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. sammy

    Richard Klein, shame on you!

    February 25, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
  2. John Q Public

    Its good to see the general consensus is that Glen Beck is an idiot..... That he is on FOX only shows what a biased news source they are..... but of course Im sure most readers here know that.....

    February 25, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • jorge washinsen

      People sure keep up to date with every thing on Fox,must have good neighbors telling them the gory details.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  3. d. staples

    i've been listening to him for a while as my husband does. i've noticed his comments always have a tinge of dislike for all who do not follow his ideal faith. wish he would consentrate on fixing himself

    February 25, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • jorge washinsen

      I think he is a recovering Democrat.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  4. BIll Neal

    Let me get this right... He apologizes for criticizing the Jews but never the Muslims?

    February 25, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Art

      He didn't say anything about Muslims that weren't true, that's why.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  5. Seattle Sue

    Not much of an apology on Beck's part. The old (if I offended anybody I'm sorry). But if I didn't offend you, then I'm not sorry. Beck is a one of the biggest liars on the air.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  6. Jezmundberserker

    Beck can do the impossible. He unites rabbis, muftis, monks and even atheists. Too bad the only thing that unites them is their hatred for good ol' Glenn.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • jorge washinsen

      Probably draws a few flies too.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  7. steve505

    Glenn Beck is an entertainer, nothing more. He's admitted to that in Forbes magazine. Anyone who thinks Glenn Beck is politically relevant is an uneducated moron and needs to re-examine their very existence.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • jorge washinsen

      Just proves you can make a very good statement of facts and not blame it on George Bush. Good show.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  8. sammy

    Beck is misinformed on all aspects of everyday life. His brain seems to be connected to his @#%(!.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • myklds

      What an ignorant comment for an intellectual person....as what you think you were.

      February 25, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
  9. MiddleOfTheRoad

    Glenn Beck makes his living being controversial. He says things to bring attention to himself. When the feedback is too negative, he apologizes. That is so sincere.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • myklds

      It's being open-mined then sincerity.

      February 25, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
  10. Richard Klein

    I am Jewish, and I am a supporter of Glenn Beck. He was one of the very few people who told the truth about the flotilla incident last June. He is a a friend of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. My wife and I watch his shows, and most of the time we are in full agreement with him.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • sammy

      Shame on you, are you sure you're Jewish! Read these posts

      February 25, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Seattle Sue

      Whoopee, You are a blind follower of Glen Beck, I bet you love and believe everything Limbaugh says also.

      February 25, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Bob

      Define "friend." Beck is no friend of anyone with a rational sense of history and any sense of how words define you.

      “As long as a word remains unspoken, you are its master; once you utter it, you are its slave.”

      Solomon Ibn Gabirol ben Judah

      February 25, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Bannister

      Richard, thanks for your thoughts. I think part of the problem we have in this country is the hidden, under the radar conflict between many (not all) Jews and traditional American society(and yes, by traditional American society, I mean white Christian America)

      For years, many secular Jews have a strong history of leftist politics and aggressive activism that always seemed to be opposed to the wishes of the American majority. White Americans of the last century certainly didn't want to become a racial minority in their own homeland – and yet that's exactly what Jews pushed on them by constantly advocating for open borders and state sponsored "multiculturalism". Now, I have nothing against Israel and I support the idea of Jews having a Jewish homeland – but American Jews would be aghast at the idea that whites or Christians should have a homeland as well.

      There is an excellent book by Kevin MacDonald called "The Culture of Critique" about Jewish political movements and their effect on Western Civilization. Many Jews would hate it – but for HONEST, introspective Jews who are not afraid of open dialog, I would highly recommend it. Best Wishes

      February 25, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Jezmundberserker

      Dear Richard: "He's a friend of the Jewish people and the State of Israel"? Beck's only friend is money!

      February 25, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Dustin

      I'm sorry Bannister, but you are an anti-semite, plain and simple. Jewish people did not force anything on America, let alone conspire to make whites "minorities in their own country."
      Jewish people make up less than 2% of the countries population, do you really expect them to be the force behind the tremendous change that has occurred in this country?
      Not to mention how blatantly racist your comments are. America was never intended as a homeland for White people or Christians. It was a place to escape persecution for all people regardless of religion or race. Your outlook on American history is deeply flawed. It's people like you who are grossly misinformed and racist that give Glen Beck his power. Shame on you.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Bob

      Bannister -

      What's under the radar is the anti-semitic but carefully worded diatribes like yours. The Jews have opened the borders? The Jews have made Whites the minority? So America should be a homeland for White Americans? I'm sorry, the "traditional " American Society of white christians???? And that's code for "those who belong" here? There is a whole lot of tradition in America among folks who would not consider themselves your brand of white christians. Jews and Palestinians need a homeland to protect them from the daily dangers of their neighbors; a place to feel safe. Agreed you probably don't feel safe in America - but the threat is certainly not isolated on you as a White Christian - threats to Americans today are because we are Americans, Jew, Muslim, Christian, agnostic, etc. who continue to cherish our freedoms and the multi-racial, multi-ethnic culture we live in. Go ahead and try and call me naive - I'm sure it won't be the first time you hide behind the words, "Oh, you just don't understand." Open dialogue? I don't think you really know how closed your dialogue is.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • musings

      Of course you like him – if you are fanatical rather than judicious like the Reform Jews. He supports things you support. Great. And he cannot wait until you are either killed or converted.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  11. Dan D

    Beck misinformed and ignorant.....no surprise

    February 25, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Jezmundberserker

      Nobody "forced" Glenn to apologize. Maybe we should demand freedom from hatred and lies.

      February 25, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  12. Alex

    And there goes freedom of speech out the window...

    February 25, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Ryler_Tom

      Freedom of Speech means that the Federal Government, inmost cases, cannot restrict speech. The Federal Government is doing nothing to restrict his speech.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • DenverGrl

      Defaming someone's character is not free speech. As a Reform Jew, I cannot express how offended I am not only because he compared my rabbi and I to terrorists, but also because his comments direct others to unjustly hate us. It's just disgusting.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Adrian

      What comments are you specifically referring to?

      February 25, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  13. Reality

    Actually, Glen Beck blows just about everything in his Mormon-tainted tirades but hey it makes for a lot of money as he pocketed about $32 million in 2010. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/08/glenn-beck-earned-32-mill_n_529903.html

    February 25, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Adrian

      Reality, you are a bigot! What is wrong with being a Mormon? What does that have to do with anything? It is your hate speech that has people so ticked off....

      February 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • myklds

      Being with (Palin) Fox made him hateful to make those tirades, being a Mormon made him humbly realize his mistakes and apologize.

      Hate is prevalent in Fox (look at Palin), the Church teaches humility, repentance and forgiveness. That's reality.

      February 25, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
  14. GMAN

    Now this moron has ZERO credibility...

    February 25, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  15. USA401

    It seems like every day these extreme idiots are making hatful comments and apologizing for them. I think its time to realize their apologies mean nothing. They are just hateful people who dislike others who are not like them.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Bob

      Agreed. Apology not accepted. His statements ARE who he is.

      February 25, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Adrian

      USA401.... please tell me, what hate speech are you talking about? I would like to know?

      February 25, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  16. minnesotan

    Why now? I don't understand. He's never been bothered to do his homework before or recant his ignorant and inflamatory statements.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • hal8218

      because Jews pay his salary, that's why. all he cares about is money.

      February 25, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Adrian

      I am curious, minnesotan, what else has he gotten wrong? what else did he "not do his research" on?

      February 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • pazke

      Adrian, pretty much everything that comes out of his mouth.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  17. jerry


    February 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  18. John Henson

    If Fox wasn't so extremist, Beck would have been gone from national TV a long time ago.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  19. tstorm

    Beck is just a giant symbol for all that is wrong with Conservative thinking... all the hate, all the anti-American rhetoric, blaming the middle class working people for all their financial mistakes... I think America is tired of it. Plain and simple.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  20. Dave

    THis pig is misinformed about everything he touches on.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
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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.