Saturday, February 25, 2012

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach Accuses Michael Coren of Anti-Semitism

This is an extremely bizarre exchange.

Michael Coren has become one of my favorite commentators. I check over at Blazing Cat Fur's everyday to see if he's got any new clips embedded. And so imagine my surprise at this one, where we have this Rabbi of whom I've never heard going off on some ridiculous rant alleging that Coren claimed the Jews "control" Hollywood. You just have to watch it. It starts off extremely cordial and friendly and then gets ugly fast. Via: "Coren Scraps With Michael Jackson's Rabbi."

Coren has responded at Huffington Post, "Apparently, I'm an Anti-Semite":
The closest I said to my new best friend about Jews and Hollywood was that "Jewish people do have an influence in Hollywood, and that's a wonderful thing, thank God for it, and we should congratulate ourselves on the fact." But by this time the Rabbi was irrational. He became increasingly aggressive, harangued me, and alleged that Pope Pius XII was one of the wickedest men in history.

He obviously knew little about me, about my Jewish background, and about my most recent book -- Why Catholics Are Right -- a best-seller in Canada as well as the U.S. -- in which I devote an entire chapter to Pope Pius. I referred him to Rabbi Dalin's book , The Myth of Hitler's Pope, and my good friend Sir Martin Gilbert's exemplary work on the Church and the Holocaust.

But the Rabbi was a friend of Michael Jackson's and appears on Oprah; clearly he was out of my league! After the interview he refused to leave the studio, threatened me, insulted a young Orthodox Jewish intern who works with us, and then got down to writing, calling, and tweeting the world about the Jew-hater Coren.

It's all come as a bit of a shock to leaders of the Jewish community in Canada, who just last week had me MC the launch of a book by one of their most senior staffers. There are, however, serious issues here. I almost wept when that young intern pleaded with me to not think all Orthodox Jews behaved thus. I told him not to worry -- there were plenty of arrogant and rude Catholics and Protestants as well.
And see, "Statement on “antisemitism” allegation against Michael Coren."