Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel is lending his support to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's March 3 speech to Congress on the dangers of Iran's nuclear program - an address that has antagonized the White House and divided American Jews.
An outspoken New Jersey Orthodox rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, said on Thursday he is placing full-page advertisements in two of the leading US newspapers, The New York Times and The Washington Post, featuring Wiesel's endorsement of Netanyahu's speech.
Blindsided by the invitation that Republicans in Congress extended to Netanyahu, President Barack Obama has declined to meet the Israeli leader, citing what he has said is U.S. protocol not to meet world leaders before national elections, due to take place in Israel on March 17.
The advertisement quotes Wiesel as saying he plans to attend Netanyahu's address "on the catastrophic danger of a nuclear Iran." Awarded the Nobel in 1986, Wiesel asks Obama and others in the ad: "Will you join me in hearing the case for keeping weapons from those who preach death to Israel and America?"
Speaking to Reuters by phone, Boteach said: "There's no personality more respected in the global Jewish community and few in the wider world than Elie Wiesel. He is a living prince of the Jewish people."