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. POD

    That will teach you to touch one of those third rails....................

    February 25, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • ag

      obviously you have a very good understanding of the concept af what the third rail in political discourse even means . Especially since this analogy is so clearly on point with the 3rd rail topics. The implications of your little comment are so clearly not troubling on many levels.
      I might suggest something called a newspaper just to skim over once in a while...

      February 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  2. DT

    The fact that so many Rabbis from so many different forms of Judaism all got together on something they felt was very important should speak volumes. His apology seemed very weak...regardless of what he was apologizing for (I am Jewish myself). Religious fundamentalists come in many forms and from many religions.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  3. Enoch

    Glenn Beck isn't the problem. People that listen to his tripe and believe it makes sense are the problem.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  4. sjFish

    Most of the comments above "Can't Handle the TRUTH" because who they listen to NEVER speak nor KNOW the TRUTH. BECK is bring the TRUTH to the American citizens. I believe all of you that don't hear the TRUTH must be listening to SORUS'S GROUPS.
    DO YOUR HOMEWORK and you will know that 99.8 % BECK is presenting the REAL TRUTH.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Enoch

      Funny. That is the same percentage that Rush Limbaugh claims (but won't back up).

      86% of the people in the world make up statistics. 72% of the population knows this.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  5. Bold Coffee

    it will all come down to the haves versus th have nots.......it always does.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  6. Rick

    Another 10,000 apologies for his other past ignorant comments and he may be on his way to redemption.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  7. Warren

    He is an idiot and his apoloy should not be accepted. People should be held accountable for their comments.
    Someone get him off the air.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  8. elidude

    d*uche bag!

    February 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  9. jorge washinsen

    We are so lucky to have CNN to give us the unvarnished ,untarnished, unbiased, unpolitical, fair and balanced news.Where else but America could you have this?

    February 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  10. Jerry

    Naturally he apologises when he insults Jews. How about Glenn Beck apologises to the other ethnic and religious groups he insulted as well.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • mary43

      He did apologize, but you libs NEVER apologize to those of us who are Christians...full of hate.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  11. sjFish

    Most of the comments above "Can't Handel the TRUTH" because who they listen to NEVER speak nor KNOW the TRUTH. BECK is bring the TRUTH to the American citizens. I believe all of you that don't hear the TRUTH must be listening to SORUS'S GROUPS.
    DO YOUR HOMEWORK and you will know that 99.8 % BECK is presenting the REAL TRUTH.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Kjcube


      Truth is not something something so easily come by, and is even harder to articulate. Forgive me if I seem a little skeptical of Mr. Beck's "Truth."

      February 25, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      My reply above was meant to be here...

      February 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  12. Kjcube

    ...yes... this is where you blew it beck. Let's just ignore the fact that you conservative talking heads and your liberal counterpart ilk have mired this country in vitriolic rhetoric and discourse so illogical that it'd be funny if it weren't true. Let's ignore the fact you've single handedly convinced God knows how many people to take up positions on political issues rooted not in reality but in unsubstantiated right-wing musings. Yes, your big mistake was making a stupid politically incorrect statement. You sir, are no better than the "socialists" you criticize. Show me that your not full of **** and maybe I'll care about your pseudo-apologies.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I listen to Beck just about every day, while driving home and as part of my "keeping an eye on the crazies. He often takes factoids and twists them into absolute BS, that ends up being almost impossible to follow, never mind believe. His fascination with the founding fathers and wanting to return to simpler times makes no sense, other than to put the old, fat white guys and the church back into power. He is not progressive in any way. But he does make a good match for Sarah P and I'm so very glad to not live in the USA, 'cause if/when those two, or any of their ilk get into power, the USA will never recover.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • willowspring

      Hotairace below listens to Beck every day on the way home and then does nothing but run him down and accuse him and other conservatives of ruining the country. Take some advice ACE and don't listen; you might get an ulcer. Until you understand what we have lost as a country due to Progressives, and value what our Founders gave us, you are nothing more than a nattering nabob.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @willow spring

      If people such as myself do not listen (with the intent or learning, not necessarily agreeing) to people like Glenn Beck, how will his message grow, particularly after all the like minded crowd is listening? Or is he a cult leader, only available to his indoctrinated followers?

      I often have one or both of my sons (18 and 22 years old) with me when I do listen (not *every* day – reading for comprehension would be appreciated) and on occasion I ask them what they think. Glenn's not getting his message to them either.

      Finally, I strongly suggest that the founding fathers were considered progressives in their time. The problem with the like's of Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and perhaps yourself is that you have some rose colored view of the past and don't recognize that you cannot stop progress and change. In fact, they are much like democracy (as several mid-east countries are currently experiencing) -once the genie is out of the bottle, you can't put s/he back in.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      @willowspring: thats wonderful! you are actually channelling Spiro Agnew! Any other right-wing felons you pray to?

      February 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  13. cbd

    Idiots and bigots around the world unite. I think I've found your leader.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  14. Pab

    Proof that our country is getting dummer, Beck and his flock.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  15. Steveo

    Just Kidding people GET A SEANCE OF HUMOR....You do not the genius" you pretend to possess.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • C BAUER

      Seance? You illiterate rube! LOL

      February 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Gordon Mathers

      I want a seance of humor. Can you find a comic medium to do that? Like comedy traffic school? I want to summon the ghosts of Charlie Chaplin and the Marx Brothers. Is Dom Delouise dead? I want him at my seance of humor too! Oh, what fun this will be!

      February 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  16. Rob

    NATIVETEXAN, no wonder you are from Texas. Moron like you and your King Dumb Bush are the biggest threat to people in the world. There is no difference between Taliban and Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sara Palin. The difference is the religion. They are Christian Taliban, Figure that out you stupid high school dropout.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • willowspring

      Tut! Tut! Rob. Your bigotry is showing. I wouldn't be surprised if you were one of those in the crowds carrying insulting signs and screaming in people's face.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      @willowspring: didn't we see you at the tea aprty rallies screaming and spitting at John Lewis?

      February 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • tewrobert

      @The Real Tom Paine, Nope that was me you seen 🙂 Get a life

      February 25, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  17. MIke

    Ellen, no I don't know why. Suppose you "enlighten" us? Is it the old saw about the Jewish cabal running the world? Every supersensitive group demands and gets apologies for stupid comments like Beck's, not just the Jews. Its great to have you, and those like you, out in the open. So keep running your mouth. Every time you type, we're all kept abreast of your own stupidity and bigotry.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  18. smokinmike

    . . . and he makes more money from the self-generated controversy.

    Just use the OFF switch on this nut.

    When he can't sell advertising, he'll be gone.

    . . . by the way – does anyone other than me believe that Rush Limbaugh was Lumpy on'Leave It To Beaver"

    . . . er, ah – I mean Clarence.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  19. NewRome

    What do you expect from a catholic alcohol addict who found Jebus in Missouri through his white underwear wearing prophet Joseph Smith?

    February 25, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Floyd

      Now that is a bigot's response. As a Catholic, I am offended, but as usual will turn the other cheek. Play nicely in the sandbox please. There is no need for the bigotry....from Beck, or any of you. He stood up like he should and apologized. He was wrong, but you are a bigot.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • willowspring

      Do you ever consider how asinine you are when you write things like that?

      February 25, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Gordon Mathers

      Who is "Jebus"?

      February 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  20. doc_rf

    lesson learned – mock and denigrate muslims all you want, but jews are untouchable!

    February 25, 2011 at 2:44 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.