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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. Sandra

    The problem with idiots like Beck is that he makes false statements (probably knowingly) and then retracts them after the damage is done. These people are intent on spreading bad information - they don't care anything about the truth, their only goal is to mislead the American public and it's shameful. Any person who has to resort to these tactics in order to get people's attention is a loser.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • fromtheblueline

      You mean every politician you ever voted for, right?

      February 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  2. Rock God

    Why is Glenn Beck even on the air? The man is a manipulator of morons.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Sandra

      Yes. Exactly.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  3. wileysee

    Whatever Beck said or whatever Beck meant, alluded to or insinuated does not even come close to the amount of vitriol spewed forth on this blog. These blogs that CNN makes available for anyone to post on have, without a doubt, become a place where people let loose with all the hate at their disposal. It has gotten so bad that if you support the right, you always support the right or if you support the left, you always support the left. The people posting here will defend that position no matter if it is right or wrong without even looking into the facts. No one thinks for themselves anymore, they just line up on their chosen side and vomit hate.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • musings

      Aren't you generalizing a bit? Glenn Beck has been a wedge in my own family. I resent him. I could get a lot more vitriolic about his paranoid behavior and his rallying the irrational forces that are always waiting to be called forth, the angry id of people denied what they feel is their true deserts in life. But I choose to turn away sadly from anything he says or does, because I feel he is a sick puppy who will one day be found stiff and cold in his own distempered vomit.

      February 25, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  4. alientech

    Beck maybe an idiot but he knows who the puppet masters are.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  5. musings

    Oh dear – my comment failed to pass muster. Must be because unlike most, I could see through Beck's singling out of the most liberal branch of this particular religion. He pretends to fault them for taking any political stance while practicing their religion. What he really says is that people born from a particular ethnic group must all walk in lockstep. In that, he agrees with many in the far right who feel all genuine Americans must toe their line as well, or be thrown out of the house.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  6. Praetorian

    Honestly, I think the alien lizard people thing is more credible than 99% of the verbal diarrhea spouted by Glenn Beck, but that's just me...I'm not at all surprised. Next he'll be waving a copy of the 'Protocols' around and claim that it's evidence of a global Jewish Conspiracy.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  7. Sheila

    Beck Blows

    a lot of other things too.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  8. rab

    Thats qquite alright Glenn...mistakes are made...WE STILL LUVYA..KEEP BANGIN THE DRUM AND BRINGING US THE TRUTH!!

    February 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • huh?

      Do you ever read anything historical?

      February 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  9. suzy handler

    Another anti-semitic. Beck, what a loser!

    February 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • fromtheblueline

      Just like Michael Bloomberg, Chuck Schumer, Eric Weiner...

      February 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  10. Bill D.

    Hate to say it (being a Jew myself) but the ultra orthodox and Hasidc sects are every bit as radical as their Islamic counterparts in terms of ideology. Flip side of the same coin and are the reason why Israel cannot work out a peaceful situation with their Palestinian neighbors. However you'l never see Jews recruiting other Jews or using themselves as suicide bombers. The worse thing they'll do is debate you to death. 🙂

    February 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Nick

      No, but there is the occasional Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir

      February 25, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • musings

      And in that is a real difference. Didn't Freud say that the first person who hurled an epithet instead of a stone advanced civilization? With a few rare exceptions (such as the suicidal Brooklyner who went into a mosque with guns blazing), there isn't a whole lot of mindless martyrdom being sought in even the most fanatic of Jews. In fact the definition of fanatic tends to fit the self-destructive model. I also think there's something strange and sad in a society which has people convinced that dying is what it's about. I tend to agree with Patton who said you should make the other sob die for his.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Jeffrey Lebner

      You are making a bad comparison. No one said anything about the Jewish orthodox community. Extremists are extreme? News at 7.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  11. Doug

    Beck is indeed an idiot and got caught for what is said. In the past, he has made hateful remarks to African-Americans and Gays. Who is next on his hate list?

    February 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  12. Gary Morris

    I watch the Glenn Bleck and say is he crazy or smart.
    I believe that Beck is a man whom will be a great CULT. Leader in America
    and he will be one of the most dangerous men in America.
    So America be fearful real fearful the big brother is Beck and He is bidding his time
    Big Brother Beck is watching.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  13. TJ

    If anyone believes Glen Beck when he apologizes, then they should stop the drugs. It's hard to believe that things like this are said without being well researched and without knowing their impact. They're actually said to incite hated and controversy not meaningful dialogue.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  14. Michael Daily

    What the heck is he talking about? Radical Islam is primarily about politics? Politics is about concern for people, whether religiously or secularly motivated, and radical ideologies from any religion that celebrate the murder of "infidels" have no place in politics !!

    February 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • TRG

      Politics is about power. It has never been about concern for people.
      Religion is also simply about power.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Nick

      No, politics is about power. There are some good people, some bad people and some evil people who have been involved in politics. I wouldn't say Hitler was "concerned about people" or Stalin, or Mussolini, or Mao or Pol Pot, etc. etc.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Colin

      You're a bit clueless about the radical sector of Islam.

      Basically, it is politically motivated and uses Religion as a means to overcome the collective action problem.

      Religion is a means of achieving an ends.

      But then again, I bet you know nothing about Islam. Most Americans do not.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  15. Doba

    Beck's been blowing it for a long time.

    February 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  16. Newyorker

    "Religion is the opium of the masses." Karl Marx said this over 100 years ago. He was right then, and he is right now.

    February 25, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Highlarryus

      Actually, Karl Marx is dead. Sorry to have to break that to you.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  17. albatross

    ..And it is OK to defame Islam & Muslims??? and that does not cause any racial prejudice

    February 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  18. Frank

    The comparison may have been clumsy but his underlying point is sound.

    February 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Andrew

      ... That George Soros is part of some evil conspiracy that worked with Nazi's to kill Jews?

      How is anything that man says sound? H-ll, how is it even coherent, let alone sound?

      February 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  19. Brian

    You can't ever utter a word about the eternal victim.

    February 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • David

      Spoken like a true Nazi. Now tell us how the Jews build and operated the death camps themselves. I am sure you can get more material on the subject from Beck.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  20. darko

    Beck may be an idiot. I can't say for sure. However, I've yet to see anyone bring forth any material that proves any of his facts are false. His conclusions may not be provable, but the facts he uses to support them are. He has a daily radio AND TV show and puts out tons of info that is not covered in the media...not to mention the history lessons that are routinely ignored or rewritten by academia.

    With the shear number of 'facts' he tosses around, you'd think that a Media Matters or similar outfit would be shooting him down left and right for promoting falsehoods. Haven't seen it... and I doubt I will.

    February 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Simon

      There is a crazy guy that stands on a street corner where I live and shouts that alien lizard people are controlling the government. Media Matters doesn't do a story on him either. Fox History Channel nonsense does not merit refutation.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Brian

      Liberals don't use facts, they just attack and smear anyone not following their mantra. If it came down to a debate on facts liberals would lose hands down.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • dave

      Beck is a truth twister and is obviously the most desperate person of the decade. No media organization should address him directly.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • aster0id

      ummm... lets just assume that his facts are right (and i'm not saying they are). In the end he draws seriously stupid conlcusions from unrelated facts. Every fact he gets he contrives and twists so that it seems like its a nazi or socialist or islamic conspiracy. Facts are only useful when you can derive the right meaning from them. He doesn't.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • Godwin

      To be beck-like, lets not forget beck i of german descent may be a relation of a NAZI

      February 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Les B_

      The furtherance of hate via diatribe and sarcasm is Beck's core value. Apology is moot for this individual.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • leonard

      If you have not found any of becks FACTS to be untrue, then you did not look very hard, most of his facts are untrue or wildly distorted or plain wrong. Take some history classes or read books (the public library is free and has a good selection of early to mid-twentieth century history books)

      February 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • amy

      its sheer, not shear.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Skeeve

      Glen Beck uses facts? Really? Like name give me a single example. Seriously, debunking his "facts" is so easy that it is not even funny. Then on the other hand, I suggest you read Dr. Goebbels, he was also using tons and tons of "facts" in his speeches...

      February 25, 2011 at 5:20 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.