WILL STARSTRUCK RABBI MAKE SARAH HIS NEW MICHAEL JACKSON?
I didn't want to write about Palin again, but Memeorandum's lead story right now is a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach entitled "Sarah Palin Is Right About 'Blood Libel.'" At the end of the op-ed, Boteach is described as follows:
Rabbi Boteach is the author of "Honoring the Child Spirit: Inspiration and Learning from Our Children" (Vanguard, 2011). He will shortly publish a book on the Jewishness of Jesus and his murder at Roman hands.
Left unmentioned are his best-known books: Kosher Sex (also available on DVD) and Dating Secrets of the Ten Commandments.
Oh, and also left unmentioned is another of Boteach's books: The Michael Jackson Tapes: A Tragic Icon Reveals His Soul in Intimate Conversation, published just after Jackson's death. Boteach, you see, hung out with Jacko for years, and dedicating Dating Secrets to him. Boteach and Jackson formed a short-lived charitable organization called Heal the Kids, and gradually they drifted apart, but Boteach never stopped defending him against charges of anti-Semitism.
And it was tough defending Michael Jackson against those charges. Recall his 1995 song "They Don't Care About Us":
In the song "They Don't Care About Us," however, Mr. Jackson sings, "Jew me, sue me, everybody do me/ Kick me, kike me, don't you black or white me."
Later that year, Jackson said this about Jews in an ABC interview:
They suck -- they're like leeches. I'm so tired of it. They start out the most popular person in the world, make a lot of money, big house, cars, and everything, end up with, penniless. It is conspiracy. The Jews do it on purpose.
And in transcripts of interviews released after his death, Jackson seemed to speak admiringly of Hitler:
Hitler was a genius orator. He was [able] to make that many people turn and change and hate. He had to be a showman and he was. Before he would speak, he would pause, drink a bit of water, and then he would clear his throat, and look around. It was what an entertainer would do trying to work out how to play his audience. He would go into this fury of the first words he would say and he would hit them hard.
In fact, that was published in Boteach's own book, and he took to the Huffington Post to insist that Jackson wasn't anti-Semitic:
Not only is there nothing controversial in what Michael is saying, but the point has been made by countless authoritative historians. Hitler was a master showman. He was indeed a brilliant orator who used his considerable charisma to stoke an inferno of hate. It is well known that he practiced his speeches in front of mirrors and had photographers take snapshots of him in different poses that he later studied to determine which were the most effective. He was an evil genius who employed every facet of a darkened soul to bring out the beast in man. And Michael is insightful in pointing out how Hitler studied his audience in order to gain mastery over them the way an entertainer would. It is very surprising that such a straightforward comment has become so controversial.
It wasn't the only time Boteach defended Jackson on this score after his death.
So he's skilled at defending famous people against charges of anti-Semitism. The Palin op-ed is a natural fit for him.
(And when Boteach isn't downplaying famous people's anti-Semitic remarks he's sending out press releases begging the media to interview him about Lindsay Lohan. The guy really likes the limelight.)
I used the word "starstruck" in the headline above in the spirit of civility and restraint, rather than the possibly more appropriate NSFW expression employed by these guys: