Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office on Sunday condemned the ads that appeared over the weekend against National Security Adviser Susan Rice and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
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"We condemn these ads and oppose personal attacks of every kind," Netanyahu's office said, shortly before the prime minister's scheduled flight to Washington where he was to address Congress this week. "We have no connection to these ads and we believe that the discourse on the Iranian issue must remain to the point."
The first ad, which appeared in the New York Times on Saturday, targeted Rice of over criticism she had voiced against Netanyahu's speech, calling it harmful to the fabric of Israel-U.S. relations.
“Susan Rice has a blind spot: Genocide," the message read, appearing in a full page ad touting a talk on Iran this week in Washington hosted by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the New Jersey-based author and pro-Israel advocate. The ad was referring to the Rwandan genocide in the 1990s, when Rice was on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council staff and reportedly advised against describing the mass killings in Rwanda as “genocide.”
Boteach in the past received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from casino mogul Sheldon Adelson during the prior's run for Congress. Adelson is concerned to be a patron of Netanyahu and owns Israel Hayom, a newspaper supportive of the prime minister. Boteach is also a close personal friend of Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer. Before immigrating to Israel, Dermer worked for Boteach and also served as president of one of the organization run by the rabbi.
The ad against Clinton, which promoted by the new-conservative "Emergency Committee for Israel," appeared on You Tube and was meant to be screened on American cable channels. It claimed that the Democrat's 2016 presidential candidate had failed to show support for Netanyahu's speech at Congress. The Emergency Committee for Israel is considered close to Netanyahu, Dermer and Adelson.
Upon boarding the plane late Sunday morning, Netanyahu told reporters: "Tonight, the eve before the Fast of Esther, I am leaving on an important mission. I feel like the messenger of all of Israel, even those that don't agree with me. I feel deep concern for the fate of Israel and for our nation. I will do everything I can to ensure our future."