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February 24, 2012 11:32 am

The Michael Coren Christians Who Cowardly Deny Church History

avatar by Shmuley Boteach

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Michael Coren. Photo: michaelcoren.com.

I came on to Michael Coren’s TV show in Canada to simply talk about my new book Kosher Jesus, which has received wide attention throughout the world. I left dazed, having heard from him that Jews refuse to appreciate Christians, depict them negatively, and essentially control Hollywood.

Now Coren has shoved his foot far deeper into his mouth with a personal diatribe against me.

Personal insults are the last refuge of the intellectual coward.

All Coren had to do was apologize for these nauseating insinuations and remarks. Instead, he made the matter worse by complaining that I’m short, that my office had the temerity to request kosher food from the exalted Coren and his staff, and that I refused to exit his studio when he obnoxiously demanded that I exit the very moment the cameras stopped rolling. For good measure, he made sure to gratuitously insult Oprah and Michael Jackson for their mere associations with me, as well.

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For the record, there is little I can do about my height, and I apologize to Coren for offending him with my diminutive appearance. Likewise, there is nothing I can do about being kosher. I will never give it up, no matter how much he attacks me for simply asking where I might obtain kosher food since I am not familiar with Toronto. And when Coren’s show asked me to take an early morning flight to Toronto – to talk about my new book Kosher Jesus – where I was traveling for my nephew’s wedding, my office simply asked if a kosher meal could be procured since I would not be eating the whole day and, as a kosher Jew, cannot buy food in most places. Even so, they told my assistant we would have to arrange and pay for it ourselves.

As for Coren’s libel that I threatened him with disclosure of his remarks about Jews and Hollywood, the paranoid claim is laughable given that he had just made his remarks about Jews on national TV in Canada.

It is absolutely true that I refused to leave his studio after his reprehensible treatment of me and his attempt to evict me just as soon as the interview concluded, demanding to see his superiors and finally meeting a man named Matt Wolf, executive producer of Sun TV’s prime time talk shows, who turned out to be quite a gentleman.

I make no apologies for my actions. I am someone who fights anti-Semitism and holds those who malign my people accountable. Coren can claim from here to kingdom come that he is a friend of the Jewish community, and that may be true. But that does not excuse his odious remarks. His comments about lack of Jewish appreciation for Christians and the connection between Jews and Hollywood are the very stuff of negative Jewish stereotypes and if he was not prepared to retract them – as Marlon Brando did years ago when he too insinuated on Larry King Live that Jews control Hollywood – then I will bring the matter to his superiors. And his claim that he was only speaking about ‘liberal’ Jews matters not a toss. For the record I am a Republican who is currently seeking our party’s nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s Ninth Congressional District. But I will stand with my people, whatever their political persuasion, and will not allow them to slandered.

As for the Jewish intern of whom he speaks, how sad that some Jews appear to turn the other cheek even when their people are maligned in order to remain in the good graces of superiors.

More troubling still is Coren’s praise for Pius XII and his attempt to hold the Jews accountable for misrepresenting this most ignominious of Popes. Indeed, Sun TV cut Coren’s remarks about Pius from their online post of the broadcast. Why? And why isn’t the interview posted unedited? The public has the right to see it in its entirety.

I stand by my comments about Pius, a religious hypocrite who remained silent while six million Jews died and never once protested. Decent people the world over are repulsed by the memory of a man who disgraced a great Church by showing a total absence of moral leadership, refusing to even once condemn Hitler and the Nazis through all the years of their monstrous murders and tyranny.

An autocrat who told the Roman curia repeatedly that their job was not to give him advice, but to follow his orders, there is ample evidence for Pius as a collaborator with the Nazi government in their occupation of Rome. When the Nazis committed the heinous war crime of executing 335 Roman citizens – many of them Jews but most of them Catholic – in reprisal for a partisan attack against Nazi troops, Pius was implored to publicly protest and protect his personal flock. As usual, he refused to say anything that might upset the Nazis. It seems that neither the love of God nor the love of his fellow man could ever move Pius to publicly condemn Hitler, with whom he had famously negotiated, as papal nuncio, the 1933 treaty which the Fuhrer praised to his cabinet on July 14th of that year as being “especially significant in the urgent struggle against international Jewry.”

Pius even granted a secret audience to Supreme SS Polizeifuhrer Wolff, who had served Himmler as chief of staff and was, in 1943, serving as the chief of German persecution apparatus in occupied Italy. That Pius realized he was doing something that others would regard as scandalous is attested to the fact that the meeting took place in great confidence, and Wolff came dressed in disguise. Years later, Wolff had this to say about the meeting: “From the pope’s own words I could sense the sincerity of his sympathy and how much he loved the German people.”

The coup de grace, of course, was how Pius XII literally watched as the Germans, on Oct. 16, 1943, rounded up more than 1,000 Jews of Rome, nearly all of whom would perish by gas a few days later at Auschwitz. A special SS contingent had been brought in for the roundup, and since many of them had never seen the great city, used the roundup of the Jews as a partial tourist excursion. This brought them to St. Peter’s Square, where many of the trucks actually parked, not more than 300 feet from Pius’ window. Even as the Jews were herded aboard cattle trains and taken to their death, Pius dared not upset the Germans by offering any kind of protest. His strict policy of neutrality was upheld as the Jews of his diocese were literally turned into ash.

But while he did not prize the lives of Jews, there was one thing that Pius did esteem, and that was the bricks and mortar of his churches. As the British and American armies geared up for a massive offensive in the spring of 1944 to capture Rome, Pius suddenly found his voice. He condemned the allies for bombing the eternal city and ordered his American bishops to launch public relations offensives in the United States to pressure the Roosevelt government not to cause destruction to the sacred monuments of the city. This while the Nazis were gassing more than 10,000 people per day.

Not all Christians are like Coren. The vast majority are prepared to honestly study painful moments in the Church’s history, take responsibility for moral failures, and move on to a more Godly future with the Jews as brothers. That was the purpose of my writing Kosher Jesus, which is now a bestseller on many Amazon subcategories. My intent was to educate my Christian brothers and sisters about the Jewishness of Jesus so as to bring our two peoples closer and I am moved by the untold numbers of devout Christians who have written to me thanking me for the book.

What a shame that the moral courage required of such honesty eludes Michael Coren. And how unfortunate that rather than rising to the occasion of building bridges between Jews and Christians, he resorts instead to shameful personal attack.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, whom Newsweek calls ‘the most famous Rabbi in America,’ was the host of TLC’s Shalom in the Home, which won the National Fatherhood Award, was the London Times Preacher of the Year at the Millennium, and received the American Jewish Press Association’s Highest Award for Excellence in Commentary. The international best-selling author of 27 he has just published Kosher Jesus. He is currently mulling a run for Congress from New Jersey’s Ninth Congressional District, running as a Republican. www.shmuleyforcongress.com

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  • Steven

    Thank you Mr. Boteach for your honest comments and truthful references of the Pope Pius the greatest Italian Nazi of them all. Coren is a liar and is intellectually dishonest. Men like Coren will never openly debate with people like you because he knows you would destroy his outrageous beliefs. I thank you sir.

  • Levi

    I agree with most of what the rabbi wrote here. It is true that the Pope was silent about the mass murder of Jews during WWII. (Btw, that is unusual. For most of their history they were actually the ones doing it. And if you need a book to ‘prove’ otherwise, I think that’s a good indication that there is no truth to it. If it were true, everyone would know and there would be no dispute. We don’t need books to prove that Denmark saved their Jews – we all know it.)

    But one thing about this article – will Rabbi Boteach ever let us hear the end of his book story?? Please. You’ve made you’re point. Now let’s move on. Try writing an article without promoting your book ad nasuem.

  • Trending

    The pathetic thing here is Bnai Brith and JDL are not defending Coren because of what he said but because of who he is. If someone who was not a supporter of Israel said the exact thing Coren said about Jews and Hollywood and Jesus “prefecting” Judaism you could be sure Frank Dimant and Meir Weinstein would be racing each other to condemn the comments as anti-Semitic.

  • Benyamin

    Truthfully, Michael Coren is one of the most pro-Israel, pro-Jewish people in the media in Canada, and for anyone to call him an anti-semite is completely ridiculous.

    Rabbi Shmuley is no Rabbi. The man is a complete joke, who needs to stick to what he does best – being a self-promoter of his ridiculous books and self-help advice.

    The Jewish Defense League has already come out in support of Michael Coren and there is talk among the Jewish community here in Toronto at least, of boycotting Rabbi Shmuley and publicly shaming him for his ridiculous and embarrassing behaviour.

    You’re a joke to us all, Shmuley, stay in America where you belong.

  • Solomon Waxman

    With regret I am not a Rabbi Boteach groupie. I find the good Rabbi to be a grand self-promoter more an actor than a Rav. Nonetheless the point he makes here albeit too loudly, has merit.

    Ascribing to an entire group of people (here Hollywood Jews) an inference of influence is to embrace an anti-Semitic trope. Yes many professionals in Hollywood were born Jewish. But do we honestly believe that these “Jews” by birth belong to an exclusive secret cabal where they wield such influence as to demean Christian Evangelicals and others?

    I do not know Mr. Coren and from what I read of him believe he is not an anti-Semite. However in this instance either on purpose or not he has engaged an anti-Semitic stereotype the likes of which should leave us all cringing.

    • SMC

      Michael Coren did not ascribe anything to an entire group. You should listen to the interview for yourself.

      • Solomon Waxman

        He said that Jews have influence in Hollywod. Did he mean only Seven Jews?

        • SMC

          Tonights guest on SunNewsTV ‘The Arena’ starring Michael Coren was Meir Weinstein head of the Jewish Defense League of Canada. Mr. Weinstein did a great job at addressing the behaviors and comments made by Rabbi Boteach. Nothing needs to be added. Beautiful.

    • Dave

      Know then sir, that Mr. Coren is himself a Jew and self convert to Catholicism of all things. Don’t understand it myself, I couldn’t dump the Church from my life fast enough.

  • Canadian

    Sorry , I have watched Michel Coren for a while and this guy is not an antisemite has always defended Israel. However I don’t agree with him that most secular Jews hate the Christians, perhaps some of the very older generation.

  • salvage

    Fact : Michael Coren is an idiot.

    Fact: the Vatican was at the very least a ally of the Nazi regime and has, for most of it’s history been a source and supporter of anti-Semitism and an opponent of democracy. So a natal fit with Jew hating fascists.

    Fact: Once the Allied Forces had smashed the Axis and the full extent of the Holocaust became known the Vatican then began it’s slow shift away from hating Jews to merely worshiping a god that hates them.

    Fact: Idiots like the Rabbi will label ANYONE an anti-Semite for reasons that have nothing to do with their opinions if Jews.

    Fact: I do so enjoy watching idiot on idiot action, please continue.

    • SMC

      What’s the matter? Eichmann’s own words to the contrary not good enough for you?

      • salvage

        Yeah, words on paper are nice but they don’t trump reality or facts.

        Here are some other words with photos:

        http://emperors-clothes.com/vatican/cpix.htm

        Oh and the Jews of Italy what happened to them? According to my history books they were rounded up.

        It could very well be that the Pope wasn’t keen on the whole mass murder thing but you really want to tell me that the Vatican wasn’t the beating heart of antisemitism in Europe for over a 1,000 years? Hating Jews was one of the few things that the leaders of the Reformation and the Catholic Church could agree on when they weren’t setting each other on fire.

        Now I know that individual Catholics risked life and limb to save many Jews. I have a friend who was saved by a cloister of nuns when he was a kid in Holland. They kept him not only safe but made no effort at conversion despite their orders from their silly hat wearing bosses.

        The Vatican has always been a hive of scum and villainy from the Crusades to our modern child rapist protecting papists. Helping out Nazis either out of fear or shared ambition? Par for their slimy course.

        They sided with evil, that’s a historical fact and you can squint and mutter about who said what but that fact remains.

        • SMC

          What a stupid unhistorcial link. Even the pictures don’t support your claim. Didn’t you notice the photographs were taken six years or more before WWII. Dumb.

          • Me

            LOL … Now you see what I mean when I said there are those who cannot examine the evidence of any sort that is not compatible with their own understanding of the world – evidence and facts that oppose the desires of what “salvage” wants to be true is automatically disgarded. Stay thirsty my friend.

          • salvage

            >notice the photographs were taken six years or more before WWII. Dumb.

            So your defence is that the guys being chummy with the Nazis had no idea they were antisemitic lunatics with ambitions to take over Europe, end freedom and kill every Jew they find?

            That six years before they started invading they were really nice guys who wouldn’t hurt a fly?

            FACTS do you not understand them?

            The Vatican was part of Italy and Italy was part of the Axis if they truly opposed the Nazis they would have dropped their beads and picked up some guns. I know some Jews in a ghetto that didn’t have the wealth or connections that the Holy See does and they managed to get some gun and shoot some Nazis.

            What did your Pope do? Prayed for the Jews, asked Jesus to help out and then with his work done, washed his hands as the cattle cars arrived in Rome?

            Scum that was eager to serve evil, that’s what the Vatican was back then, of course nowadays they just feed children to pedophiles.

            Remember to fill the collection plate when it comes around this Sunday SMC, lawyers and settlements don’t come cheap.

          • Me

            Nice little anti-Catholic world you have created for yourself. Unfortunately the academics side against you. I’m sure you read bin Laden’s history of the Crusades as well.

          • salvage

            >Nice little anti-Catholic world you have created for yourself. Unfortunately the academics side against you.

            Ha! Ha! Yes! I made up the whole history of World War II, no Italian Jews were sent to the camps, the Vatican had never said a mumbling word against the Jews! The whole hide the child rapist and pretend it didn’t happen until the courts made the Church pay up is a complete fiction that I just made up! Ya got me!

            >I’m sure you read bin Laden’s history of the Crusades as well.

            No, but I did listen to this:

            http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=390

            And I just recently watched this:

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01b3fpw

            And they have this goofy idea that the Crusades started with a Pope shrieking to the masses about the Muslim devils that lead to massacres from Europe all the way to Jerusalem in the name of Jaaayssuss! To be fair the Knights raped and pillaged Muslims and Jews equally.

            I’m a assuming you’re Catholic so I suppose it hopeless to imagine anyone who thinks magic words turns a cracker into a flesh of their god is capable of reason or appreciating facts and reality.

            But once again, the facts: The Vatican hated Jews, the Nazis hated Jews, the Vatican, despite Eichmann’s annoyance, were fast allies of the Fascists. The only defence possible is that they were terrified that the Nazis would just kill them if they didn’t cooperate and to that I’d say “What would Jesus do?”, not help Nazis kill Jews would be my guess.

            But then again Jesus isn’t actually a god (there are no such things you see) so perhaps he would do nothing, which in the face of evil is pretty damned bad wouldn’t you say?

          • salvage

            Yup, the Vatican never, ever did nothing wrong and if they did they never cover it up:

            http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20120225_Court_filing__Bevilacqua_ordered_shredding_of_memo_identifying_suspected_abusers.html

          • Me

            First of all the Vatican never claimed to be perfect!

            Secondly, the article you linked never mentions the Vatican! If so, help me find it!

            Third, you said the follow: “Yeah, words on paper are nice but they don’t trump reality or facts.”

            Why is it when the scholarship of the holocaust is undecisive (at best) as to whether or not Pope Pius XII’s actions were reasonable (in the moral sense) you are quick to take the negative? The answer is you hate the Catholic Church. Your website proves this with conclusions based on evidence that could have more than one conclusion. The answer is simple: all of your conclusions are founded on evidnce that only support your hatred of the Vatican! That simple.

            To me you are getting boring; so dance for me or I’m moving on!

          • salvage

            >First of all the Vatican never claimed to be perfect!

            No I believe the word they use is “infallible”?

            >Secondly, the article you linked never mentions the Vatican! If so, help me find it!

            HAHAHAHAH! You’re funny.

            >Why is it when the scholarship of the holocaust is undecisive (at best) as to whether or not Pope Pius XII’s actions were reasonable

            It’s not, the decision is in and it’s not in favor of any Pope.

            It’s also cute the way you ignore the Vatican’s history of Antisemitism, or go ahead and tell me I’m wrong, pretending it never happened isn’t an option I’m afraid.

            >The answer is you hate the Catholic Church.

            That would be the organization that systematically enable the rape of children?

            Yeah, funny thing, I’m okay with my disgust with it.

            And if the rape thing were the only thing like the latest banking scandal, how many mafiosi were involved again?

            By my opinion is neither here nor there, facts are fact and the fact is that the Vatican was allied with and did NOTHING to stop the Nazis.

            Facts! Aren’t they just the worst?

          • Me

            Alright Salvage: You are wasting my time.

            Scholarship is against you. Your realtiy has no existence out side of your own mind.

            Someday I hope the internet will be advance as to remove hate literature such as that from your site.

            There can be no dialogue here! I am critical you are full hate.

            The discussions over!

      • salvage

        Ha! Ha! Yes! That’s it, my “hate” is why you can’t justify the cover up of child rape anymore than you can the pathetic attempts to re-write history.

        Your scholars are the same ones who say the church was all for science and never ever torched anyone for suggesting that the Earth moves and the Vatican never blessed and profited from the genocide of the Native peoples of the Americas and they LOOOVVVEED the Jews and not once did they set loose a pack of Templar Knights to rape and slaughter them over and over again.

        More of those darned facts for you to whistle pass while praising Jesus.

        • salvage

          And here’s an actual historical document:

          http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/index.php?p=580

          All about how the Catholic church stood by / participated in some awful evil and then spent a few decades trying to cover it up.

          And they still are because old habits die hard.

  • Statement on “antisemitism” allegation against Michael Coren by B’nai Brith

    TORONTO, 24 February 2012 – Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada and Chair of the Department of Modern Israel Studies at Canada Christian College has issued the following statement regarding the current dispute between Michael Coren and Rabbi Shmuel Boteach:

    “It is truly unfortunate that Rabbi Boteach misunderstood the words of Michael Coren during their on-air discussion and subsequently publicly labeled him as an antisemite. This is not a term that should be bandied about lightly and in this case it is certainly unwarranted. The Rabbi not only misinterpreted what Michael said but also misjudged his level of friendship and support of the Jewish people. While I may have had major differences of opinion with Michael in the past, he has never given any indication whatsoever of harbouring antisemitic tendencies.”

    For more information, please contact Anita Bromberg, National Director of Legal Affairs, at (416) 315-9438.

    http://blazingcatfur.blogspot.com/2012/02/statement-on-antisemitism-allegation.html#disqus_thread

    • David

      It’s a shame that Frank Dimant and the Canadian B’nai Brith choose to play the role of kapos in this sad affair.

  • wudjab

    The Rabbi would be better served if he followed this advice.

    When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

    You are coming across as an idiotic thin skinned conman.

  • Greg

    Shmuley seems to hide behind terms like ‘libel’ and ‘slander’ to fuel the emotional outrage he seems to find in every encounter he has. In fact, if I were to say that he does more to foster anti-Semitism than does to fight it. He’d probably laugh scoffingly at first then, not so much as the white wash was slowly peeled away and truth revealed.

    Media says that controversy sells, from an editorial in a newspaper years ago to prime-time tv, controversy, real or engineered/scripted is how ratings are often generated. Look at Shmuley’s twitter feed and how many posts related to Coren’s show…

    Thing is, he wants to be candid… for Christians to be candid about their history, but only them? Where’s the candor from the Jewish side of the equation? Can Jews white wash their history and claim victim-hood if it is really something else entirely?

    And can he really champion the fight against anti-Semitism if, in fact, he fuels it?

    Moral courage… building bridges… Shmuley laments he can’t find it in Coren, question is, if he were to look, would he be able to find it in himself?

    Candid, honest, morally courageous… are these simply words, a campaign slogan… talking points? Or are they attributes found in the man?

  • Me

    “The voice of Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas…he is about the only ruler left on the Continent of Europe who dares raise his voice at all… the Pope put himself squarely against Hitlerism… he left no doubt that the Nazi aims are also irreconcilable with his own conception of a Christmas peace.” (NY Times, 1941)

    Check the date: that is 1941 not 1944.

    • A REAL American

      Me–

      Just out of curiosity, do you have a credible source for your claim on Pious XII or just the NYT??

      The NYT notoriously ignored the holocaust for most of that period of time and ignored Stalin’s purges in the USSR too. In the 30’s and 40’s Millions of people were put to death tyrants but their crimes were ignored by the so-called “paper of record”. I wouldn’t trust anything the NYT said today without verification, let alone anything the NYT said in the 30’s and 40’s.

      • Me

        What would you consider a credible source? I don’t particularly like the NY Times myself; but, I figured most of you would.

        But, I also wonde: would you accept any verifiable source that was contra to your opioion? That, to me, is the real question!

        • SMC

          In his diary, Eichmann himself tells the story of vigorous opposition by Pope Pius XII, “vigorously protested the arrest of Jews, requesting the interruption of such action; to the contrary, the Pope would denounce it publicly.”

          Conformation of that statement can be found all over the net including repectable Jewish sites.

          • Me

            @A REAL American and SMC

            Thank you for your quote SMC. I often do research in many areas (search for quotes, etc.) to offer them to those who reflecting on such matters. However, often I meet people who simply do not read the quote I have provided or reject that quote for a variety of reasons; sometimes for academic grounds and other times simply because they do not wish to hear any view that opposes the position to which they are committed. For this reason I have always found it helpful to understand what approach and belief system the individual is committed to first. Thanks again to the both of you.

          • salvage

            And yet what happened to the Italian Jews? And when did the Vatican break off relations with the Nazis condemn Mussolini? Gather up all the Jews they could find and shelter them in Rome?

            Oh, right, none of that happened, the Pope once said some stuff that never lead to anything.

            Impressive! I can see why you worship that guy.

  • SMC

    You are a dishonest man, Rabbi. The interview was shown unedited and your shocking conversation afterwards is on tape. The Jewish Defense League has come out against you and are tonights guests on Michael Coren’s ‘The Area’ at SunNewTV. (The Jewish Defence League of Canada rejected the smear and false claim of anti-semitism made by Rabbi Boteach against Michael Coren.) Too bad you didn’t know who you were talking to before you shot off your mouth. BTW, everthing you’ve said about Pope Pius XII is a lie or do you intend to trash ‘The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis’ by Rabbi David Dalin, too? I don’t think your vulgar rants will be good for book sales.

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