After a $500,000 donation to a super PAC supporting New Jersey congressional candidate Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a prominent Arab-American, who has been vocally supportive of his opponent Bill Pascrell, has accused Boteach of capitulating to the right wing and “Islamophobes” within the Republican party.
“The Adelson money has effectively sealed the capitulation of Mr. Boteach to the right wing and Islamophobes in the Republican Party, and their financiers,” Dr. Aref Assaf, who is President of the American Arab Forum, told The Algemeiner. ”Boteach has sold his soul and I am afraid no higher authority can redeem it.”
Running against eight-term Congressman Bill Pascrell in the newly redrawn 9th district of New Jersey, Boteach is receiving support from the Patriot Prosperity PAC, which received a combined $500,000 from Sheldon Adelson and his wife. Adelson, the chairman of Las Vegas Sands Corp., has been active in this year’s election process, including a $10 million gift to the super PAC Restore Our Future, supporting Mitt Romney.
“It was bad enough when Aref Assaf lobbed the anti-Semitic charge of ‘dual loyalties’ at Democratic Congressman Steve Rothman,” Boteach told The Algemeiner, referring to an incident that took place during the primary race between Rothman and Pascrell “Much worse, amid purporting to be an Arab leader he trivialized the murder of innocent Arab children in Syria by Bashar Assad. Now Aref Assaf maligns Sheldon Adelson. I am not surprised. Assaf has a virulent hatred of Israel, and Adelson is among the biggest donors to Israel in world history.”
Assaf doesn’t believe Boteach or Romney will win in their respective races for Congress and the White House, despite an injection of financial support from Adelson.
“Mr Adelson has bet his money on the horse. The 9th district is solidly Democratic. His tactics did not work for Gingrich and I predict the same fate await Mr. Romney and Boteach,” he said. ”I advise Mr Boteach to work on his next TV show, perhaps this one on selling one’s conscience.”
Speaking with The Algemeiner, Boteach called on his opponent in the 9th district race and Islamic leaders to “distance themselves” from Assaf.
“It is imperative that my opponent, Bill Pascrell, do the moral thing and denounce the Jew-hatred of Assaf. Assaf has been one of Pascrell’s most ardent supporters and fundraisers. Arabs are my brothers and I have deep reverence for Islam. Islamic leaders should do the right thing and immediately distance themselves from the crude bigotry of Assaf,” said Boteach.
Rep. Bill Pascrell could not immediately be reached by The Algemeiner for comment.