Jews torn over Glenn Beck Jerusalem rally
Glenn Beck at last summer's 'Restoring Honor' rally in Washington
August 23rd, 2011
04:49 PM ET

Jews torn over Glenn Beck Jerusalem rally

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

One year after hosting a huge politically charged and largely faith-based rally in Washington, Glenn Beck is at it again, this time in Jerusalem.

Just like last year’s “Restoring Honor” rally in the capital, Beck’s pro-Israel rally in the Holy Land on Wednesday has stirred plenty of controversy before it even begins, with many Jews in Israel and the United States saying they feel mixed about the event.

They welcome the support for the Jewish state, many Jews say, but some are uncomfortable over recent Beck pronouncements on Judaism and the rally’s close association with conservative evangelical Christians from the United States.

“I and some in my community have been critical of him and some of his expressions, and we have made no secret about our feelings,” says Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish group that fights anti-Semitism.

“We should welcome it and embrace it,” he said of Beck’s rally but added, “I hope he doesn’t make any faux pas, which he’s been prone to do.”

Beck says his Jerusalem rally is meant to show global solidarity with Israel at a time when the nation is facing growing international criticism and threats.

“There’s an important distinction of saying I love Israel, I defend Israel, and not separating that from the Jewish people,” Beck said Monday at one of a string of events leading up to the Wednesday rally. “Make sure to say not that we only love Israel, but we love the Jewish people as they are.”

Some of Beck’s previous comments on Judaism have attracted criticism from groups like the Anti-Defamation League, provoking apologies from Beck.

In February, Beck criticized Reform Judaism – a major movement among American Jews - on his radio show. At the time, Beck said Reform rabbis are "generally political in nature.”

“It's almost like Islam, radicalized Islam in a way,” Beck continued. “Radicalized Islam is less about religion than it is about politics. … When you look at the Reform Judaism, it is more about politics."

Foxman called the statement “highly offensive and outrageous." Beck apologized for using a “horrible analogy.”

Last year, Foxman blasted Beck for alleging that financier George Soros, who is Jewish by birth, helped send Jews to death camps during the Holocaust. Foxman said the remarks, which came on Beck’s radio show, were “inappropriate, offensive and over the top.”

Beyond Beck’s statements, some Jews are uneasy with his close association with Christian Zionists, American-based evangelicals who tend to be on the opposite end of the political spectrum from American Jews and whom some Jews suspect have ulterior motives for befriending them.

Some evangelicals believe events in Israel are crucial to ushering in Jesus’ second coming, while other Jews say evangelical Christians want to convert them.

High-profile American evangelical leaders like the Rev. John Hagee, the leader of the American Christian Zionist movement, are traveling with Beck this week. Beck, a Mormon, began building bridges to conservative evangelical leaders in the lead-up to last year’s Washington rally.

“Last year’s event was all about getting your house in order, getting back to God and getting started in prayer again, whether or not you’re an evangelical,” said David Barton, an American evangelical activist who helped Beck organize the Washington rally and who is traveling with Beck in Israel this week.

“This next event is about, because you’re God-centered, you start looking around for neighbors that need help - especially Israel, which is where our roots are,” said Barton, describing the Jerusalem rally.

Barton said Beck’s Mormonism is a plus because Israeli leaders are less wary that he has ulterior motives for supporting them.

Many Christian Zionist leaders say Christian support for Israel is based in a Biblical connection to Jews and Israel, not in messianic thinking or a desire to convert.

“There’s an uneasiness in the community with evangelical support,” Foxman said. “But as long as the support is not conditioned on American Jewish support for the conservative Christian political agenda or on us converting, they can be my guest.”

The rally is happening steps away from holy sites like the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. On Tuesday night, some Republican members of Congress were meeting with Beck and American evangelical leaders in Jerusalem.

In Israel, many conservative politicians have embraced Beck’s rally and the broader backing of American evangelicals.

“I am very supportive of his initiative,” Danny Danon, an Israeli parliament member who belongs to the conservative Likud Party, said of Beck’s rally.

“When we see so many attacks against Israel and when we have people coming and standing with Israel, it is very important,” he said.

But Danon also hinted at Jewish ambivalence toward Beck.

“I don’t agree with everything that Mr. Beck said in the past, and I will not agree with everything that he will say in the future,” he said.

“But if you take the overall picture in terms of support for Israel … you really have someone who really cares about supporting the state of Israel and supporting the message of the connection of Jews to the land.”

–CNN's Kevin Flower contributed reporting from Jerusalem.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Israel • Judaism • Leaders

soundoff (1,111 Responses)
  1. currahees

    This man is ill. Watch out Israel...he's a loose cannon.

    August 24, 2011 at 12:48 am |
  2. chris

    so, let me get this straight. jews think they are the "chosen ones"? they were chosen to get their butts kicked during ww2 and if it wasn't for americans (ahem, not god) MANY more would not have survived that or had won their war with the middle east (in the past or present). so it seems that they should cut the 'over-the-top' rhetoric and understand, their lives or children are no more valuable than my own. enjoy the billions in aid and the military technology my israeli brothers and sisters but know, "pride goes before the fall". your country is waaaaay younger than the USA and as such you can't say your as strong as we are without our generous help. kicking around poor people isn't very brave either, really try peace and going to the table without all the haughty "chosen ones" talk and maybe you won't get a rocket in the eye. peace cannot be made on the cheap either, so also try REAL sacrifice for peace instead of making a deal, because your showing your stereotype by overstepping your boundaries in these deals by only making it about you having more. you need to take a real hard look at yourselves and be honest, we non jews are not without eyes and ears and you are starting to sound as "religion crazy" as your middle-east counterparts, seriously. is it within a jew to be humble and fair...?

    August 24, 2011 at 12:48 am |
  3. Yisrael

    ClaudiaL, your partly right, but he is SELLING gold, which reminds me... The stock market is unstable, the dollar crashing, Europe on the brink of collapse, a giant volcanoe eruption, an asteroid about to hit, a category 10 hurricane about to hit the east coast, an invasion by space aliens, and other random disasters too numerous and too horrible to mention here, you may want to keep your money by investing in gold, with Gold Line...;)

    August 24, 2011 at 12:47 am |
    • chris

      invasion by aliens, please...!

      August 24, 2011 at 12:48 am |
  4. John B.

    Beck is a self-righteous lunatic and an embarrassment to the United States. I hope Israel doesn't take his ignorance and deluded version of reality as the normal mindset of Americans.

    August 24, 2011 at 12:47 am |
  5. Allocer

    Jewish =/= Israel

    August 24, 2011 at 12:46 am |
  6. cschembor


    August 24, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • M

      Dirka Dirka Muhammed Jihad!

      August 24, 2011 at 12:58 am |
  7. Dr. Mama

    Are you kidding??? The evangelical love for the Jews comes from the belief that the end of days requires that Jerusalem be in the hands of the Hebrews. Then the second coming will require that all accept Jesus as savior to enter the kingdom of heaven.

    As a (secular) Jew this is incredibly insulting to me. Not to mention offensive.

    No. Your imaginary friend is NOT better than mine.

    August 24, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • chris

      while we are at it, you're not more important than me or my own. this "chosen ones" thing is not so deal with that...

      August 24, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • Ya No

      "God likes me better'? You and chris seem to have completely lost your respective grips.

      August 24, 2011 at 12:55 am |
  8. a person of the Name

    @ evolved God has promised that we will get what we need by turning to him. God has blessed me, for the trials I faced and pasted. I see what is going on in Africa and my church is very active there. The reallty of it though is the world is a messed up place and many of man's sins causes much of the suffering. We are called to help those in need for we acked in God's place, to be His hands and feet. I give what I can and help where I can, for it all belongs to God anyway, so might as well use it to bless others how He has blessed me.

    August 24, 2011 at 12:43 am |
  9. megman00

    Booted from Fox News, quickly losing radio syndicates... WELL GEE I wonder if he's desperate for attention and money again...?

    August 24, 2011 at 12:40 am |
  10. Allah

    IsraHELL is a pox on humanity.

    August 24, 2011 at 12:38 am |
    • Muneef

      No matter how sick you are,you shouldn't have used that Holy Name...No Sick Muslim would have done that...but I think I know who would....

      A Synthesis of the Russian Textbook on Psychopolitics

      The following treatise on communist brainwashing, which has been published and republished since the 1930s, is an edited version of an actual textbook on Russian "psychopolitics." It was used as a primer, here in America, to teach communist agents how to brainwash people, and, in fact, how to subvert entire populations. While the wording of this particular treatise and there are any number of them may or may not be completely authentic, two things are historically certain: 1) Such brainwashing activities really occurred, and 2) this volume accurately conveys the principles and techniques employed.
      An objective look at the state of America today her inst-i-tutions, her socialistic political-economic drift, her young people's values shows precisely the results that the Soviets, for decades, bragged they wanted to achieve. It is almost as though, while communism is dying (as a political system) throughout most of the world, the seeds of corruption it planted here in the U.S. have germinated and borne bitter fruit.

      Don't take my word for it. Read the following treatise on psychopolitics, and see whether the conditions predicted back then are not exactly what America faces today in the 1990's. Consider the methods described herein the degradation of youth through $ex and drugs, the se-du-ction of this nation's media, educational, and religious inst-i-tutions, the discrediting of her leaders and decide tor yourself whether or not they are the very means that have been employed to accomplish these ends.



      A number of years ago, I set out to para-phrase a Russian Communist text-book t-i-tled PSYCHOPOLITCS; (the art of controlling the mind of an entire nation, in order to subjugate them). It was the Zionist "blueprint for the Communist con-quest of Christendom, which means primarily the White nations of the Free World and the United States in particular.

      This book was introduced to a hand picked group of 48 American college students, who were attending the Lenin School of Psychopolitical Warfare, at the University of Moscow, as the first step in their training to become the cadre for the Communist conquest of America. 45 of these young people were Jews. The book was introduced in 1934, by Laventria Beria, who at that time was the Jewish head of the Russian Secret Police. Beria confidently predicted that Jewish Communism would eventually "have dominion over the minds and bodies of every important person in America", and would "bring about the quiet Communist conquest of the United States".



      Brainwashing in America

      by Berit Kjos – 2001
      "Information is useful only if citizens can put it into a framework of knowledge and use it to solve problems, form values, and make choices. Education for sustainability will help them make individual and collective decisions that both benefit themselves and promote the development of sustainable communities. [It] must involve everyone." [4] President [Clinton]'s Council on Sustainable Development

      "...absolute behavior control is imminent.... The critical point of behavior control, in effect, is sneaking up on mankind without his self-conscious realization that a crisis is at hand. Man will... never self-consciously know that it has happened." [1]  Raymond Houghton, To Nurture Humaneness, ASCD (curriculum arm of the NEA), 1970
      "The Protestant Ethic will atrophy as more and more enjoy varied leisure and guaranteed sustenance.... Most people will tend to be hedonistic..." [2]  Behavioral Science Teacher Education Program (B-STEP), Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 1969.
      "We were trained in all phases of warfare, both psychological and physical for the destruction of the Capitalistic society and Christian civilization. In one portion of our studies we went thoroughly into the matter of psychopolitics. This was the art of capturing the minds of a nation through brainwashing and fake mental health... During the past few years I have noted with horror the increase of psychopolitical warfare upon the American public." [3] Kenneth Goff, member of the U.S. Communist Party from 1936 to 1939.

      August 24, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • Muneef

      (An Episcopal church, the Washington National Cathedral considers itself a spiritual home for the nation. It is the traditional site for official presidential inauguration services and for funeral and memorial services for 10 of the 14 presidents of the United States since 1893.)

      The tower sustained damage on three of its four pinnacles, or corner spires, the church said in a statement. Cracks have appeared in some of flying buttresses, though the buttresses supporting the central tower appear to be sound, the church said in a statement.

      Is't in that some sort of warning that the countries Christian Image and Moralities are Damaged and Cracked...!?

      Religion: Fools for Christ
      Monday, May 24, 1948

      "All our talk about peace and the weapons of the spirit is meaningless unless we try in every way to embrace voluntary poverty and not work in any position, any job that contributes to war . . . We must give up our place in this world, sacrifice children, family . . . And we will be considered fools for Christ."

      * Corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, harbor the harborless, visit the sick, ransom the captive, and bury the dead. Spiritual works of mercy: to instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish sinners, bear wrongs patiently, forgive offenses willingly, comfort the afilicted, and pray for the living and the dead.


      Classrooms In Chaos
      Article 1: Douglas S. Winnail
      What is happening to schools in our modern Western world? Why have discipline, order and respect disappeared from an increasing number of classrooms? Why are $exually transmissible diseases skyrocketing among teenagers, and why is suicide a leading cause of death among young people? While parents and educators bemoan these sobering developments, few understand the real causes of the troubles so evident in today's schools. Fewer still grasp the real significance of the dramatic changes we are witnessing among today's youth. However, the Bible and history provide important insights on our present state of affairs—and the Bible alone reveals where these startling changes are taking our youth and our society. Chaotic classrooms and disrespectful students are symptoms of powerful forces building to a climax that will surprise and shock the world in the years just ahead!

      An Atomic Nation..
      Update: Lawsuit over 9-11 cross fails to win much support
      by Dave Ficere

      One group of atheists in America is bearing the cross alone in their attempt to eliminate the Christian symbol from the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

      The suit sought to have the cross completely removed or to have “equal representation for all religions” added to the memorial display. The group’s president, Dave Silverman, went so far as to suggest atheists add the symbol of an atom, “because we’re all made of atoms.”

      Morals of America65
      rate or flag this page
      By jacobt2
      Morals of America in the 1960s
      In the 1960s the moral integrity of America began to decline. During the ‘60s America had struggled through racism, poverty, and the Vietnam War, and these struggles greatly affected the culture and the values of America.

      First, the American people began to have a derogatory att-i-tude towards authority. Young people were beginning to lose their old, long-standing morals with the bombardment of all the problems occurring in the US. Slowly, the values of the nation were slipping away and families and churches were not able to specify values and influence behavior in the way that they used to when all people believed in unified purpose. The Protestant denominations in America lost influence and church attendance began to decline. Secularity became more popular, and the people really were drifting from the good principles that the nation was founded on. Even the Roman Catholic Church became less serious and moral. Their hymns were growing more secular and old traditions were being lost.

      August 24, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • So What

      How many Israelis were involved in 9/11? Answer: None
      How many Israelis were involved in the Lockerbee bombing? Answer: None
      How many Israelis were involved in the embassy bombing in Lebanon? Answer: None
      How many Israelis are now murdering Syrians? Answer: None
      How many Israelis are killing civilians in Libya? Answer: None
      How many Israelis pushed a wheelchair bound man off a cruise ship? Answer: None
      How many Israelis bring bombs onto planes in their underwear? Answer: None
      How many Israelis capture civilians and cut off their heads? Answer: None
      How many Israelis stone women to death? Answer: None
      How many Israelis threaten murder for showing cartoons of their god? Answer: None
      How many Israelis prevent the flow of food to people starving in Somalia? Answer: None

      Get the idea?

      August 24, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • AmericanWoman

      You should drop to your knees right now and pray to GOD to heal your sick, lost and hateful soul.

      August 24, 2011 at 1:02 am |
    • Muneef

      They are behind all, they are the master planners behind every disaster on this planet but they are not those in Israel..The one's in Israel are only the puppets of the main center of master planers who are in the USA and might even be ruling the USA behind the screen..Did you yet guess who?

      August 24, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • Muneef

      Not guessed yet?

      A Look At The Powerful
      Jewish Lobby In America
      For decades Israel has violated well established precepts of international law and defied numerous United Nations resolutions in its occupation of conquered lands, in extra-judicial killings, and in its repeated acts of military aggression.


      The Israel Lobby
      John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt

      Instead, the thrust of US policy in the region derives almost entirely from domestic politics, and especially the activities of the ‘Israel Lobby’. Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that US interests and those of the other country – in this case, Israel – are essentially identical


      A Straight Look at the Jewish Lobby
      By Mark Weber

      “Since the 1960s, Jews have come to wield considerable influence in American economic, cultural, intellectual and political life. Jews played a central role in American finance during the 1980s, and they were among the chief beneficiaries of that decade’s corporate mergers and reorganizations. Today, though barely two percent of the nation’s population is Jewish, close to half its billionaires are Jews. The chief executive officers of the three major television networks and the four largest film studios are Jews, as are the owners of the nation’s larg est newspaper chain and the most influential single newspaper, the New York Times... The role and influence of Jews in Ameri can politics is equally marked...


      August 24, 2011 at 1:24 am |
  11. Yisrael

    It's nice that Beck stands with Israel, but no one (both liberals and conservatives) should take him too seriously. He iseither because an entertainer and his job is to create a spectacle so that people will tune in and end up listening to the commercials that Fox has sold time for. Its just a business, its nothing new, it is how things work today, and is likely how things will work tommorow.

    August 24, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • Yanise

      Like DAHHH!!! Wake up and know the facts before you speak! He no longer has his show at Fox, so much for the entertainment and commercials!

      August 24, 2011 at 12:47 am |
  12. ClaudiaL

    Beck is too radical & crazy for the USA. Perhaps he is looking for asylum or something else in Israel. Beware of blond haired, blue eyed man seeking gold in far away land.

    August 24, 2011 at 12:32 am |
  13. Bingo the Llama Saves the Day!!!

    Don't be fooled. Glenn Beck is only after money and fame, and he will say and do anything to get it. He is a pure media whore. All of his stances are pure posing. He is not even terribly original: he is simply plagiarizing Limbaugh. He smelled the cash, and so he copied the formula.

    He's just a snake oil salesman doing his show. There will always be rubes and yokels who will buy it.

    August 24, 2011 at 12:30 am |
  14. Spiffy

    Yes! Lets support the breakers of international law! Just to celebrate Beck's historic rally I say we send more weapons to Israel so they can oppress even more people! God bless you Glenn! Your mission is holy and just.

    August 24, 2011 at 12:29 am |
  15. Beckhater

    Beck is an idiot, bigot, hate monger and idolizes only himself. Anyone in their right mind should would reject an endorsement from this lunatic. He represents the WORST of America...

    August 24, 2011 at 12:28 am |
    • Yanise

      Have you even listened to him? I have and I've never heard him spew the kind of hatred that you are;,so who is REALLY the hate monger? Maybe you should calm down and take a good look at yourself.Why is it that you need to get so angry at someone you disagree with? God Bless!

      August 24, 2011 at 12:56 am |
  16. Greg Gilbert

    What's to be torn about? He give opinion and analysis. People should welcome opinions different than their own. I certainly do because I know I have nothing to fear with them.

    August 24, 2011 at 12:26 am |
  17. Josh

    Thanks, but no thanks Glen Beck. This Jew wishes you would just go away.

    August 24, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  18. a person of the Name

    And as for converting the Jewish ppl, no need. They are the chosen ppl of God. I know a few and proud to call them friends.

    August 24, 2011 at 12:16 am |
  19. Dave

    Hello Israel.... welcome our local Glenn (Nutjob) Beck... Tthe guy is so far off to the right that Fox News is getting rid of him.
    Yes, embrace the Nutjob.... as he wants to HELP you .. How??? Well, we don't know but welcome him anyway.....
    And since you and his ideals closely align..... why not get together and have a party....and hold hands... Yes, then life will be wonderful and you can both prance off into the sunset...

    August 24, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  20. barabra

    thank you mr beck for supporting israel and the jewish peopl, may god bless u.
    proud american jew

    August 24, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • Observer

      Hopefully, God will give him a lot more integrity.

      August 24, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • AmericanWoman


      DITTO! Proud American Christian.

      August 24, 2011 at 1:07 am |
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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.