Shmuley Boteach

Dennis Prager and Ben Shapiro Defend Antisemite Candace Owens

Before I address the epic battle I’ve had with America’s foremost female antisemite, Candace Owens, over the last few week, first let me share a story.

Every Friday night, we host guests at our Shabbat table and I challenge them with questions. Last week’s was this.

You’re in the Warsaw Ghetto, struggling to survive. June 1942 arrived and you’re ordered to Umshlagplazt with your family and the SS tells you to get on the train. You have no idea it’s going to Treblinka where you’ll be murdered within a half hour. Rather, you’re told that you’re being deported to the East to a work camp where you’ll have food or shelter. Question? Do you get on the train?

Half the guests said, “Yes. We have no choice. They’ll kill us otherwise, and our children.” The other half said, “No, I would resist, even if it meant that I’d die on the spot.”

My answer: It’s a trick question. There are no two options. Both lead to certain death. Rather, the objective was to always stay as far away from the cattle cars as possible. Once you’re on the train platform, you’re a corpse.

The time for the world to resist was when Hitler first started his campaign of defamation in the 1920s. And then, in the ‘30s, when he passed the Nuremberg race laws. And then the laws forbidding consumers to buy from Jewish shops. And then cancelling all the Jewish professions, etc. etc., culminating in the Kristallnacht of November 1938 and the start of the Holocaust.

The tsunami of antisemitism that has been unleashed worldwide since October 7th comes with one principal lesson. Stay as far away from the train as possible. Fight now. Fight just as soon as the defamation starts. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, fight on Twitter (X), fight on Instagram, Fight in Times Square, Fight in the New York Times, Fight on Fox News, Fight on the campuses, and Fight in the streets of your own communities, like Teaneck, New Jersey, which has seen three anti-Israel demonstrations in three weeks. If you don’t fight back, you’ll be slowly pushed to the train. And then it’s two late.

With that in mind, we at the World Values Network in general, and I as its founder and director in particular, have taken the vow to fight the leading antisemites in America just as soon as they raise their putrid, poisonous heads, none more so over the past few months than Candace Owens, the Republican conservative political pundit who, remarkably, is employed and given her odious platform by Ben Shapiro, a yarmulke-wearing Orthodox Jew who founded the Daily Wire.

The story begins on October 10, 2022. Candace responds to Kanye West’s infamous Tweet that – and from here till the end of the column I’m quoting directly from West and Owens, so please ignore spelling and punctuation – “Im going Deathcon 3 on jewish people” and says, “If you are an honest person, you did not think this tweet was antisemitic. You did not think that he wrote this tweet because he hates or wants to genocide jewish people. This is not the beginning of a holocaust.” Watch here.

Thus began a bizarre and obsessive defense of the Hitler-loving Kanye whom even the German footwear giant Adidas immediately canceled.

I should add that in December 2018, Owens famously said, “If Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well – ok, fine.” Owens says she was simply defending nationalism, as opposed to defending the most evil man that ever lived.

Yet, on November 8, 2022, Candace again defended her best friend Kanye’s new antisemitic meltdown, by insisting that loving Hitler does not make you an antisemite. Watch here

Ben Shapiro shockingly defended both her and Kanye, writing, “On a personal level, I get Candance defending her friend.” He also tweeted that while West’s comments are “clearly antisemitic and disturbing,” the rapper’s “moves toward pro-life, faith, and family conservatism are encouraging.”

Dennis Prager, a dear friend and mentor to me for over 30 years, whose parents lived next to us in Englewood, New Jersey, was instrumental in Candace’s rise and may even be said to have discovered her as the rare African-American conservative. When I reached out to him and pleaded to denounce his antisemitic protégé, he shocked me by penning a column that actually defended her. He wrote, “Candace Owens has now been charged with antisemitism – for defending and not condemning her friend West after his antisemitic outbursts. Ideally, she would have. She could have said something like what Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres said about President Ronald Reagan when, during the Cold War, in a show of support for West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Reagan visited Bitburg, a World War II German military cemetery where 49 Nazi Waffen-SS soldiers were buried. Peres said, “When a friend makes a mistake, he remains a friend but the mistake remains a mistake.”

Firstly, was Dennis really comparing Owens to Peres and West to Reagan? Second, is West’s repeated description of Jews as slave masters and parasites merely a mistake? And third, How could Dennis Prager, as world-class Jewish activist, not have foreseen the rest of the story.

Here is how it has unfolded.

On October 7, 2023, Candace Owens refused to condemn the Hamas massacre of 1,200 Jews.

Two days later, on her show, Candace said that she didn’t post anything about October 7th because “when it comes to this particular issue, I myself have received pressure to post something, which is strange of course because if you follow this show, you know that we follow culture, that we talk about politics as it relates to America, you never see me weigh in on various wars that are happening overseas.” Watch here

On October 14, 2023, she found her voice, suddenly tweeting, “It should be without saying that if you think it somehow means less when a Palestinian child is murdered, or if it somehow means less when an in Israeli child is murdered, it is likely because the media has transformed you into a monster. Innocent children should be protected.” Her equation of Palestinian children dying because Hamas uses them as human shields and the Jewish children burned to death on October 7th was revolting.

On October 15th, Candace went on a rant that the university students who applauded the Hamas massacre, specifically the Harvard students, should not be blacklisted. She tweeted to Megyn Kelly saying, “Oh stop it. This is incredibly disingenuous, Megyn. You know that many of those students are not out there because they want babies to be murdered. College kids are stupid. I used to be radically pro-choice. Glad I didn’t get put on a “conservative” black list for wanting babies murdered.” Then she engaged in a favorite trope, where she consistently blames Jews for antisemitism. “I’ll ask the obvious question here. Do people believe that in the future moves like this will increase or decrease feelings of antisemitism? Do you think these students are going to shut down and think ‘well—guess we have to support Israel now’? This is a serious question.”

On October 19th, Candace defended antisemite Kyrie Irving and says that the backlash that he got for sharing a documentary about Jews and black slavery would lead the world to believe that “Jews have too much power.” Watch here

On October 23, Candace responded to Charlie Kirk’s tweet about Israel bombing a Greek Orthodox Church and said, “Well said, Charlie. I have been disgusted by propagandists pretending a Christian church was not bombed.” Later that day she tweeted, “Respectfully, if you think its antisemitism to notice that innocent Christians were killed in an IDF bombing then you need to log off of the internet and have your brain examined. Respectfully.”

The next day, in response to Florida removing students from Pro-Palestine groups from two college campuses, she tweeted, “I’ll ask the obvious question here. Do people believe that in the future moves like this will increase or decrease feelings of antisemitism? Do you think these students are going to shut down and think ‘well—guess we have to support Israel now’? This is a serious question.”

She continued, “This is obviously what is going to happen. It will backfire. Its already backfiring. Ive never seen less support for Israel in my life despite virtually everyone agreeing that the terrorist attack was horrific. No one is being honest that hustling foes students groups, banning protests, etc will work only to further sentiments again jewish people.”

On November 6th, Owens interviewed a pro-Israel comedian and lied outright when she said that Muslim Israeli citizens are forced to live in certain quarters in Israel. Watch here

On November 11, after a Jewish pro-Israel protester was murdered, Candace tweeted, “The pro Israel protester who was horrifically killed was also in Antifa?”

On the same day she tweeted, “I agree with Queen Ranias assertion that antisemitism is being weaponized in order to silence critics and bully people into compliance. That Charlie Kirk, Elon Musk and Thomas Masie have recently been smeared as antisemites is proof of this charge.”

That same day, November 11th, she shocked her Jewish followers when she “no government anywhere has a right to commit a genocide, ever. There is no justification for a genocide. I can’t believe this even needs to be said or is even considered the least bit controversial.” When Dave Rubin responded to her harshly, she responded, “In short, if the blanket statement that genocide is wrong upsets you in any way then you need to check yourself. I said exactly what I meant and I won’t be backing down or apologizing of further clarifying my statement.”

On November 17th she gave a platform to America’s foremost Jewish antisemite, Norman Finkelstein, without anyone to rebut him, as Piers Morgan did with me and Finkelstein in an hour long debate. Watch here.

On February 7, 2024, Candace attacked Bill Maher for not airing Kanye West’s full interview because Maher said it was too antisemitic and he didn’t want people to see it. Watch here.

On February 12th she called two Super Bowl commercials about the Israeli hostages “propaganda” then said, “and actually last night, in case you were wondering, while the Super Bowl was on, Netanyahu bombed a refugee camp.” Earlier in the video she said abortion clinics are concentration camps and Holocaust museums. Watch here.

Two days later, in her increasing paranoia about murderous Jews that would culminate in her actually saying last week that I, Rabbi Shmuley, am seeking to kill her, she fulminated about monster, Washington, DC Jews who are coming after her. Watch here

On February 23, 2023: Owens, attacking ‘pedophiles and perverts,’ took aim at a 1930s Jewish sexologist, and suggested world-famous Jews like Sigmund Freud were associated with pedophilia. Watch here

On March 4th, she aired a YouTube video insinuating that Jews run child sex, drugs, and murder rings in Hollywood that killed Michael Jackson, and tried to kill Kanye and P Diddy. She implied that I, Rabbi Shmuley, had a hand in murdering Michael Jackson. I responded by stating that this blood libel would lead to her being bankrupted. And I’m serious. Watch here.

A few days later, on March 13th, she implied that I, Rabbi Shmuley might kill her. Watch here

On March 14th Candace blamed Congress’ TikTok ban on Jews, specifically the ADL, saying, “the TikTok ban will lead to more antisemitism” “whether its right or wrong, what you’re gonna have is a scenario where Israel and quote unquote, powerful jews are going to be blamed, if TikTok is banned, please heed my warning on this, that narrative is already building.” Watch here.  

What Owens specializes in more than anything else in incitement against Jews. I and especially my daughter Rochel Leah Taktuk, who has emerged as the most formidable opponent against Owens in the United States, wake up every morning to thousands of most the vile threats against us by Owens army of Jew-hating trolls.

And while all this has happened, while Owens’ diabolical hatred of Jews has defamed Jews to the point of possible and serious violence, the silence of Dennis Prager and Ben Shapiro has been deafening. Two committed Jews who love Israel have provided a platform from one of the most virulent antisemites to arise in our time and have nothing to say about it. Through their silence an inaction, they have not only endangered their own communities but have undermined their once serious reputations as champions of their people.

About the Author
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is the founder of This World: The Values Network. He is the author of Judaism for Everyone and 30 other books, including his most recent, Kosher Lust. Follow him on Twitter@RabbiShmuley.