Dr. Oz will pay the price for his fabrications - opinion

In Mark, Jesus is quoted as saying, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” Farewell Dr. Oz. I hope the price you’ve paid for power is worth it.

 REPUBLICAN SENATE candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz delivers remarks at an event in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, last week.  (photo credit: REUTERS/HANNAH BEIER)
REPUBLICAN SENATE candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz delivers remarks at an event in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, last week.
(photo credit: REUTERS/HANNAH BEIER)

A few months back, when Dr. Mehmet Oz first became an election denier, aired TV commercials firing AR-15 assault rifles, and denied the Armenian Genocide, I reached out to Larry Weitzner, his chief campaign adviser and head of Jamestown Associates. I had originally introduced Larry to Oz when Mehmet expressed a serious interest, after years of conversations between us, to run for office in our native New Jersey.

Mehmet and I were profoundly troubled by our Garden State’s rotting schools, poor social services, political corruption and unbearable taxes that were driving residents away. Dr. Oz and I both felt that a candidate of his caliber might be able to win, even as a Republican, in deep blue Jersey.

After the meeting where I introduced Weitzner to Mehmet, I discovered that Weitzner had seemingly pulled a bait and switch. Gone was any thought of improving New Jersey. Without my knowledge, Dr. Oz was suddenly registered to run in Pennsylvania. 

Sinking lower

It only got worse from there. Soon, under Larry’s supervision, the campaign that Dr. Oz and I had discussed for eight years, ever since I took him and his family to Israel in 2013, and which was supposed to be based on values, became a values abomination.

 Pennsylvania Republican US Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz speaks during former US president Donald Trump's rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, US, September 3, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY) Pennsylvania Republican US Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz speaks during former US president Donald Trump's rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, US, September 3, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY)

I didn’t think that Mehmet could sink lower than election and genocide denial, but sure enough, when his opponent John Fetterman, a father of three young children, had a stroke, “America’s Doctor” mocked Fetterman for having a stroke. “If John Fetterman had ever eaten a vegetable in his life, then maybe he wouldn’t have had a major stroke,” his campaign said.

I wanted to throw up.

I wrote to Weitzner and said, “Did the campaign just mock Fetterman’s stroke? My father died of a stroke.” I added, “At long last, have you lost all decency?”

Weitzner, one of the principal architects of the Maga-extreme, assault-rifle shooting, election and genocide denying Oz, wrote back, “Fetterman spin. Did your father lie about it and try to run for Senate after? That’s what Fetterman is doing. It was not mocked.”

I had earlier written to Weitzner, “You could have made Oz a leader. You made him into a follower with overwhelming negatives.”

He replied, “We made him into a winner. And he will be a leader when elected.”

Yes, victory at any cost.

I shot back, “As candidate he is utterly unrecognizable to the people who know him.”

Not to worry, Weitzner responded. “He will be recognizable again very soon.”

“Oh yes,” I said, “he’ll pivot. I’ve heard this a thousand times from people like Cory [Booker]. Been there, done that.... You think you can take pictures with assault rifles – a world class surgeon – and not be bludgeoned with it later? Are you that naive?”

Weitzner answered, “When you have [$]35 million being spent attacking you for being a Hollywood liberal… you have to figure out a winning strategy, which we did.”

And so began the fabrication of the Wonderful Senator of Oz. I should not have been surprised that Dr. Oz had become an election denier, given The New York Times revealed on September 1 that Newt Gingrich had written to Weitzner and other Donald Trump advisers, “The goal is to arouse the country’s anger through new verifiable information the American people have never seen before. If we inform the American people in a way they find convincing and it arouses their anger, they will then bring pressure on legislators and governors.” Whoa. Was Weitzner directly involved in efforts to deny the election?

Now, months later, it is entirely possible that this strategy of “Oz Unhinged” will bring victory in Pennsylvania. A campaign this ruthless and amoral often crosses the finish line first. Oz is now polling neck and neck with Fetterman.

But senator oz will never be the Dr. Oz I once knew, and it’s time I said a public farewell to my old friend of 15 years, just as I earlier had to say goodbye to that other senatorial fabricant, Cory Booker of New Jersey.

The Dr. Oz I knew took calls from desperate patients with medical conditions. The Dr. Oz on the campaign trail fat-shames opponents for having a stroke.

The Dr. Oz I knew cared deeply about human rights and liberty. The Dr. Oz on the campaign trail denies the extermination of the Armenians by the Ottoman Turks and refuses to condemn the destruction of freedom and democracy in modern Turkey, under his acquaintance President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Dr. Oz I knew was a staunch supporter of Israel. The Dr. Oz on the campaign trail has endorsed a Palestinian state and seems terrified of angering Erdogan, the world’s most vocal antisemite and Israel hater. Dr. Oz would not do a single public campaign event supporting Israel for the first eight months of his run.

He waited until the exact same day that Erdogan reestablished ties with the Jewish state, which came only after the Turkish tyrant was shunned by the West for his support of Putin, and Erdogan needed cover from the Jewish community, something provided to the autocrat by the likes of Rabbi Levi Shemtov and Ezra Friedlander.

As an American senator who is also a Turkish citizen, the public has the right to demand that Dr. Oz publicly condemn the man who has destroyed the foremost Islamic democracy in the world and with whom Dr. Oz has public dinners in New York. For 10 years Erdogan has called Jews “Nazis” and “Hitler” amid Mehmet’s deafening silence.

Public support for Israel and acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide are the ultimate litmus tests of Dr. Oz’s readiness to confront the Turkish tyrant, who has destroyed every vestige of press freedom in the land of Mehmet’s parents’ birth. Yet Dr. Oz has done only one event for Israel this year – and, not surprising, it was a fundraiser.

Under pressure

WHEN BOOKER, my friend of nearly 30 years, first ran for mayor of Newark, he was celebrated throughout America for his appeal to both parties. He was a democrat who supported school choice and was Israel’s staunch defender.

But under pressure from president Barack Obama, Cory famously betrayed his principles and conscience and voted to give the Iranian mullahs $150 billion, which they use till today to shoot women. Abandoning school choice was the price he paid for the support of the teachers’ unions, even as charter schools had been one of Cory’s greatest passions as mayor.

Cory’s abandonment of Israel was perhaps the most painful reversal. He had risen with the fervent support of the Jewish and pro-Israel community, which he assiduously courted, especially after delivering speeches about the Torah portion of the week, which I taught him, replete with Hebrew words to punctuate the address.

Compounding the pain of seeing Cory vote to fund murderers and legitimize their nuclear program, all while they promised the annihilation of the Jewish people, was my personal pain of seeing Cory turn the Torah I taught him into a parlor trick. How to hold Jewish support while voting for Iran? Answer: Quote in Hebrew from the parasha of the week.

Soon the act wore thin. After my public condemnation of his vote to fund Iran, Cory discovered that no matter how much we Jews love our Torah, we like staying alive to study it even more. And anyone who is going to support governments that murder Jews and promise a second holocaust will be rightly abandoned by the Jewish community.

By the time he ran for the presidency in 2020, Cory’s endless reversals on previously held positions had earned him a reputation for fraudulence. He was bludgeoned in the democratic primaries and was even trounced in the African-American community by Joe Biden. The lesson, especially to cynical political operatives like Weitzner, is that the American people aren’t as dumb as you think.

Cory’s position as a senator has been reduced to being the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” Senator, endlessly repeating the same “inspirational” stories on his social media, wearying to those who have heard them regurgitated over decades, and is known today for lukewarm support of Israel, at best. But Cory achieved his dream of being embraced by the likes of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.

Everything is relative, even antisemitism 

BUT THESE two antisemitic congresswomen are positively Zionist when compared to the Jew-hatred of Erdogan, whom Dr. Oz refuses to denounce.

Dr. Oz won the Republican primary only because Trump endorsed him and only by 900 votes. Trump’s reward? Dr. Oz erased every mention of him the very next morning from his campaign website. I remain deeply grateful to Trump for his unparalleled support for Israel. Dr. Oz, by contrast, will use and discard Trump as is convenient. The Oz-Weitzner motto, it seems, is: Win by any means necessary.

In Mark, Jesus is quoted as saying, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” Farewell Dr. Oz. I hope the price you’ve paid for power is worth it.

The writer, whom The Washington Post calls “the most famous rabbi in America,” is the international best-selling author of 36 books, including The Broken American Male and How to Fix Him and Kosher Jesus. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @RabbiShmuley.