Glenn Beck’s Israel tour draws criticism, praise

posted at 2:05 pm on August 23, 2011 by Tina Korbe

More than 3,000 people crowded into the Caesarea Amphitheater Sunday to hear Glenn Beck launch his “Restoring Courage” tour in Israel. “Welcome to the land of milk and honey!” Beck said by way of greeting.

With this tour, Beck aims to express solidarity with Israel and to explore the concept of “courage,” which he says the Israeli people possess in abundance. The week’s events are distinctly religious — Sunday’s launch took as its theme, “The Courage to Love” and featured speeches by pastors and a rabbi — and that’s exactly how Beck likes it. No politicization, please. “The God of Abraham ain’t running for office,” he says.

From Caesarea, Beck headed to Jerusalem to host Night 2, “The Courage to Remember,” an evening dedicated to the recollection of the Holocaust. The night opened with a prayer and included a fiery speech from actor Jon Voigt, whose presence at the Beck events has drawn positive attention from The Jerusalem Post, as well as members of the always-large crowds.

But for all that Beck would prefer to keep the focus on someone higher than himself this week, the multimedia personality just can’t seem to help but draw controversy wherever he is or whatever he does. Stateside critics are quick to point out Beck’s past misstatements and to suggest he’s disqualified to advocate for Israel:

[C]ritics say Beck’s track record of controversial statements makes him an inappropriate ally. Last month he likened Norwegian youths gunned down at a political camp by an anti-Islamic extremist to “Hitler Youth.” Twice in the last year Beck has been denounced by the Anti-Defamation League for “bigoted” and “horrific” comments on his show, one likening Reform Judaism to “radicalized Islam” and another in which he said Holocaust survivor and billionaire George Soros betrayed fellow Jews to Nazis.

Under pressure from Jewish groups in the U.S., Beck apologized for the remark about Reform Judaism.

He has several times had to fend off allegations of anti-Semitism. Last year he appeared to endorse the notion that Jews killed Jesus Christ; his list of the world’s nine most “dangerous” people includes eight Jews; he speculated in 2009 “that Israel might be wiped off the map, leading to all-out Armageddon.”

“If this is the only kind of friend Israel’s government can find around the world, that’s a very poor sign,” said Yariv Oppenheimer, secretary-general of Peace Now, the Israeli anti-settlement group. “It’s a reflection on our current leadership that instead of having the world on our side, we can only get someone like Glenn Beck.”

Still, the criticisms seem a little thin, aimed more at a personality that either pleases or grates but rarely leaves no impression than at any substantive qualms with Beck’s message. I’ve often found myself in the uncomfortable position of defending Beck to those who perceive him as “Mr. Armaageddon,” an apocalyptic preacher, an entertainer expert at televangelist appeals like whispers and tears. And I admit, at time, he does seem a bit over the top, his talking points not overly nuanced. But, in the end, how hard is he to defend? Do we not want to restore honor to our culture? To restore courage to our world? Do we none of us see the disintegration of the moral fabric of our society or the disheartening withering of popular support for Israel? Beck’s message is simple and sincere — and, however disaffecting his presentation of it might be at times, it’s also a much-needed one.

Perhaps that’s why the voices of his allies resonate, drowning out the voices of his detractors. Here’s Alan Dershowitz:

At a time when old friends and allies who should be supporting the Jewish state are abandoning it in droves, Beck’s willingness to stand up for Israel must be accepted with gratitude. I, for one, do not question his motives. I believe they are genuine. One need not accept all of Beck’s positions on Israel — and I certainly do not — in order to agree with him that support of Israel is one of the great moral issues of the 21st Century.

And Barry Rubin, writing in The Jerusalem Post:

Having studied the Middle East professionally for 35 years and with a PhD in Middle East history, let me make it perfectly clear: Glenn Beck, who is holding several rallies in Israel this week, has a better grasp of Middle East politics than most Western experts, not to mention Western leaders.

Certainly, Beck makes silly mistakes on factual matters and details. Yet what’s important is that he comprehends the big picture. I don’t say this based on a superficial view or on his support for Israel. As part of the GLORIA Center’s project on understanding current American politics and debates I have monitored virtually every television and radio show Beck has done over the last two years. When people voice absurd and slanderous stereotypes about Beck, it turns out they haven’t actually listened to what he’s been saying.

Why has Beck gotten things right that so many others have missed or distorted? There are five key reasons: Common sense; courage; knowing the difference between right and wrong; willingness to learn; and readiness to admit when one has been wrong. These are virtues often lacking among those with more elegant reputations and impressive diplomas.

Rubin is right — and his conclusion is an important reminder that truth, while at times difficult to discern, is by all means worth preserving, even in the face of insult or injury:

Any criticism one can make of Beck regarding Middle East issues rather pales in comparison to all of the … points on which he is quite correct. But then, as Jews, and Israelis most of all, should know, to be falsely reviled and have one’s image smeared is not proof of being wrong or evil.

Beck is living proof of one of his own favorite sayings, “The truth has no agenda” — not even to be liked.


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OT:

Apparent earthquake rocks Washington D.C. area

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2011/08/apparent-earthquake-rocks-washington-dc-area/1

Chip on August 23, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Twice in the last year Beck has been denounced by the Anti-Defamation League for “bigoted” and “horrific” comments on his show, … in which he said Holocaust survivor and billionaire George Soros betrayed fellow Jews to Nazis.

George Soros absolutely did exactly as Beck described, Soros has admitted working with the Nazis, hiding his Jewish identity, helping them round up Jews and send them off to their deaths.

Beck was absolutely right about George Soros, he was a Nazi stooge during the war.

slickwillie2001 on August 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Beck is living proof of one of his own favorite sayings, “The truth has no agenda” — not even to be liked.

Which is why lying liars hate him or anyone else who bears the truth.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
Isaiah 5:20

AH_C on August 23, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Why is support for Israel a moral issue?

ernesto on August 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Common sense; courage; knowing the difference between right and wrong; willingness to learn; and readiness to admit when one has been wrong.

Sounds like a laundry list of everything that liberals lack.

Explains why they hate Beck so much.

VibrioCocci on August 23, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Why is support for Israel a moral issue?

ernesto on August 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

I’ve always wondered the same thing.

Notorious GOP on August 23, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Why is support for Israel a moral issue?

ernesto on August 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

You must have heard an adult ask that question…you would not understand the answer.
But for you, I have formulated an answer that you will be within your intellectual grasp…here it is…”Because”.
You are welcome, come back when you grow up and learn to ask adult questions properly.

right2bright on August 23, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Stateside critics are quick to point out Beck’s past misstatements and to suggest he’s disqualified to advocate for Israel

Beck obviously didn’t submit the proper request forms to considered an advocate for Israel. You can’t just advocate, you need to be vetted and accepted and approved by the Advocate Committee.

Bishop on August 23, 2011 at 2:21 PM

AH_C on August 23, 2011 at 2:14 PM

What, using biblical references to define an entertainer? He is not a prophet, he is a TV and Radio entertainer…btw, how is his eyesight and mysterious death virus doing?

right2bright on August 23, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Why is support for Israel a moral issue?

Because a government exercising its just powers is a moral thing, so seeking its destruction is evil.

The Monster on August 23, 2011 at 2:24 PM

He can be too “world is ending tomorrow paranoid” for my taste, but he has an effective message nonetheless. It’s still a Rush world for me, but I can appreciate where Beck is coming from.

search4truth on August 23, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Another ‘world changing’ event from Glenn Beck.

lexhamfox on August 23, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Why is support for Israel a moral issue?
ernesto on August 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

It’s not other than by virtue of the fact we promised to do so and keeping your word is the moral thing to do.

tommyboy on August 23, 2011 at 2:33 PM

It’s not other than by virtue of the fact we promised to do so and keeping your word is the moral thing to do.

tommyboy on August 23, 2011 at 2:33 PM

That seems to be one of the very few promises we have managed to keep. That’s odd.:/

Notorious GOP on August 23, 2011 at 2:35 PM

OT
But it was a 5.9 earthquake in Virginia. Felt it all the way up here along Lake Erie.

Deanna on August 23, 2011 at 2:36 PM

That seems to be one of the very few promises we have managed to keep. That’s odd.:/
Notorious GOP on August 23, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Under Obama I don’t believe we’ve even kept that one.

tommyboy on August 23, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Thank you Glenn and all those from numerous countries telling the Jews in Israel we love and pray for them. Even if but a tiny handful of countries wish they were gone, off the face of the earth as the would us here in America.
God be with you Israel and your citizens. I pray you will stay safe from those who hate you.
L

letget on August 23, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Why is support for Israel a moral issue?
ernesto on August 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Israel is the defining moral issue of our time. Not because its situation is the worst in the world — the genocide in Sudan is clearly in a different league. But because the way the world is treating it exemplifies a global moral sickness in which truth, goodness and the victims of an annihilatory madness are ignored, dehumanized or attacked, while lies, wickedness and their perpetrators are appeased, endorsed and supported.

Fallon on August 23, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Yep, he’s clearly an idiot. Ever since he said I should sell my stocks and buy gold, I haven’t listened to a word he says.

kringeesmom on August 23, 2011 at 2:55 PM

I too wonder along with ernesto why supporting Israel is a moral thing…. or rather, I wonder why liberals think that we shouldn’t support Israel. Aside from bigotry (the real reason) and their wistful longing that the Final Solution should have succeeded, I think the main reason is that Israel is a US Ally, and thus to be hated and derided at any cost.

Vanceone on August 23, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Yep, he’s clearly an idiot. Ever since he said I should sell my stocks and buy gold, I haven’t listened to a word he says.

kringeesmom on August 23, 2011 at 2:55 PM

I recall Glenn talking about Gold back when it was in the $600 range. He said recently he was on Gold when it was as low as $300 range. Today it is in the $1900 range. So, what is your point again?

8-23-11. The day I first read and stopped listening to kringeesmom.

DWB on August 23, 2011 at 3:07 PM

kringeesmom on August 23, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Anthony Weiner, is that you?

DWB on August 23, 2011 at 3:08 PM

kringeesmom on August 23, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Anthony Weiner, is that you?

DWB on August 23, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Methinks kringeesmom forgot the /sarc.

VibrioCocci on August 23, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Why is support for Israel a moral issue?
ernesto on August 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Why is support for Hamas and the Palestinians a moral issue for the leftists?

Gothguy on August 23, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Much ado about nothing I fear. Beck is a showman and I seriously hope this isn’t a stunt to keep him in the news now that he’s gone online.

abobo on August 23, 2011 at 3:30 PM

DWB on August 23, 2011 at 3:07 PM

I’ve been listening to Beck for years, and he’s been consistently ahead of the curve on the economy, among other things. At first I figured him an alarmist, until I realized that what he had said would happen… was happening.

Kudos to him for raising support for the Israelis in these dire times.

petefrt on August 23, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Why is support for Israel a moral issue?
ernesto on August 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

because the way the world is treating it exemplifies a global moral sickness in which truth, goodness and the victims of an annihilatory madness are ignored, dehumanized or attacked, while lies, wickedness and their perpetrators are appeased, endorsed and supported. Fallon on August 23, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Has the world ever been any different?

Akzed on August 23, 2011 at 3:49 PM

I’m glad that Beck supports Israel; I’ve saved up to make four trips there (three with Zola Levitt Ministries) since 1998. However, his support doesn’t fool me into thinking that he is an evangelical Christian — or any other kind of Christian.

The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry has good information about Mormon teachings at http://www.carm.org/mormonism. Another good site is http://www.mrm.org , the Mormon Research Ministry.

KyMouse on August 23, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Has the world ever been any different?

Akzed on August 23, 2011 at 3:49 PM

I think it ebbs and flows but now is unfortunately another high tide of hatred aimed at Israel for merely existing.

Fallon on August 23, 2011 at 3:56 PM

How can anyone listen to beck and actually believe he is an evil man or just a ‘showman’??

You gotta be lying to yourself on that.

bridgetown on August 23, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Back when Beck was on CNN, he said he had to fight like crazy to get a short documentary about the dangers Israel faces from Palestinian terrorists on the air. Beck has been supporting Israel for years. Now, he just has the resources to do it in a bigger way.

RBMN on August 23, 2011 at 4:06 PM

When this same sort of article appeared on JPost, virtually all of the Israeli comments were thankful that Beck was making the effort.

Myno on August 23, 2011 at 4:19 PM

I’m glad that Beck supports Israel; I’ve saved up to make four trips there (three with Zola Levitt Ministries) since 1998. However, his support doesn’t fool me into thinking that he is an evangelical Christian — or any other kind of Christian.

The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry has good information about Mormon teachings at http://www.carm.org/mormonism. Another good site is http://www.mrm.org , the Mormon Research Ministry.

The Mormon Church has the same validity as any other Christian faith.

Pablo Honey on August 23, 2011 at 4:19 PM

DWB on August 23, 2011 at 3:07 PM

You might want to imagine that statement from kringeesmom with a sarc tag. Nobody would bother to post here that their reason for deciding not to trust someone is because that person told the truth.

kringeesmom was mocking the media/political machine that actually entered into Congressional hearings over Beck’s suggestion to begin buying gold. The charge was that he was hoping people would buy gold after he had, raising the price, so that he could get rich. Later, when Beck began explaining the reasons why the current administration’s economic policies (non-policies) were going to damage the economy, those same people claimed that Beck was trying to hasten the destruction of the economy.

You see, they can have it both ways, Beck can be simultaneous hoping for economic boom AND bust.

The facts are, he’s an entertainer. One who had a life-changing thud against rock bottom, and who now believes he should tell others what is good and evil in the world. By taking a clear, less filtered look at things than most, he sees the direction society is heading, and warns of worse trouble to come.

If you don’t think worse trouble is coming, then you will think Beck is a sensationalist freak. Be advised, worse trouble is coming, and I’ve believed that since long before I had a clue who Glenn Beck was, or Rush Limbaugh, or even George W. Bush.

Freelancer on August 23, 2011 at 4:24 PM

The Mormon Church has the same validity as any other Christian faith. Pablo Honey on August 23, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Since you know zero about either that’s a stupid statement. You never disappoint.

Akzed on August 23, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Why is support for Israel a moral issue?

ernesto on August 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Because Israel is a free and democratic society in the midst of the most depraved, murderous regimes in the world. Israeli civilians including children are mercilessly targeted by neighbors who brag about how they love death more than others love life. Because Israel has demonstrated immense restraint by taking great risks with regards to the safety of its own soldiers and investments in technlogy to not harm the civilians who are used as human shields by the terrorist thugs who attack them.

I could go on, but I should think that even you would have to grudgingly admit that Israel has shown itself to be a remarkably moral nation.

MJBrutus on August 23, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Thank you Tina for the article. I stand with Israel. My faith and belief requires my stance. I belong to no organized religion. No person told me I must. I refuse to judge anyone’s relationship with God. I am a born again Christian that falls short in my relationship, God in his mercy loves me anyway.

IowaWoman on August 23, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Why is support for Israel a moral issue?

ernesto on August 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

If you really have to ask, you’ll never understand the answer.

Big John on August 23, 2011 at 5:41 PM

If you really have to ask, you’ll never understand the answer.

Big John on August 23, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Israel has plenty of nukes to defend themselves. I’m not sure why we need to bend over backwards to help them out when no country in their right mind would try and nuke them.

Notorious GOP on August 23, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Notorious GOP on August 23, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Why should we help Israel? Let’s start out with the fact that they are allies who help us out in return. Certainly they pull more weight in terms of providing technological and intelligence than any of our NATO pals. Then there is the matter of them being a bulwark of democracy in an area of the world that is entirely run by theocratic despots who want not just theirs but our destruction as well. Despots who allow their nations to be breeding grounds and financiers of terrorist attacks on this nation.

Israel is one of the best friends this nation has and it’s a damned shame that so many Americans are too self-absorbed to notice.

MJBrutus on August 23, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Israel has plenty of nukes to defend themselves. I’m not sure why we need to bend over backwards to help them out when no country in their right mind would try and nuke them.

Notorious GOP on August 23, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Because they are surrounded by countries NOT IN THEIR RIGHT MIND, that’s why.

The sheer hypocrisy of wanting to see the destruction of the first country authorized to be created by the U.N. by the anti-Semitic left is just amazing.

ebrown2 on August 23, 2011 at 8:05 PM

“I (God) will bless those who bless you (Israel) and will curse those who curse you”

(Gen 12:3)

We need to stand with Israel.

StarLady on August 23, 2011 at 8:11 PM

Israel has plenty of nukes to defend themselves. I’m not sure why we need to bend over backwards to help them out when no country in their right mind would try and nuke them.

We don’t have to bend over backwards. We just need to act like we remember two words: Never Again.

Pablo on August 23, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
Isaiah 5:20
AH_C on August 23, 2011 at 2:14 PM

It has been this way down thru the ages and gets worse as time goes by.

I was hoping Fox would have had a mention of Beck in Israel and some pictures, but haven’t seen any. I guess that’s not news.

bluefox on August 23, 2011 at 8:35 PM

Israel is one of the best friends this nation has and it’s a damned shame that so many Americans are too self-absorbed to notice.

MJBrutus on August 23, 2011 at 7:58 PM

So true. And understanding this, how hypocritical how we are in Iraq and Afgan sacrificing our men and women to “establish democracy”. Yet we turn our backs and won’t support the only true Democracy in the Middle East.

Trying to be wise, those that do this have shown themselves to be fools.

bluefox on August 23, 2011 at 9:11 PM

Last year he appeared to endorse the notion that Jews killed Jesus Christ;

The notion that Jews killed Jesus Christ? Gads, do these people have no biblical knowledge? All four synoptic gospels as well as the epistles and Acts are pretty clear — the Jews, the rulers of the Synagogues, and the Chief Priests turned Christ over to be crucified. Not only did they turn Him over to the Romans, they actively agitated that he be crucified and not let go as Pilate was wanting to do when Pilate could “find no fault in this man”.

Now, does this mean that Christians should hate Jews? Of course not. While the Jews and their rulers were the instruments of the death of Christ, every human being on this earth is responsible for His death because that was the fulfillment of the Promise given all the way back to Adam and Eve and throughout the Old Testament era. Paul and the other apostles first went to the Jews, then the Gentiles with the message of Christ. There is no hatred for Jews in the Christian faith. But to make the claim that stating the biblical and historical fact that the Jews were instrumental in the crucifixion of Christ is just a notion and somehow anti-semitic betrays a complete lack of biblical and historical knowledge.

AZfederalist on August 23, 2011 at 10:08 PM

The ADL should be exposed.

Speakup on August 24, 2011 at 1:25 AM

The ADL should be exposed.

Speakup on August 24, 2011 at 1:25 AM

Preferably to a bucket of tar and feathers, IMO.

Uncle Sams Nephew on August 24, 2011 at 9:10 AM