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. nik green

    The Anti Defamation League (as well as the Simon Wiesenthal Center) is a Holocaust denier in itself: they make no reference to the *other* 5.5 million+ non Jewish people who were slaughtered by the Nazis, as if the presence of these pesky "others" were not part of the discussion, in other words, these people "of lesser racial and religious relevance and standing".

    February 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • JSK

      Should we compare people like Beck to a**holes!

      February 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • GenericName

      that's REALLY stretching it, don't you think?

      February 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • StevenS

      You are comparing apples and oranges. People of other nationality were killed by Nazi, but they never been specifically targeted for a complete extermination as jews were. And this is a biggest difference. It is like comparing US, NATO and Israelis soldiers that do everything trying to not kill civilians where opposite to them muslim extremist do everything to kill civilians.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Dave

      That is an outright lie, you nasty little bigot. NO other group of people was systematically hunted down and marked for extinction as were Jews. Nor do the ADL or Simon Wiesenthal Center ignore the other victims of Hitler. Quite the contrary. Perhaps if you actually did some serious research instead of getting your information from Nazi and/or jihadist web sites, you might know better.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm |

      you obviously have to idea what the anti defamation league was established for.

      It is to protect JEWS, and jews only.

      we are a group that has been targeted to often since the beginning of time that we needed an organization to combat the slander that comes along with this hatred.

      it is not our job to protect everyone who perished. It is very sad that no other country set up anything for their people, but us jews have to work for ourselves. if we dont do it. no one will.

      simple as that. if we had to go around the world and save every slanderous comment made against blacks, asians, and gays. we would be the anti slander league. Jews have enough to deal with already they do not need to defend everyone else.

      it seems if we do try to help others anyways the media and the arab world sees us as just brown nosing. As if the people who have dealt with the most cant be compassionate….


      February 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  2. iikati

    Beck condemns others for being religious AND political, saying that their religion is therefore more of a political movement than a faith.

    I condemn him for blending politics and religion as well. He claims to be a Mormon therefore it is probably wiser to stop viewing them as a religion and instead view them as a political movement subject to all of the relevant laws. We could draw the same conclusion about other politically oriented "religions" such as the Catholic Church.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  3. Steveo

    He makes millions, how are you doing?

    February 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • UnfortunateColor

      He makes millions by convincing working people that tax cuts for the rich will somehow help them. Corporate America will take really good care of the working class, especially when the states take away the power of the labor unions.

      First They came... – Pastor Martin Niemoller
      First they came for the communists,
      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

      Then they came for the trade unionists,
      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews,
      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

      Then they came for me
      and there was no one left to speak out for me.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • K.C.

      Steve, is that your #1 yardstick for success?? Charlie Sheen makes millions too...another pathetic loser.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • K.C.

      Steveo, really–is that your #1 yardstick for success?? Charlie Sheen makes millions too...another pathetic loser.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  4. Posh-Kenneth

    I try not to LET myself get offended by the remarks of others. I have the outlook that if you just assume everyone else is dumber than you then you are never shocked. *shrug*

    February 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  5. Jake

    LOL. Look at you fools. You rant that Glenn Beck is irrelevant, yet look how many of you fools just HAD to make a post about him.


    February 25, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Tinfoil Hattist

      Right..... as if some random comments section on the internet is a measure for how relevant something is. I think it just shows how many people need to get off their butts and do something productive.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  6. Eric P

    Just think, Beck has a bigger following than actual academics and journalists. How sad is that. 0% of everything the man says is based in reality. All he does is rants incoherently. I should get into radio too!!!

    February 25, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Tinfoil Hattist

      And Justin Bieber has a bigger following than Glenn Beck.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  7. Big Surprise

    No surprise, Beck rarely knows what he is talking about so it makes sense he makes no sense 99% of the time. 1% of the time he makes sense apologizing for making no sense. He once wrote that the easter bunny was a socialist puppet of santa claus who is controlled by Soros.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  8. lj

    I don't think he made any kind of an apology. The devil must make him say the things he does.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  9. Kelly NC

    you left wing nut jobs can't stand that no one wants to listen to you ramble on about your socialist views. Air America.... anybody out there? I'm not a fan of GB's religious rants but he is dead on about Obama, Soros, Vann Jones, etc. If you people hate America so much.. why don't you head to Greece, or Spain, or Portugal, or France? In France you can retire at 62 with full benefits.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • XWngLady

      No. I am an American citizen....Why should I move? Why don't YOU move!...Furthermore, this country was built on the backs of African-Americans and with the blood and the land of Native Americans...Both, my ancestors. So I'M NOT GOING ANYWHERE!

      February 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  10. Tinfoil Hattist

    I think it's hilarious that he finally offended somebody that could shut down his party! I'm not sure who that was, exactly. Jewish voters usually side with Democrats. Maybe Evangelicals just have a soft spot for Israelites. You can be racist against blacks and Muslims. You can make up all kinds of silly conspiracies about "liberals" and "socialists" and "commies" being responsible for every crazy thing in the world. But by gosh, if you insult the Jews... you are TOAST! After all, they are God's chosen people... you know, the one's who need to die in Armageddon in order for Jesus to come back.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  11. bigboxes

    He's a bigot.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  12. BW

    Let's see; Glenn Beck, no education, alchoholic, drug abuser, divorced, Mom commited suicide, flunked out of college after one semester, even though he got in only by the help of a senator. Has changed his own religion. Yes, this is who I want on the radio spewing crap. He doesn't know anything about some religions so he makes stuff up and then has to say sorry, of course after people have to correct him. He stirs trouble to get ratings. This man couldn't get a real job since he has no skills or education so he instills hate on the radio. If I was an ultra-conservative I'd really be happy having him as my representative. Bottom line he is a moron!

    February 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • UnfortunateColor

      Who's the bigger moron, the moron who leads or the morons who follow?

      February 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • acura2010

      Amen! Boycott the bigot.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • FormerMemberofMensa

      Calling him a moron is very unfair to the rest of the morons in this country, who listen to him each and everyday.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • K.C.

      Hi BW–Limbaugh –also a drug addict and a college drop out–not even one semester –Some people may scoff at a college education, but it helps to expose you to other cultures, it shows you worlds beyond your own - it helps you learn things that help keep you from spewing bigoted hate filled rants. These pathetic souls need to go to school. It could only help!

      February 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  13. Bingo

    Boycott the bigot, and the others (hannity, limbaugh) like him

    February 25, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  14. Michael

    I am not surprised by his comments. Have you seen his book where he's in a uniform on the cover? The similarity to the Waffen SS or Gestapo is striking and, in my opinion, intentional.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • mikey M

      yea...it was sarcasm...

      February 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm |

    He is a hypocrit, lier, hater and dishonest. He should be charged " for inciting hate and discrimination" against Americans and against Muslims and Jews. He believes that only the Mormon religion is the ONLY one, but he is not admitting it for fear of backlash against him and FOX. He only cares about the Millions he is making by fooling people with low IQ's. Peace

    February 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • RainKing

      Return, you are so right. I bet you more than 3/4's of what he says, he himself doesn't believe in. Beck just likes to spew garbage out of his mouth because it makes him controversial which in turn makes him a lot of money. The more hatred he spews the more money he makes. It's all about the money for beck, don't let him tell you different. It's to bad Fox stands behind this clown.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  16. Lorraine

    What an idiot... if he is talking stupid things are coming out of his mouth... FOX FIRE HIM NOW!!

    February 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Waverly

      Does he truly believe in what he says? It seems like it. He continue to speak for the GOP majority. Let's keep him on the air so that more Americans and others in the world could see and hear what American cartoons are like.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  17. Tev

    I agree with Beck on this one. Reform rabbis are geared mainly towards liberal politics rather than Torah learning like the Orthodox movement. Another case of PCPD handing out tickets.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  18. jv


    February 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  19. Larry

    Extreme right wingers, such as Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, are either offering apologies or explaining how they were misunderstood more and more often. When are people going to realize that these statements are the truth slipping out.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  20. Steven Emmons

    Free Speech ,deal with it..

    February 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • XWngLady

      Only people who are loathe to exhibit any kind of self-control in thier speech in accordance with morality, decency and social norms say this. Its an excuse to be rude, crude and immature...Please grow up! Everything that is admissible is not advisible.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Eric P

      That's a cop out.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • elo

      Responsibility. Integrity. deal with it.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:57 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.