.

A year later, I took Cory to Israel myself, and he fell in love with the country and its people. But even those feelings of connection could not negate his political ambition to win the White House, and his belief that he could not afford to alienate President Baack Obama, the first African-American president, on his signature foreign policy issue, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or what we all now know as the catastrophe of the Iran deal.

I pleaded with Cory not to support it. I told him that a country calling for the genocide of my people was the ultimate red line. I told him that Iran funds Hezbollah and Hamas, murders innocent people around the world, and is ideologically dedicated in words, speech, and deed to the annihilation of every Jew on the planet
. Cory never disagreed with me. But the pleas of a friend who is a rabbi versus pressure from the most powerful man on earth was never evenly matched.

I lost Cory’s vote and Cory lost my friendship

How strange it is, all these things now happening in New Jersey.

Just two weeks before Hamas broke 30 openings in Israel’s security fence and murdered 250 young people at a music festival on Sukkot, Israel’s greatest Democratic champion in the United States Senate, Robert Menendez, was indicted by the FBI for bribery and allegedly serving as a foreign agent for Egypt.

Cory, who in 2017 had testified as a character witness for Menendez in his first corruption trial and said of him that he was “honest and honorable… when he gives you his word, you can take it to the bank,” this time decided to turn on Menendez and called publicly for his resignation.

I guess Menendez has now discovered of Cory what I discovered, what the Jewish community discovered, and what the State of Israel discovered: That Cory’s word is a bounced check.
If Boteach's distanced himself from Booker now, he's doing the right thing. Booker is such a disgrace, and what's really offensive was that he would put a political career entirely over human safety and dignity. Booker doesn't deserve to be a politician.

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