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. Nadia


    February 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Albert911emt

      ...and you think using all-caps somehow makes your opinion better, or more authoritative? Why not try making a rational arguement, instead of just sounding foolish? There are probably many good reason to dislike Obama...but calling him names and acting juvenile with your posts doesn't help your arguement one bit.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Tinfoil Hattist

      Well, whatever doesn't kill us only makes us stronger.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • acura2010

      and you have no clue what anti christ Beck is telling you and all the morons listening to him! Beck is a disciple of hate and will be brought down by God himself if he doesn't come to repentance.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • charles

      Was everyone on the right asleep when George Bush was President? How in good conscious do you blame President Obama for the hell you claim we are going through???

      February 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Eric P

      You voted. You're to blame. BTW, Obama has more intelligence and motivation in one of his dead flakes of skin than you do in your whole body. He became President, what have you done? That's what I thought. Shut up.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Gnard

      I am not sure you really know who the fool is. Obviously, we do know what he says on his show and if you watch it you are just as big a fool as he is.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Chris

      Every President is evidently a MORON. However, our previous President is a war criminal. He did what he could do drive this country into the ground. Today's President is actually trying to solve all of the problems. I'm a Republican in fact changing my views. My party, including Beck, is destroying what I used to believe in. Your statement makes me flee to defend OUR President.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • RainKing

      Nadia, Nice caps. Did you just accidently hit that when you were typing or did you think someone would think you were smart? Funny how you forget who got us into this hell hole in the first place. Does GW bring back anything for you? Don't be an idiot an think the current pres got us here on his own. Wise up Nadia and learn a little about politics. NO REALLY!!!!

      February 25, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • liz

      yo mama!

      February 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  2. JLR

    Let's all watch as Beck unravels before our eyes. With him each accusation and conspiracy has to be even more fantastic than the previous one. This is not sustainable.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • blf83

      It shouldn't be long now, given his record!

      February 25, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  3. William

    Beck, You have never done your homework. You are an idiot and the people who listen to you are idiots...you are the king of idiots.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  4. Clickclack

    A sincere apology is always welcomed.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • blf83

      If only it were sincere rather than based upon ratings and the many stations that have already dropped the Beskster.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  5. James VA

    Fox needs to step up and fire Beck ! I get a blend of news from CNN and Fox but I just cant stand to watch Beck, his views and anger is just over the top. I know I have the power to change the channel but hopefully this time Fox does what it should have done so many times before for his remarks !

    February 25, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • blf83

      Agreed! Beck needs help. His most recent addiction is the "fame" he perceives when he makes his absurdist claims.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  6. robert

    Glenn Beck speaks the truth. He was right about gold, inflation, food prices, oil prices, etc. Who would you believe the most: Obama or Glenn? I believe Obama as far as I can throw him and he does not have the American way of life at heart. Glenn, on the other hand, does. Open your eyes and ears people and see who the real enemy of the U.S. is.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Intruth

      Beck listens to Peter Shiff and that's way he was right about gold, inflation, food prices, oil prices, etc. But if you listen to any other economist, conservative or Liberal, they would have told you the same thing. Big Deal!! He's not God and Obama is ten times smarter than him because he's level headed. Wake up!!!!!!!

      February 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • blf83

      President Obama – any day! Beck is not merely over the top. He is simply insane and continues to lose his grip on reality.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  7. Marge

    What a loser.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  8. not this time

    This idiot needs to be fired................

    February 25, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  9. TenTex

    Shock Jock Glenn Beck at it again. I'm more surprised people with a brain listen to Beck then any of his stupid remarks he makes weekly. Here's another Rush clone making money off a format that fits their evangelical personality. Give me some tears Beck!!!

    February 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  10. I say

    So is he going to be fired just like Rick Sanchez was? This guy is the worst.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • blf83

      I do hope so. His faux-pas are much more egregious than R. Sanchez's.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  11. griddler

    More right-wing nut job blatherings from the Nazis infatuated Beck. So sad, that this has what has become of what use to be the Grand Old Party.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  12. Steven Emmons

    America is the big dumb muscle of Israel.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Rob

      Exactly. It amazes me that more Americans aren't outraged by this. I don't think they understand it, frankly. Most of our problems re: terrorism, "radical Islam", etc. are the result of our undying and blind support for anything and everything Israel. Israel's population is less than 8 million people. There are over 7 billion people on the planet today. Yet somehow those 8 million and their corrupt, genocidal government manage to wreak havoc upon the world. And if you criticize them? Well, you're an anti-semite of course. Because Israel seems to be beyond reproach, beyond any sort of meaningful criticism.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  13. jeff

    So he said something that was stupid and insensitive, he realized it, appologized, but thats not good enough for libs, even though if someone on MSNBC did the same you would take their appology and be happy. Most all of you who criticize Beck have NEVER watched his show. If he really tells all these lies all the time it would be easy to have Huffpo or Media Matters post it all over the rest of the media and he would go away. If you actually watched him you would see he is not the wacko the other media has told you he is.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Intruth

      Jeff, Beck is a wacko and I have watched him. He's an idiot and a nut case with no grasp on reality. Frankly I'd take Maddow or even Oreillyover him any day. Wakey Wakey my friend and throw out the coffee!!

      February 25, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • jeff

      See when you say he has no grasp on reality, call him names and attack him personally without anything to support your mudslinging – I just don't know what to tell you. "If you can't attack the message attack the messenger" is just a poor way to debate. It looks weak.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  14. blf83

    Beck should simply glue his lips together. He should last only a few days, thereby removing one of the "intellectual" scourges of our age.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • sue

      Love it!!!

      February 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  15. Rabbi David

    As an Orthodox Rabbi I can tell you it can be a confused thing to sort out which branch of Judaism does what or believes what. What is clear though is the Media's unending ability for its own agenda to go a trash Beck tangent. Beck is one of the BEST friends the Jewish people have ever had. Trying to discredit this person over fundamental descriptions of what is HARD for those in the faith to agree on does the Jewish people a great DIS-service. But then if you look at what media and the administration ARE doing,NONE of it is in the BEST interests of Israel or the Jewish people now is it???? The silence is deafening.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'But then if you look at what media and the administration ARE doing,NONE of it is in the BEST interests of Israel or the Jewish people now is it???? '
      I'm sorry but why should they be doing anything that should be in the 'best' interests of Israel or the Jewish people? They are not there to support a particular group of people.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • sue

      You are kidding, right???

      February 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • K.C.

      Where did you study, Rabbi David? What Rabbi had a major influence on you?

      February 25, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • bobster

      all religion is control of people . it's virius, bad, bad! thank the jews for the stories they like to write 2000 years ago.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Rob

      And why exactly is it America's responsibility to prop up Israel? Frankly, I'm tired of pro-Israeli Americans who show greater allegiance to Israel than to their own country while excusing away, time and again, the mass murder, torture, and oppression of the Palestinian people. I think Americans are getting sick and tired of propping up an evil regime. It's not our administration's, nor our media's job, to fawn all over Israel while it continues to commit one atrocity after another. Now if only we'd keep the 150+ billion dollars a year we sent to Israel and actually invest in the welfare of our own people.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Ella

      I also think that Glenn is very much not anti Jews and is very much pro Israel. I think that we should all accept his apology and leave him alone. He is a decent man.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      ' He is a decent man.'
      oh please, he is many things but decent is certainly not a word that comes to mind.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  16. DrWu

    "God is great. Beer is good. People are crazy."

    February 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  17. Barking Alien

    He makes Bill O'Reilly look intelligent in comparison. You should not have to keep apologizing for your comments. Either you ment what you said or you are not very well informed. I think it is both for Beck!

    February 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Dover

      "He makes Bill O'Reilly look intelligent in comparison."

      And that is a monumental feat in itself.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  18. babsi

    Beck's apology is hollow - the idea behind apologizing or "makign amends" is to introspectively review your own behavior, acknowledge your shortcomings, and change your behavior. His apology was only extended because he got in trouble at Fox for the comment and didn't fully anticipate the backlash he's catch on his ignorant statement. He's a moron, I know, God told me.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  19. sue

    This man has no shame! He is not alone

    February 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  20. Larry L.

    Religion continues to serve as a means to validate hateful behavior. When people finally stop allowing religious dogma to justify bigotry, nationalism, and misplaced morality, the political weasels will stop using religion to galvanize their voting base.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • fran glass

      I mostly agree with you, but of all people to attack for being over-zealous he attacks REFORM JEWS? they are the opposite of extremists. if i had any kind of faith i would probably be a reform jew. lol i just think beck knows most of them are liberals and that bothers him

      February 25, 2011 at 2:09 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.