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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. David M

    Glenn Beck is only sorry that he embarassed himself. He could care less about anything else.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  2. CITIZEN

    As a Jew I am offended by Glenn Beck"s comments about reform rabbis.There are standards to be met in newspaper journalism and when reporters fail to meet these standards, they get Fired. There are standards of acceptable broadcast journalism which Glenn Beck failed to meet. He should be fired
    from Fox News.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  3. fromtheblueline

    As typical, the race-baiting, hypocritical, libdbags are out in force. When Byrd "apologized" for being a grand wizard, he was forgiven. When AlJessera make their anti-semitic, white interloper comments, they are embraced. FuDbags! When will all the American "Jews" apologize for being a front? They are helping establish the same totalitarian government that allowed Germany to be strolled through by evil-doers. Take away ALL giuns, tell you what to eat, run for 3+terms while there are two-term limits...
    It is libs who hate Israel and it is impossible to be jewish and anti-gun – talk to your grandmothers, you halfbreeds.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Lou

      Don't worry fromtheblueline, You don't have to try so hard. We've got room down here for you too. Hurry up!

      February 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  4. canopy

    Had to comment that there were 666 comments when I posted

    February 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Lou

      So you were number 667? You broke my string. Lucky you. Come down and join me and Glenn where it's nice, warm and cozy. Adolph should be serving drinks soon. Down here it's always happy hour.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  5. Dhoriyas are Chodiyas

    He should apologize for being born.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  6. Joe P.

    Mike your an _ _ _ hole, wake up

    February 25, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  7. Joe P.

    Has anybody ever firgured why the Jews are hated so much, curious?

    February 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  8. Lou

    Why is anyone surprised by this? The man's been showing off his Nazi fetish for years. Nothing but a drive time shock jock with a TV camera pandering to the Aryan Brotherhood and those too ignorant to know better.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  9. Cricket

    What does Beck mean by not doing his research THIS time? It's never stopped him before!

    February 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  10. Gordon Mathers

    I sometimes read people's comments and it just makes me sad. Everyone fighting, trying to sound so smart. Right or wrong, this country is really screwed up right now. But what are you gonna do. I'm going to eat a bag of cookies and weep.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  11. Jewish

    WE GOT HIM!

    February 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  12. Lindley

    Glenn,
    Fox can criticize Muslims, but since Jews write your checks, you'd better not criticize them. They're THE CHOSEN PEOPLE. And, Glen, even though your fan base consists mostly of Junior College Dropouts, even their Baptist preachers have told them not to criticize Jews. You just can't do this in Capitalist Rule. Sorry.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Lou

      Lindley, Your ignorance, and bigotry is showing. FOX is owned by Rupert Murdoch. The man who "writes the checks" for Glenn Beck is Christian.

      Only thing worse than a smart anti-Semite is a dumb one. You qualify!

      February 25, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Chimo

      Again, we have another useless dirtbag anti semite like you Lindley who beleives that the jews own the whole world and conspire to keep people like you down and out, isn't that right? I've got news for dolts like you, it's only your perverted and sickening views that make you subhuman.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • fromtheblueline

      Lou – you and every libdbag VOTES for racists and let them run the country. No one is voting for Glenn Beck. You are a fraud. So let your stupidity (not ignorance) shine.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Lou

      @fromtheblueline, Nice to hear from you. Are you saying I'm wrong about Rupert Murdock being Christian? I'm not. Go check for yourself. So, if I'm not wrong who are you calling ignorant? Yourself?

      By the way, I'm not Liberal. I'm FACTUAL. I know it's a tough concept to grasp but give it a try. And the next time you want to call me names please throw in a few "facts" so we'll know that you're not just rabid.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • fromtheblueline

      Lou, my apologies! meant to direct my comment to lindley

      February 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • ellid

      Actually, a significant minority shareholder of Fox News is a member of the Saudi royal family, which makes him Muslim.

      Don't let the door hit you on the way to the Klan meeting, you pathetic anti-Semite.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:41 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 3:19 pm |
  14. Bob

    It appears that Beck is universally un-popular!

    February 25, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  15. dogfight

    Imus got whacked for racist remarks about members of girls basketball team. Why doesn't Beck's boss pull the plug on this bigoted moron?

    February 25, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Magna42

      That's because Becks Boss believes like Beck!

      February 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Lou

      Because he gets higher ratings than Imus.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  16. Bob

    So he admits he was wrong comparing Rabbis to Islamis radicals, someone needs to remind him of all the other screw ups he's made.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Andrew

      Yeah, that was the weird part. This implies he cares if he says something wrong, but I guess he never had a second thought about all the other crazy stuff he has said? I mean, as bad as this was, it was hardly the most reprehensible thing he has ever said.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  17. Aristotle

    I am Jewish and I can tell you that Beck (whom I normally don't follow as I find his show boring) is not too far off on the Reform Rabbis. Reform Judaism has become increasingly non-religious and ever-more secular and political. I gave up attending services in L.A. when the Rabbi called for the congregation to support the election of Obama.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • David in Seattle

      And as a Conservative Jew, my Conservative rabbi would never have told us to vote for Obama. He would have known that none of use would have voted for McCain anyway - and those who did vote for him would never be in services anyway.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Traveller

      @Aristotle- I concur completely. I have precisely the same experience. The conversation is devoid of matters of faith. It has become all about "Social Justice". Judaism is no longer the religion. Quite frankly Liberalism has become the religion.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Miriam Hamsa

      A little education about our religion – it isn't about faith in God, it is about Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World. Reform Judaism is very much in that spirit. Tikkun Olam is the central tenet of Judaism.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Dave Goren

      Wow, if I had heard that, I would have walked out, too. I wonder if he still feels that way. I am also Jewish, but conservative and Libertarian/Republican (voted Republican). Rabbis, as well as other clergy, should stick to their religion and stay out of politics. My wife's great uncle was a rabbit in the 1940s in San Francisco, and was very political, which ulitmately cost him his job when the tide turned against him.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  18. Mark

    Didn't Michelle Obama make racist comments during the election campaign? If the presidents wife can do it anybody should:)

    February 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • babsi

      And what exactly did she say again, I can't recall ....

      February 25, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • jorge washinsen

      That is totally different and I scold you for mentioning that which was forgotten in a hurry by the Liberal news media.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • David in Seattle

      Yes, what did she say. The supposed "racist" comments I heard was some words taken out of a recorded sentence that would appear to be racist if you didn't herethe whole sentence. Of course, you must be a Fox viewer who only heard Fox play the part of the sentence.

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

      I don't believe she did but, even if that were true, it still doesn't mean it's OK.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Stephen

      Mark doesn't recall either but it seemed like the stupidest most inflamatory thing he could think up – he has Beck's syndrome.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • joseph

      when and what was the comment or are you jus another Beck

      February 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • TLD

      Really; what did she say?

      February 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Mature

      This comment shows your level of intelligence. What did the First Lady say? and how does that give Beck a pass to be racist. Beck seem to really dislike Jews, Blacks, and Muslims, this is not something anyone from the left or right should defend. More people in this country should try independent thinking.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  19. jorge washinsen

    There is a cure for this obsession. Turn the channel selector to Gunsmoke.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  20. buke56

    The only thing beck is sorry for is that he has exposed himself big time to how much of a racist & a bigot he really is. Disgusting

    February 25, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • jorge washinsen

      I am interested now, I will have to tune in to see what I have been missing.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Carl

      Who cares what he says. Like all pundits he's a puppet. We should be looking at the people that pull his strings.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • casey

      It really is sickening just how blatantly racist one can be in the republican party, and not only be accepted but elevated to a voice of power and reason.

      Limbaugh, Palin, Beck.

      It is like they want only white, christians without educations running a country. That seems like the perfect idea. Reminds me of someone else who seized power much through the same means in 1930's Berlin. He stood up for the little guy too. Wake up America.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:41 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.