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. Glenn

    I love God and God loves me....He told me so while we were standing in line at the bank.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Rich

      hmmm...she told me last night I was the only one she loved.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • isaac mau

      Like we need any more proof on Glen Beck idiocy. Peice of advice Glem, take some time off of giving poor misleading news reports and pay more attention to your obvious weight issues.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  2. Robert Shook

    What else would you expect from a former alcoholic and drug addict?

    February 25, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  3. Muamar

    Look at FoxNews.com logo: "Fair & Balanced." And if you believe that I've got a few bridges to sell you.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Why should their logo be any more accurate than their "news"?

      February 25, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  4. Jerry Vinter

    Glenn Beck is an example of what happens when an ignorant man finds it useful to pretend to be wise.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  5. John

    Glenn Beck you are one of the hate and racist people I ever heard, you Rush Limbaugh and Saran Palin. So why apologize If you don't really mean It. You should have your talk show taking off the air, and if you have a show on Fox News you should have that taking off the air too.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  6. The Wolf

    All you God followers need help.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  7. Captain Gort

    Ha! Beck stepped on AIPAC....oops! No doubt he received their full wraith....as did Jimmy Carter when he opened his big mouth. Buy and read: "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy" and see what YOU think. At least Google it.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    First they came for the Hispanics and I said nothing, then they came for the Jews and I said nothing, then they came for me and there wasn't anybody left to speak up. Hate brings about division that will destroy us all if we allow people like Beck and others to continue in this destructive manner.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  9. Hena

    There is no radical Islam. There is no radical Judaism. There is no radical Christianity. Some minor individuals extort the peaceful views of these religions to the point of radicalizing them for their own self-interests, but to fit "radical" with any religion is preposterous.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  10. jo an

    Beck is sooo Shallow...he is not an educated person and if he says much about 'anything' he screws up.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  11. pale blue dot

    here we go again............does not realize he no longer is the center of the world.not that he was,except in his mind.....always has to be the center..too bad him and his ilk are more comic relief than anything else...his power is waning,and he cant stand that.time to come down to earth

    February 25, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  12. Charlie Sheen

    Glenn, I had the same problems with my writers.
    Signed, Charlie Sheen

    February 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • PhoenixRising

      Good one, "Charlie"!

      February 25, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  13. Dennis2547

    The Fox News / R. Murdock folks had to do some quick damage control with one of there out of control puppets. They have there ways to keep themselves in the spotlight and of course keep those ratings. I can't image what numbers they have regarding viewership? Beat the hell out of me. Actually, the two d y k e s that keep cat fighting should take note as well. One of them is a has been and the other one a wanna be that has screwed up so many times even her own State has disowned her.
    Oh well. Next ?

    February 25, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  14. Johnniemite

    Beck said “I was wrong on this and I also apologize for it.” And In this case I didn’t do enough homework" including many others he is yet to apologize. Beck now knows how this particular statement would backfire and reflect on his conservative clan. Truly, he is not sorry and apologetic. He believes and means it just like other statements. The Jewish community is known to these and very aware of loose mouths and ignorant characters like Beck. Beck come on, you knew exactly what you meant. Next time be slow and talking and rather be quick in listening. (Wise Sayings)

    February 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  15. ariella

    He is totally right - Reform Judaism is a left wing political movement that has little to do with actual Judaism. This is coming from a Jew.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Ruth

      This Jew disagrees with you.

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

      Of course CNN doesn't really make that clear, thus turning this into something that can be as easily misconstrued as the stories that Beck uses on his show.

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

      Yeah, your probably ultra -orthodox, your as bad as other extremists, this Jew says your wrong as well.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Bob

      You're kidding, right? As a reform Jew I have deep conviction in my faith. The fact that I also have deep conviction in social justice doesn't erase all my other convictions.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  16. Peter

    What I don't understand is how Beck can say he was "misinformed?" You might be misinformed as to the president of a country. Or when a company was founded. But how are you misinformed that Rabbis are like Islamic radicals. That's a belief. You either believe it or not... kind of like saying you don't like a movie after seeing it... and then after people trash you for it... saying you were misinformed... and that you really liked it. Whaaa? We've become accepting of fake apologizes, rather than holding people to what they believe.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • JessicaO

      I'm with Peter on this. He's an idiot.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  17. Mara

    Why is it that disgusting people like Beck, and (Limbaugh for example), make millions of dollars for spouting hateful, and prejudicial comments. I know they are paid to shock but really what service are they providing? If you're not part of the solution then you are part of the problem.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • LAbobcat

      It's about time we implement some censorship in this country! People are no longer smart enough to know what's best for them!

      February 25, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  18. Mike

    This type of thing won't go away until people just CHANGE THE CHANNEL.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Mille

      Agreed, Mike. Just change the channel.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Alina77

      After hearing Glenn Beck talking about China that about to invade New Zealand, I did.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  19. dodzi

    Lesson of the day: Judaism is good, Islam is bad...

    While not wanting to compare Reform Judaism to radical Islam, I do believe that radical Judaism is just as bad as radical Islam. What I find disgusting about the entire controversy, is that comparing anything to Islam today is equivalent to calling people Nazis!

    Has mainstream America officially taken the stance that Islam is the ultimate evil?

    February 25, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • rick

      YES, WHY NOT?

      February 25, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  20. buckup

    Doktur Beck is the Fox family's biggest fool.
    Regan was given the boot for less virulent private anti-semetic vitriol.

    It would appesr Murdoch, Ailes & Koch have big plans for Glen Beck PhD, professor of Fox Looze and Beck University.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:09 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.