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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. Russell Hammond, Hollywood

    I'd listen to Jeff Beck. But not this guy.

    February 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  2. HenryJay

    I don't think I have ever even met a Semitic Jew. Semitic Jews tend live in Semitic countries. Most of the Jews in Israel are Ashkenazim and are of eastern European blood lines. Also most Israelis in the western world and Europe/Israel are Talmudic Jews and no longer live by the Torah. The Talmud is a compilation of some of the most racist and disturbing garbage I have ever read-and no matter what context I read it from, it is still anti Goyim and hateful toward Christ.
    Google "the speech that got President Kennedy killed" and ask yourself why the Federal reserve still exists...Do your homework America....

    February 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • JR

      thank you for including the phrase "(why) President Kennedy got killed" reminds of a four panel Far SIde Cartoon that had a porcupine, a skunk, a possum and... You!

      February 25, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  3. WDRussell

    Right wing talkers will say absolutely anything. Doesn't matter how incredibly stupid, knowing that there are those out there dumb enough to believe it.

    February 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  4. TerryG

    This is the guy who taught Sarah Palin everything she knows about self-promotion. He too understands that every crowd has a silver lining.

    February 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  5. Ron

    "Beck: 'I blew it' comparing rabbis to Islamic radicals" ...Ya think?
    Now, if you were to compare conservative Christianity to Islamic radicals, you wouldn't be too far off, as to what these people are trying to push in the U.S., you wouldn't be too far off.

    February 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  6. MostFelonsRlibs

    I will take Fox news and an Aussie the number one news by about five MSNBCs and four CNNs massively over any Sorros, Chek Commie tripe.........Air America failed for a reason, Newsweek failed for a reason, MSNBC is one step away from insolvency for a reason.........how suprising the last election must be for the poor liberals after the moderates in this country quit buying liberal popoganda about change from Mr false Messiah.....

    February 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  7. Neverquit

    I think Beck aims to become a modern day Hitler.

    February 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • MostFelonsRlibs

      That job was already taken by someone named Barrack Hussien..........

      February 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Jimmyjammer

      Noone is doing their sides any favors calling people on the other Hitler. Christ sake, tone it down you freaking wingnuts.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  8. hillbilleter

    Other people get fired immediately for bigotry on the air. What hold does Glenn Beck have on broadcast executives that he still has a job. Compare his comments on Rabbis to the "nappy headed" slam that got another broadcaster tossed out. Is there a difference?

    February 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  9. Mistake or just feeding the publicity machine

    On the one hand I consider Beck to be an ignorant fool. On the other hand he is not and knows full well that any publicity is better than no publicity. Had his stupid utterances come from any other commentator (if that what he is) they would have already been run out of town; for some reason this moron is able to go from one idiocy to the next, toss out the necessary apology for his latest "oops" and continue making the millions he is. If we truly going to live in an era of political correctness this character needs to be taken off the air

    February 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  10. Kate

    You know, this is the beginning of the end. When things like this started happening in Germany 10 years before WWII started, the Jews with the means to do so left the country. I see it brewing. People like Sarah "Blood Libel" Palin and Glen Beck are starting something. It's subtle, but it's there. As a person of both Jewish and Catholic descent, I think it might be time to start thinking about Vancouver.

    February 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Brian

      BC or Wash? Feel free, good grief, hyperbole and foot-in-mouth have been around forever. The end, right, good call. I hear they have excellent kind bud either side, fine salmon too. Bye.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Kate

      Blow it off if you must. Stick your head in the sand, that's okay. Everyone laughed at Hitler, too. Pick up a book.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  11. Buster Bloodvessel

    Now take back the rest of the silly crap you said for the last five years and I'll believe you were serious.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  12. Only in America

    The only thing more frightening than Glen Beck are the Zombies who worship his every word as the Gospel Truth – America what happened!!!

    February 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • GoodGracious

      Hey now. Don't insult the Zombies! :0)

      February 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  13. Manuel

    Glenn Beck no cares about your cheap phony apology. You seem to think you can spit your hate and ignorance and then apologize and all is well....not with me mister.....You are a hate filled ignorant coward of the worst kind....

    February 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  14. JF

    Although I think him crazy most of the time you have to give it to him for the apology. He did not make excuses as so many of us do today.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  15. Ditto

    Wise man once said. What do you say to a Glen Beck's follower? Nice tooth man!!

    February 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  16. RGTex

    I watch Beck whenever I can, and when I feel like viewing some third-rate comic make a fool of himself everytime. He never dssappoints.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  17. tokenwhitemale1

    "rhinoqlit1

    @tewrobert. Really? Jesus. Einstein. Freud. Speilberg. Oppenheimer.Please provide the names of influential people who have come from your trailer park."

    Wow, you act like you're genetically-related to them, or they actually lived in*your* trailer-park.

    Besides it isn't the Christian white-trash that denies that Jesus is the Son of God, or demanded his crucifixion. And certainly it wasn't the Jews that caused the Nazis and the Soviet empire to fall. If it was up to them they would have all been wiped out in the Holocaust.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  18. Mark

    He didn't blow it. He knew exactly what he was saying and the reaction he would get. Once it's out there, it's out there and the back peddling is only done to appease the networks and the public.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  19. guitarshredder82

    I think Beck did it on purpose to get publicity.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Mark

      It seems to be a pretty common way to spread ignorance and hate today. They do it because all they have to do is say they weren't thinking at the time...but nopbody ever responds...let us know when you start thinking. Once it's out there, it's out there and the damage has already been done.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Gumby

      This rabid anti-semitism is nothing new for right-wing Xian fundies. They have a barely concealed loathing for Jewish people. Mainly because the Jews tell them that Christian doctrine is based on wild misinterpretations and distortions of Hebrew scripture. These right wing Xian fundies will go as far as saying that the Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves, that it was God's wrath for denying Jesus is the Messiah. Glenn Beck may be backtracking right now, but mark my words he meant every word he said.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Roland

      I think you're right ax-master. One has to wonder what a person is thinking when he enters into a rant like that. After raising 4 kids, I can tell you that this type of brain-dead verbiage usually goes away after junior high. Apparently little Glenn is a special case.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  20. jokerster

    Glenn, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do us all a favor and just fade away into the sunset....WHY aren't you being FIRED????

    February 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Ryan

      Possibly because people keep reading and commenting on articles with his name in them.
      IGNORE Beck and Palin and they will go away.
      Never click on another link with their name in it again!
      Start the boycott today!

      February 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • S. Studenberg

      Beck suffers from the rare disease called fungus stupidus. Those affected by this rare fungus tend to rant and rave in strange languages, saying things about subjects they know nothing about. Also, carriers of this rare fungus, tend to emit a strong, stinking smell off their mouths, which also tends to indicate that the fungus is affecting their brains. Unfortunately, those affected, also suffer from athlete foot (extreme), premature ejaculation and finally they actually think they are important.
      I wish Mr. Beck (schmuck) a very slow recovery and a long list of foot in mouth rants.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • S. Studenberg

      He can`t be fired. Fox News is also affected by fungus stupidus.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Kristine

      @Ryan – EXACTLY!

      February 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Butterbean

      You would be surprised how many right-wingers of all races that are taking his word as gospel. Especially here in Texas.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:19 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.