It is no pleasure for me to show that Shmuley Boteach again carelessly gets things wrong or distorts truths. Shmuley condemns me, asserting that after my two-hour conversation with Black rapper/actor/director/screenwriter Ice Cube, I “granted clemency for his antisemitism through private conversations, rather than public penance.” (“Celebrity Antisemites Can’t be Absolved through Private Apologies,” Algemeiner, 8/3/20) Wrong, Shmuley. Get your facts straight before you wrongly attack people.
It is also disturbing that, although we’ve known each other for years, Shmuley didn’t even bother to call me prior to writing his inaccurate and sloppy article.
Ice Cube tweeted to his 5.4 million followers, several times: “I hate antisemitism.”
Ice Cube also clarified a previous poorly written tweet with a new tweet, praising basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for “writing against antisemitism.”
Ice Cube also tweeted “shout out to Morton Klein, who had the courage to seek the truth and speak with me and see for himself I am obviously not an antisemite. I admire Mort Klein for the advocacy of his [Jewish & Israeli] people and look forward to talking more on how the Black and Jewish communities can work together.” That was really heartening and inspiring to me, having a major Black entertainer publicly state he wants to work with me for better Black-Jewish relations.
Ice Cube also retweeted my tweet saying: “Cube thanks Jews for starting the NAACP, many Black schools, and fighting for Black civil rights. Cube told me he condemns Black antisemitism and all antisemitism.” More Cube praising and acknowledging the important work Jewish people did helping African Americans.
Ice Cube also texted to me, and said I could publicly share: “I think we could have talked for 2 more hours. You are definitely my brother from another mother. Any time you want to shoot the sh–, and gain understanding, give me a call. Thanks again Mort. Can’t wait to meet you face to face.”
Ice Cube thus made very strong public statements condemning antisemitism. And this famous Black rapper/actor/movie maker supports the Jewish State of Israel too. He told me I could tell any journalist or anyone who asks that “Ice Cube SUPPORTS Israel’s right to exist as a JEWISH state.” He also told me there will be more public statements in the near future to assure the Jewish and Black communities of his opposition to all Jew-hatred and all racism.
Furthermore, Ice Cube’s partner/manager of 25 years is a white Jewish ardent Zionist. Ice Cube hired him after he fired his previous manager. Not very antisemitic.
At the end of our conversation, Ice Cube invited my wife and me to “break bread” with him and his wife of 28 years at a KOSHER restaurant of my choosing — a public venue. After the pandemic, we’re flying to LA, though he also offered to come to New York.
So, it’s clear that Shmuley was wrong about Ice Cube not making public statements.
ZOA and I remain delighted by Ice Cube’s public condemnations of antisemitism and support of the Jewish State of Israel. This is a great start and I believe there is more to come.
Shmuley owes me a public apology and more importantly he owes Ice Cube a public apology for Shmuley’s wrong public condemnation of Ice Cube. A private conversation and private apology won’t suffice.
Morton A. Klein is National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the oldest pro-Israel group in the U.S., founded in 1897. He is a member of the Executive Committee of AIPAC. Mr. Klein is widely regarded as one of the leading Jewish activists in the United States.
This op-ed was originally published in the Algemeiner.