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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. J C

    I cannot believe it, but I finally agree with Beck on something! He is right, he blew it!

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

      For the first time I agree with him too. I can't believe so many people listen to him. For that matter, I can't believe DrugRush Limbaugh has such a following.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  2. Devil's Haircut

    Dangit, I came in here thinking the singer Beck said something about the Jews. I'm like "OMG, what'd Beck do?!" Then it's just this guy and I'm like oh...whatevs.

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

      Republican christians scare the crap out of me. I support secular rule of law, not religious political oppression.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  3. elo

    Every morning this man forgets to leave his home with some items: his white hood and white robe.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  4. Jason

    Beck wasn't misinformed. Beck is a hate-monger. If you listen to Beck, you are part of the hate. Pure and simple. Beck = hate. People who listen to Beck = Hate.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  5. Proud Antisemite

    Criticize a person who happens to be Jewish for anything = branded an antisemite instantly

    Congratulations, we're all vassals and serfs to these people in our own countries.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      In what way are we vassals and serfs to the Jews? Please give me an explanation that does not talk about conspiracies, or banking, or the entertainment industry. If you are proud to be an anti-Semite, go live in Russia where you can practice your hate without watering it down with US citizenship.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  6. duke

    I think I said to myself months ago,Beck is a racist,where is the remote"Click" Now I here he,s a nazi? Fox,your scrapping the "Bottom of the Barrel"??????? Your rating can,t be very good,"But Iv,e never watched you anyway,Im not racist" DAH

    February 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  7. Joshua Ludd

    I had hoped this article was about the musician Beck, not Looney Tunes Beck.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  8. Joshua Ludd

    “In this case I didn’t do enough homework,”

    And only now does he figure that out? And only about this one case?

    February 25, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  9. Whammybar

    Beck is a hate monger, everything he does is to generate hate. He has the right to do that but why does he get paid for it?

    February 25, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  10. Gary Swanson

    So, what's the over-under on how many apologies Glenn Beck will be "asked" to make in 2011? Is it too late to get in on that pool?

    February 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  11. Aminata

    Bleck has shown again that he is an IGNORANT and racist and he should be cut off from honest and objective broadcast

    February 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  12. ny1969

    Beck and his ilk are the reason why bigotry, hatred and racism perpetuate. the damage is done. his followers believe every word that comes out of his ignorant mouth. apology or not, he still believes it on some level himself and he's just trying to save face. pathetic.

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

      And exactly the same could be said of the far left – so your point is not that it is just the right -- because to say that to be true so is it exactly what the far left is doing. Lets look for example in Madison....read any of those signs lately??? Great representation for the children to see – huh? NOT!

      February 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  13. mdc

    It will take someone dying before someone takes this race-baiter off the air.

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

      R u talking about Matthews or Olbermann.......oh ya – Olbermann is already gone!

      February 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  14. Proud Antisemite

    OH how dare you attach the chosen people of GOTT!! *hurf wheeze*

    February 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  15. QPhunk

    So, why is it OK for conservatives to be hypocrites? When a Republican senator resigns for molesting a child, or when Rush Limbaugh snorts a bunch of cocaine, it's all OK. Life goes on. On the other hand, when a Democrat does something that a lefty would actually do, like smoke a joint, it's HUGE news and everyone freaks out. I don't get it...

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

      How about.... because those things never happened?
      But you just keep living in your fantasy world.

      As for Beck, he apologized. Case closed.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  16. Jessica

    I think Beck needs to apologize to Union workers for saying that they are worse that the Taliban. Beck, the nonsense that comes out of your mouth is udder baloney!

    February 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  17. Jim

    Mr Beck is beginning to sound more like a Nazi every day.
    We don't need that, and we don't need "excuses" like "I didn't do my homework". Beck talks from the heart, and he's clearly anti-Semitic.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Jill

      I agree. It frightens me that my beloved country has so many citizens that are influenced by this man. Mr. Foxman and his organization's statement showed alot of class, unlike Beck who has absolutely none.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  18. Steveo

    All churches should be taxed! There is no GOD!

    February 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  19. MW

    The guy is a right wing hater like a lot of other republicans, he is just too stupid to control his racism. Most other republicans can keep theirs in check, most of the time.

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

      How many times have you heard "other" talking heads from the right wing apologize for their remarks when they are obviously proven wrong? None.

      Furthermore, how many times have you heard talking heads from the left wing apologize for some of the boneheaded things they say? None.

      At least Beck has enough integrity to admit he was wrong – which cant be said of the majority of the politcal or pundit class.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Joe G

      Most republicans/Christians do NOT keep their bigoted nature in check. In fact, they go out of their way to show everyone how bigoted they are.

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

      @Ryan – I so agree with you. Thanks for the level headed response with common sense thrown in!

      February 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Cody

      Yeah, but hes employed by the media, not the state. It's like he forgot that we sign his checks 0.o

      February 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • wiggle

      Yeah Ryan..it only took a full page ad to get him to realize he did wrong. Give me a break- he's a fake.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  20. ROGER PRINCE

    Why is it that we can't remember 69 years ago when Europe killed for no reason other than religion 6 millon jews, my wife mothers family were killed men women children and even babies.....shame on the world to now do the same type of thinking.
    Im jewish by choice ...................Shalom...................Simchia Arron.................

    February 25, 2011 at 1:50 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.