Rabbi Shmuel Botech Over the years had encouraged his dear friend, Mehmet “Dr”. Oz, to run for office, spends hours talking about his shared desire for a unified, “values-based campaign” and what an Oz-led version of it would look like. Now, Oz is taking the advice of his old friend and running for a Senate seat, and Botech is disgusted by what he sees.
“The person running for Senate is not Dr. Oz. This person is unfamiliar to me,” told Botech, a high-profile media personality and person in pro-conservative Israel circles. Rolling stone, Oz’s campaign for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat, Botek says, has reduced the candidate to “an election-denying, genocide-denying caricature of an extremist.”
In a phone interview, Botek lamented Oz’s embrace of the false claims of Donald Trump’s stolen election, skewing GOP Senate nominee over his positions on Armenian genocide and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoan, and his Condemned the campaign’s personal jabs against the Democratic opponent, John. Fetterman.
Botek jokes that Oz may have been kidnapped by “space aliens,” who replaced the famous TV host with a morally corrupt clone. But Botek’s disappointment with the campaign is serious, as he says the run is a “disgrace,” “bizarre,” and a “festival of fraud.” And he says that if Oz plans to continue his running as he has so far — and especially if Oz continues to be soft on Turkey’s authoritarian leader — he doesn’t deserve a spot in the Senate. And he should withdraw “immediately”.
A spokesman for Oz’s campaign did not respond when asked about Botek’s comments and messages he exchanged with the campaign.
Botek, a longtime Republican who once ran for the US House, insisted that his criticism of Oz should not be seen as an endorsement of Fetterman, but as a caution that Botek Sees it as a lack of conviction to the principles that Oz supported throughout his time. Friendship.
Oz and Botech met in the early 2000s through the mutual connection of Oprah Winfrey and her various media properties., both successful in their own right, Their later friendship was often portrayed as a triumph of interreligious dialogue and cooperation. Botech expressed a deep appreciation for Oz in his writings, and referred to him and his family as regular fixtures and guests over dinner at his home. In 2013, Oz, who is Muslim, and Botek traveled to Israel together, where they visited the tomb of the patriarch and performed a hora dance.
But the tension between the rabbi and Oz seems to have built up months before this apparent breakpoint, according to a review of emails and other messages. Rolling stone, In an August 24 email to the GOP Senate nominee and his advisers, Botech appeared to be angry that Dr. Oz and his campaign had attacked Fetterman for suffering a stroke earlier this year.
The rabbi wrote, “Anyone who has even a tiny bit of self-esteem would condemn the action of a campaign that mocks a stroke victim, especially when it is the campaign of America’s most famous doctor.” “My father died of a stroke at the onset of COVID. This statement is very shameful and dirty politics.”
Botech said, “I thought this campaign would inspire people. How useless.”
Botech says Oz’s campaign has become a “tragedy for the Jewish people” – as well as for the US at large – in large part because of Mehmet’s approach to Turkish President Erdoan. Botech regards the Turkish president as “arguably the world’s most outspoken anti-Semitism” and a tyrant who has hollowed out Turkish democracy, and considers Oz’s stance on it “unworthy”.
in another email. reviewed by Rolling stoneBotek repeatedly attempted to persuade Oz and the campaign to be more forthright and forceful on their stances on a number of issues, including Israel and the Armenian Genocide.
Botech described this as a “warm conversation” with a close relative and adviser to Oz, who told me that I should stop the Oz campaign to acknowledge the Armenian genocide because for the most part the Jewish community did not care. And that massacre is a disputed historical fact,” Botech expressed his dismay at the conversation in an email to the candidate and urged the campaign to accept the “historical fact.”
In phone interviews, the rabbi states that it is “obligatory” to speak up to criticize “friends in a position of influence” who are soft on narcissism or who reject it.
Oz, the child of Turkish immigrants, has generally ignored questions about the Armenian genocide perpetrated by Turkish forces in the Ottoman Empire. When asked about the issue, his campaign spokesman usually opposes the “Dr. Mehmet Oz genocide and the killing of innocent people in all forms. The evils of World War I must be remembered.” Kind comments typically omit the words “Armenian Genocide” – an all-lives-matter approach to genocide that Rabbi Shmuel and others find deeply inadequate.
Last year, near the start of Oz’s Senate campaign, Botek defended Oz. Jerusalem Post Attacks about his Turkish heritage and wrote that “Mehmet has proved to be a friend without comparison to me and the entire Jewish community.”
This enthusiasm waned as the campaign progressed. In a later article, Botech called Oz’s campaign a “tragedy” for the Jewish community, criticizing him for “taking the disastrous advice given by political advisers who convinced Mehmet that his commitment to Israel and the Middle Ages”. Uncovering his association with the former would damage his campaign.” By the end of this summer, Rabbi Schmule had had enough, and no longer wished to be associated with the Oz candidate.
Oz received the messages in June Rolling stone, Botech expressed disappointment that the campaign was turning into a “fiction of the 2020 election-denial, AR-15 holding, denial of Armenian genocide” and not the “value-based campaign” they both discussed going back years. “I will always be your friend. But I will not be your sycophant,” wrote Botek.
Now, as he makes his personal lamentations public, the rabbi stops when asked if he Even then Considers Oz – the current magfide version, anyway – a friend. It’s a “fair question,” he says, “you have to ask him that.”