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. Thomas

    So what did we learn today? We learned that you can be a total mutt and say asinine things but as long as you apologize for it, you get to keep your show... Charlie Sheen, are you taking notes?

    February 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  2. H.O. Ward

    Beck rhymes with a yiddish word that starts with dr...

    February 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  3. ariella

    As a Jew, I support what he said. He is 100% right, and a REAL friend of the Jewish people (unlike the self hating Jews like Soros). He should not have apologized.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      With friends like that...

      February 25, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  4. Sun Stevens

    I have a hard time coming up with "anyone" on TV who is more annoying than Beck. He's a hate-mongering social alarmist with serious sociopathic tendencies.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  5. Col. Gadhafi

    Our people love Glenn Beck and Fox News...They are doing such a fine job of covering our "Carnival"...We send a heartly welcome and invitation for Glenn to join our "World Order of Idiots".
    Signed, Col. Gadhafi

    February 25, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • K.C.

      and don't forget rush!! hahahahahaha

      February 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  6. paintpaintpaint

    I can't believe anyone, anywhere listens to this man about anything, including the weather. He is such an intellectual lightweight – I know some 4 year olds who are more astute, and more insightful than Beck.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  7. AceRyder

    If he would have said Hasidic, would it have been OK? If you ask me, anyone who's religion requires a uniform (burkhas/headdress or curls/black overcoats/hats) is pretty radical to me.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • lorne

      So anybody who doesn't dress like you is a nut. Maybe, but then that makes you a bigot.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • AceRyder

      No, anybody who's beliefs are so strong that they must parade them to the world to show piety, devotion, whateverthehell crazy reason is scary.

      It's not bigotry, its fear of zealotry.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  8. A guy who hates stupidy

    Oxygen Thief

    February 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  9. ed

    Advertisers, cancel your contracts with this guy. Show him that his kind of journalism won't be supported.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  10. need2bsaid

    Hmmmm, I have to wonder if the media space that Beck works in was not managed and ruled in part by such a strong Jewish contingent, would he have apologized? He has not made the same concessions to other groups that he has made false statements about.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      It's owned in large part by a strong Muslim contingent, isn't it, and that doesn't stop him...!

      February 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  11. Nuggs001

    What a tool!

    February 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  12. steve wa. state

    beck needs to be taken out or given a vacation to cuba.. we have some turf down there.. cant wait until he goes blind...

    February 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  13. Paul

    He is part of FOX "news". What else needs to be said. This is who they are.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  14. Casper (the holy ghost)

    He is so used to throwing out lies and inaccurate statements, that he didn't expect any opposition. FOX breeds and rewards ignorance.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  15. Nate

    In THIS case you didn't do your homework? You never do your homework, Beck. You don't deserve your own show. You don't deserve those blackboards. You don't even deserve chalk.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  16. scottkunins

    glen beck needs to be removed frm his radio station.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  17. GUZMAN


    February 25, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  18. jon

    Why do we have to put up with idiots on the radio??? I guess because the station owner's are also idiots? Yup.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  19. SarahPhalin

    I think he screwed up. The statement “In this case I didn’t do enough homework,” should have read “In EVERY case I didn’t do enough homework,”

    We know this man is the embodiment of ignorant, loud mouthed, know-nothings also known as the GOP base. They should all apologize to the country for the damage they have done to it.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • JiminNM

      Kennedy identified the false Zionist Jews as the world's number one enemy. People are being deceived, and Beck didn't go nearly far enough in describing the problem.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
  20. David

    Reformed Judaism is actually the most liberal form of Judaism, they are highly accepting of all races, religion and genders and have adopted more contemporary and secular beliefs into their faith then any other sect of Judaism. They are about as far opposite to radical Islam as you can possibly get. Glen Beck would have learned this had he spent 5 seconds doing a Google search on the term. This is typical of the amount of "research" Beck and his writing staff do on any topic. They just make up their wild conspiracy theories and racist beliefs and present them as fact.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • JiminNM

      Read the Babylonian Talmud followed by the Jews. Compare it to the the Koran. The Talmud is not the Torah followed by the historic Hebrew Jews. Better do your homework.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Paul

      Don't believe everything you read on the internet. 5 second google searches lead to many misinformed fools every day. Think about what you read and check it out.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Homer

      "Reformed Judaism is actually the most liberal form of Judaism, they are highly accepting of all races, religion and genders and have adopted more contemporary and secular beliefs into their faith then any other sect of Judaism. "

      That statement actually supports what Beck originally stated - that Reform Judaism involves politics more than religion. He compared it to radical Islam in that it is effectively a political movement. Just because something is secular doesn't mean it can't do any harm.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Eric

      @ JiminNM

      Only the Orthodox follow the Talmud. The Talmud is nothing more than a rabbinical commentary on the Torah. The Orthodox believe that the Talmud is the written down version of the Oral Law given to Moses by God. Reform, Reconstructionist, Karaite, and many Conservative Jews do not believe in, study, or follow the Talmud.

      The Talmud has been the source of many anti-semitic attacks because non-Jews (and most Jews for that matter) have never read it. Historically, anti-semites have claimed that there are horrible things written about non-Jews in the Talmud. Of course this isn't true, but people who haven't read it and already have predisposed prejudice are more likely to believe these claims.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
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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.