Rabbi Shmuley Boteach Apologizes for Ad Calling Susan Rice Blind to Genocide

Boteach's criticism of U.S. national security adviser came after her criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Congress speech.

Natasha Mozgovaya

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach apologized for running a full-page advertisement in the New York Times accusing National Security Adviser Susan Rice of turning a blind eye to genocide, juxtaposing a photo of her face next to skulls.

“I personally want to offer an apology to anyone who was offended by our organization’s ad about National Security Advisor Susan Rice,” Boteach said Monday prior to an event he organized for skeptics of U.S. President Barack Obama's Iran nuclear strategy.

“Our disagreement with Ms. Rice is strictly over policy. It was construed by some as a personal attack that is certainly and absolutely not its intent.”

American-Jewish groups, including but not limited to the Anti-Defamation League, AIPAC, J Street and the Jewish Federations of North America, roundly condemned the advertisement.

Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman withdrew from Boteach's forum due to the ad, calling it “vulgar.”

“I cannot appear at a forum which was advertised using an unwarranted incendiary personal attack,” Sherman said on Monday. Elie Wiesel and Republican Senator Ted Cruz did not withdraw from the event, in spite of the controversy.

Boteach's criticism of Rice came after the national security adviser's criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Congress speech. Rice called the perception of partisanship throughout the lead-up to the speech “destructive” to the fabric of the U.S.-Israel relationship.