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Beck: 'I blew it' comparing rabbis to Islamic radicals
Glenn Beck at last summer's 'Restoring Honor' rally.
February 25th, 2011
12:07 PM ET

Beck: 'I blew it' comparing rabbis to Islamic radicals

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Glenn Beck is apologizing for remarks he made on his radio show comparing rabbis from a major Jewish tradition to Islamic radicals, saying, “I was wrong on this and I also apologize for it.”

“In this case I didn’t do enough homework,” Beck told radio listeners on Thursday, while his website said his comments contained “one of the worst analogies of all time.”

On Tuesday, Beck said on his show that “reformed rabbis are generally political in nature.”

“It's almost like Islam - radicalized Islam,” he continued, “in a way to where radicalized Islam is less about religion than it is about politics."

Beck’s comments came after a group of 400 rabbis, many from the Reform movement, took out a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal blasting him for comments he made about the Holocaust.

Beck, who also hosts a show on Fox News, had aired a radio series about financier George Soros that accused him of collaborating with the Nazis to send Jews to death camps, according to the Jewish Funds for Justice, which sponsored the ad.

Soros is Jewish.

The Reform movement, founded in 19th century Germany, counts a million and a half Jews in North America, according to the Union for Reform Judaism.

Beck sent a letter to the Anti-Defamation League, a group that works to combat anti-Semitism, to apologize for his remarks.

“I was admittedly misinformed on Reform rabbis, and made a horrible analogy that I immediately attempted to clarify - quite honestly, I blew it on this one,” Beck wrote, according to a copy of the letter released by the Anti-Defamation League.

Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham H. Foxman says he accepts Beck’s apology.

“Glenn Beck has shown that he understands how his remarks were offensive and out of line,” Foxman said in a statement Thursday. “We welcome his words of apology and consider the matter closed.”

The Jewish Funds for Justice, meanwhile, said Beck’s apology did not go far enough.

“Glenn Beck’s apology for comparing Reform Judaism to ‘radicalized Islam’ is welcome but incomplete,” the group said in a statement.

“While we are heartened to hear him recognize his ignorance,” the statement continued, “he still has not acknowledged that the letter signed by 400 rabbis and organized by Jewish Funds for Justice represented a cross-section of denominations, including Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Renewal rabbis."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Holocaust • Judaism

soundoff (1,083 Responses)
  1. freddie

    the person writing his pay check was angry.

    March 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  2. yoda

    The problem is that when Beck or Limbaugh spout this stuff their bastions of mindless followers believe it and they never really get exposed to the "apology". The "apology" goes right by them.

    March 1, 2011 at 1:07 am |
  3. evensteven

    Great. Now you've given me one more thing to worry about . . .

    February 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  4. Ken

    How many more "worst analogies" must this man provide before some people realize that he's an idiot. "In this case I didn't do enough homework". Not just this case.

    Quite simply, we need to stop rewarding idiots with fame and fortune.

    If people would stop buying this mans books, stop listening to\watching his shows and offer no support at his rallies, he will have no choice but to shrink into mediocrity, where he belongs. And hopefully he take his mentor, Limbaugh with him.

    February 28, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  5. Mike

    If all radio stations take the lead of the CBS affiliate in Philly, WPHT, then Beck wouldn't have an audience. About a month ago WPHT pulled the plug on Beck and, by the way, also pulled it on Sean Hannity. Philly knows who's real and who's not. Only Rush is left. Did I say left?

    February 27, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  6. calm down

    politics turns everyone ugly. i don't like glen beck at all, but i think you're all blowing things out of proportion here just because he criticized jews. there can be fair criticisms without labeling them "anti-semetic"–a word used so often that it has lost all meaning.

    February 27, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Blakstarn

      Beck's apology has less to do with being anti-semitic. It's about money and he knows who holds the purse strings. The people he caters to do not have the resources and power to maintain his lifestyle and he knows well enough not to bite the hand that feed him. The statement and retraction is just a ploy to show he's not afraid to take on any group, when in fact he will not cross that line too far.

      February 27, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
  7. Child of a Lesser God

    Okay, so he apologized for something. He is no less repectable, however. He only apologized because it is better for his career to do so. The kind of people who listen to blowhards like Beck are the kind of people who do not have the intellectual inclination to look into things for themselves. And, don't think I am being polemic here. There are liberal blowhards too. This is a guy who simply tries to get ratings by fanning the flames of ignorant thought and perpetuating that ignorance. People like this on both sides are bad for the USA. He should apologize for ever opening his mouth and then zip it for good.

    February 26, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
  8. Child of a Lesser God

    Beck is wrong about a lot of stuff. He blew it on this, and he will blow a lot more. Yes, there was a double meaning in that.

    February 26, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  9. Glen is my frend

    Sometimes, I too will dress up like my frend Glen and watch his show. I thin he's wonderful. I like his hare. Not the stuff on his head, but his pet hare Rodney. It's lots of fun to watch Glen. He's my frend.

    February 26, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.