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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. aizen

    why is it that we cannot criticize jews for fear of being called anti semitic? they are worse than black and always hide behind the holocaust (which was an horrible thing). i see people here telling blacks to get over slavery and the self pity, i dont see none telling the jews to do so. noone is special in this planet, everyone can be critisized as long as it is constructively done. we will always have racists etc but i dont see nothing wrong with that this man has done and this coming form someone who doesnt like Beck....we need to stop this thing of political correctness where israel and the jews cant be criticized etc...they do it for others why no the same to them? why should people always apologize? iu find it stupid and unfair...

    February 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Neal Kelley

      Worst then blacks? Dude dig a whole and stick your head back in the dirt. Who are you to judge Black people or Jewish people or any one for that matter. I guess your are the shining example of a human being. Racist Pig.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  2. CJ

    Glenn Beck is an idiot.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  3. Dani

    Glen Beck has once again shown that his ignorance knows no bounds. This guy night after night continues to make false inflammatory about issues he has no qualifications to make judgements on. The fact that this ignoramus has a following shows what a sorry state the political climate is in. Anyone who claims to be a christian, but believes that this country is somehow favored by god should read the bible first and realize that there is nothing special about this country. We are like anyother country that has a temporary position at the top of the economic hiearchy. Many empires have risen & fallen. With global forces at work it is only a matter of time until this country enters it's decline. We should accept and plan accordingly like the British have.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  4. CITIZEN

    An apoogy for hateful speech is not acceptable. There needs to be action taken by Fox News to make it clear that this type of speech is unacceptable.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  5. MostFelonsRlibs

    Beck has been a pretty consistant advocate for the state of Israel, ,most liberals are not..........his appology is probably sincere.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  6. MostFelonsRlibs

    One thing you can say about most conservatives is when they are wrong they appologize and admit and do better, a liberal generally does the oppisite, he is misquoted, misunderstood, taken out of context. A conservative politician does something wrong he is run out of office, a liberal he/she is reelected............

    February 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Earl

      How bout that Senator Vitter guy?

      February 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  7. johncc

    I'm not convinced Mr. Beck actually has any real convictions. I think he pulls our strings for money. The fact that he plants seeds in a few rotting minds each day is just part of getting rich. Some posters here should support their prejudices by campaigning for Mr. Beck to run for office.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  8. Daniel

    Not even the great Glen Beck can touch this subject....ones as bad as the other.....and I'm shocked to see I actually agree with this idiot

    February 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  9. sjalal

    you can make bigoted remarks about Islam and you can get away with it easily. Heck, you might even get a medal. But you do that for anybody else, you get slammed. And yes, we do have freedom of religion, only selectively.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  10. Sir

    Oh, from the headline I thought they meant the famous musician Beck. I was like, "What? He said what?" Nah.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  11. Steve

    While there are always a few persons in any group who are political, most Rabbi's are more interested in their own congregation's needs than local, national, or world politics. If a Rabbi is into controversy it is more likely to be discussing the biblical commentaries e.g., Rashi vs. The Rambam.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  12. blarkin

    If CNN thinks what Glen Beck siad was an apology then you have lost the last of your integrity as you try to cover your Buts as being the first news network to let that asshat loose on the air.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  13. diane holmes

    This man is such a full blown racist and a dangerous conservative

    February 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  14. Sir Lord

    Regrettably, Mr. Beck thinks that since he had made over $32 million back in 2009, he earned the right to insult other religions. Someone inpower needs to remind him that the Man who literally made hican also break him in half with all his connections. Does the name Rupert, a jewish person, ring a bell?

    February 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  15. Preacherman

    How else will he keep up the ratings that makes the money flow in?

    February 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  16. Daniel

    How come your not going to run him off the air like every other journalist who says something bad about the jewish people, Israel or their religion?

    February 25, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  17. KCC

    Beck says he "didn't do his homework" before opening his mouth and offering up his views on the subject.
    In other news, water is wet.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  18. Bobby

    Teach Beck the "the Golden Rule"..

    February 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  19. Tom

    If all you need is a letter and a full page ad, I think a lot of groups should get to work here in an attempt to correct all of Beck's previous errors.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  20. Joe P.

    Have any of you even graduated high school or do you all have a G.E.D. diploma? You all need to get a life and get out of this internet box. This is my first time doing this as I was curious and I will not do this crap again, go home now.

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

      Joe, please tell me more about how uneducated we all are in comparison to you professor old timer. I am humbled by your brilliance and we all will get off the internet box as you put it. I am ashamed at my inept existence and I will go back to school immediately so I can prove to you that I too can be educated! Oh wait, I have a degree,a 153 IQ, and writing a book. Hmm, that makes no sense. I must be dreaming then. Inception darn you!!!! I love you Joe, you are my Jesus Christ, my rabbi, and my Priest.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:46 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.