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. Hayden Chasteen

    Beck's core beliefs come from an vision of the end times written by a radical morman. In several books, he predicts that the US government will fall and the LDS will sweep into power and take over the US and bring it "back to the right way". Every "fact" or assumption that he presents is colored by this type of end time belief. It actually isn't far from the views of some of the ultra right wing "social" conservatives who want to "Purify" the US and bring it back to God. BTW there really isn't much difference between the ultra right of the GOP (Christians) or of the ultra conservative Jews or Ultra conservative Islam. They all believe that theirs is the only correct view in the world and that all other beliefs are not only false but of the devil.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  2. Mortimer

    I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.
    For all that everyone complains, I don't see anyone making lies illegal on tv.
    Why don't we change that?

    February 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  3. Daithi mac curtáin

    I wish people would lay of jews they've had to put up with enough s**t through out the centuries if every one was as progressive as our elder brothers the world would be a much better place God bless Israel .

    February 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • fromtheblueline

      Libs hate Right America's defense of Israel.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  4. Jesus the Jew

    I never knew Glen Beck. He's an evildoer.
    He shall be cast into the outer darkness where men weep and gnash their teeth.
    I hear he's a moron from Utah. They are all evildoers there.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  5. Abu Mama

    Apparently in Zionist American, it is alright to bash Mooslims but not the sacred Jews.

    Gimme a break.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • someguy

      This is CNN. You either get with us on the Beck hate, of get yourself over to fox.

      February 25, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  6. Bozo

    He's the kind of grinning greaseball that smiles while he repo's your home/car/whatever. He makes a good nazi, and his anti-semetic remarks just go to show what a moronic talking head he really is.. really people who pay attention to this guy have cheese for brains. He is just an incompetent talking head, epitomizing the thought that the conservative right wing financier's want to have expressed in emotionally inflaming and intellectually dumbing down the gullible american voters!

    February 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  7. Joe

    Beware of the third rail!

    February 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  8. Profyz

    It is beyond me to fathom why Americans pay so much attention to Elmer Gentrys of our time, unbalanced people who are high school and college drop outs? They have never known how to research or to be accurate and articulate. We should not waste our time listening to them. CNN should not mention them in these pages.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  9. Terence Gaffney

    It doesn't surprise me that Glenn Beck made horrible remarks about Jewish people! There is obviously something the matter with him – he rants and raves and acts like a madman! He should be fired immediately! TRPG44

    February 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  10. mmkk007

    Beck was wrong before and he is wrong now. I don't care about his opinions.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  11. damn yank

    ....but no apologies for anti islamic comments...

    February 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  12. april

    DAMN! I thought this was about Beck (the singer) and not Glenn Beck. Wouldn't have even clicked on the link. I've been duped!

    February 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  13. Big Pimpin'

    He's trying to BLOW SOMETHING!

    February 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  14. Mark

    It makes me sick to see people being browbeaten in to submissions by special interest groups. I do not want to live in a world where peoples' opinions (no matter how stupid) have to steer clear of certain groups and when they overstep their bounds they have to fire off some prefabricated apology letter and endure a token public humiliation and then go back to doing what they were doing.
    I think Glenn Beck is a moron but now I have even less respect for him seeing how quickly he bent over! He says 8000 ignorant and bigoted things every day and I find it insulting that THIS is the only one that get's him in hot water!

    I would rather hear peoples honest and ignorant opinions. How does having these people bow down to some Jewish groups and beg for forgiveness help ME or make society better? And the same thing happens when some white guy throws out the "N" word. He then has to meet with every self appointed "Black Leader" looking for 15 minutes of fame and make a public show of his atonement. Once again, how does that fix anything? It's all for show and it's all about greed and money.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  15. Tom

    Ignorance and having a foul mouth doesn't make you anti-semite it just makes you a jerk. People like Beck are idiots but I doubt he is actually prejudice against Jews even though I think he is stupid and shouldn't be on the air because he doesn't promote progress or values, just hostility and conflict.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • pazke

      Oh, he's prejudice against anyone who doens't worship him. Give it time, he'll insult every group there is.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  16. JEANNE

    Quite honestly – Glen Beck is nuts

    February 25, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  17. GlenBeck

    Hey you guys, I said I was sorry. Please forgive me.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Joebobjoeybobjoe

      You're mom!

      February 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • GlenBeck

      My good sir, that would be "Your Mom". "You're" would mean "You are", so you were trying to say "You are Mom!"?

      Please folks, I'm just a crazy, multi-wife-owning Right-Wing nut. Forgive me?

      February 25, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  18. Rowfu

    It is the people who scream the loudest about America and freedom
    seem to be the most intolerant.

    February 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • fromtheblueline

      Al & Jesse, Olberman, Rosie O'Fat, Pelosi...

      February 25, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  19. Bobeies

    Beck is a moron!

    February 25, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • pazke

      Understatement of the century. 🙂

      February 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  20. LIberal4Obama

    Glenn Beck is an antisemite.

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

      And how many of you blasting Glenn listen to him?
      (cricket chirp – cricket chirp)
      Yea, I thought so. Gelnn is on the money with facts and does not just tell people what the facts are, he insists to his audience to "do your homework"

      February 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Kevin Eric Smith



      What happened on 11 Sept. 2001 und the aftermath again. Und so it begins....?

      February 25, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Kevin Eric Smith



      What happened on 11 Sept. 2001 und the aftermath again. Und so it begins....?

      February 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Joebobjoeybobjoe

      Your Mom!

      February 25, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • DINA

      Actually, Az, I used to watch him on CNN now and then and have seen enough of him lately to see that, like a boy of ill repute, he tends to follow the money is with his beliefs. He's like a bull being led around by the nose, and will spout whatever it takes to get him more ratings/$$$.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Is Beck a Jewish Name?

      Glen Beck is the most inadvertently pee in your pants comedian on TV.
      The only people who are probably funnier are his followers.
      PS – Rush Limbaugh wants his audience back.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Paul Levesque

      It's not Glen Beck, the anti-semite, the demagogue, the idiot that scares me; it's all the wounded minds out there that let him fill in the voids. They actually believe him, and there are lots of them.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • SteveTx44

      And liberalism goes directly against all the principles of the Bible. So your remark is taken completely in context with your ideology.

      February 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • mckillio

      Beck won an Emmy for best actor in a lead role for a fictional drama right?

      February 25, 2011 at 5:49 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.