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Celebrity rabbi’s talk of buying Libyan mansion rings hollow

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

EDITORIAL : Ironic that a rabbi could be such a big ham, but Shmuley Boteach is at it again.

This time, the Englewood egotist says he wants to buy a next-door mansion owned by the Libyan government.

Only trouble is: He can’t afford it. So he wants to establish a $6 million “capital development fund.” Sheesh.

One spent his career shamelessly seeking attention; the other is Michael Jackson

Boteach and equally shameless former Mayor Michael Wildes made a huge fuss in August, demanding that Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi not stay at the mansion during a U.N. visit — even after it was announced that he wouldn’t.

To that point, the mansion had largely gone unnoticed through the years, which I’m certain the Libyans considered just fine.

Boteach is a different animal altogether: He hosted his own radio and TV shows; buddied up with Shimon Peres, Elie Wiesel and Michael Jackson; and wrote several books before he finally hit paydirt with “Kosher Sex.”

A bunch of other books followed, but Boteach’s star was dimming when he threw himself into the spotlight again last year, with “Kosher Sutra.”

Then, when news broke that Qaddafi was planning to stay next door, Boteach easily found himself a platform. He got it out of the garage, in fact, and set it up on his front lawn.

Boteach, Wildes and other Democratic politicos first issued a flurry of hysterical news releases insisting the former “mad dog of the Middle East” should stay away from a town with a such large Orthodox Jewish population. Then they scheduled a Sunday morning news conference on Boteach’s property, put chairs and a lecturn on the stage, and prepped their propaganda.

Word soon came that former President Clinton, among others, had convinced the Libyan government to change its plans.

But Boteach and company held the news conference anyway , joined by ex-Gov. Corzine and Frank Lautenberg, among others. More reporters than residents responded.

No one ever asked why.

Sometime later, a hateful vandal threw burning garbage onto the lawn of the 25-room stone mansion. Wildes, instead of standing up to a criminal act, shockingly insisted the Libyans had it coming.

Now comes the latest stunt — with no indication whatsoever that the folks next door would be interested in dealing with their loudmouthed neighbor. Honestly: If you were them, would you even bother?

That isn’t stopping Boteach from playing the local media like a harp from hell.

I’m sure he’s not finished. I’m also sure he won’t raise enough to buy the servants’ quarters.

What I’m looking forward to finding out is what Boteach will do with the money then.

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