Jewish Israel members weigh-in on Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck and his planned events in Jerusalem for the last week of August continue to inspire debate and to cause unease for many concerned Israelis. The most recent developments include Beck's announcement that he would not be holding the rally at the Southern Wall of Jerusalem's Old City, due to potential security problems.


In his announcement, Beck mentioned that, "It's my understanding that that we would be the first Christians to use this location for a high profile event."

[NOTE: For the record, the missionary Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) held a large high profile VIP event in September 2009, at the Davidson Center near the Southern Wall, to announce the launching of TBN’s Russian-language Christian programming in Israel.  The event reportedly enjoyed Israeli government support and participation.]

Beck noted that he felt the location had been picked for him, suggesting a divinely inspired moment.


Beck continues to raise eyebrows and concerns with his provocative style and tactless
comparisons and connections.  Most recently he implied that the Labor Party Youth camp which was targeted by a Norwegian terrorist "sounds a little like, you know, the Hitler youth."

Despite his incessantly invoking the Holocaust, his fascination with apocalyptic prophecy, and his proclivity towards a Christian faith-based agenda, Glenn Beck continues to articulately defend Israel.  So, is Beck good for the Jews?

A number of Jewish Israel's members and those who follow our blog reports have weighed in on the issue with thought-provoking opinions of their own. We've received blog submissions, feedback, news alerts, and links from those in the secular, national religious, and hareidi worlds, including academics, politicians, lawyers, community leaders, activists, former missionaries and magazine editors.  We've posted and linked to a sampling of those pieces.

We begin with a blog submission by JI member Moshe Burt:

 Glenn Beck's Two Dimensions: Separating the U.S. End Injustice Model from the Missionary Message

I'll begin this -- what I feel may be a most important piece for our times, concerning the cancerous internal malaise that is Israel today, and how true Torah Jews can take Israel back, by attempting to examine and separate out the mixed protagonistic and antagonistic messages of commentator Glenn Beck.   This is an introduction piece which will be followed up with specifics concerning Glenn Beck's "take back America" model as it could be applied in Israel.

I have viewed Beck's programs numerous times when I've had access to Fox news on cable TV, as well as viewing the on-demand videos promoting GBTV online.  I have seen and heard Beck's over-dramatic characterizations of Israel as "alone, besieged and isolated" in promoting his upcoming "Restoring Courage" event slated to take place here in Jerusalem in late August.  I have noted his sophisticated style of presentation -- a more down-to-earth charismatic yet rational oratory than the "h-ll and brimstone" style of say, a Joel Bell, yet Xian evangelical and missionary in content nonetheless.   I have heard the video where he decries text such as what appears both inside and on the outside wall of the Dome of the Rock proclaiming the Judeo-Islamic credo of "One true G'd, without partner, without son."   

I have noted Beck's apparent allies:  among the Jewish Israeli inter-faith sector, i.e. Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, as well as the Torah Jews who seem innocently duped to support his efforts -- for apparent lack of a charismatic authentic Jew with the ability to pull together a network capable of attacking the leftist, elitist tentacles of this cancerous internal spiritual malaise among the Jews in Israel today. 

I have also noted Beck's Xian messianic circle, composed of such as Joel Rosenberg, Pastor John Hagee and others.  


Understand that at age 63, I've seen the late-night "h-ll and brimstone" evangelical preachers, recognize their oratory style, have seen their literature which distorts and misrepresents Jewish Biblical sources and know that they go after, target and missionize unknowing, unaware, un-Torah-rooted Jews showing them an alleged strain of "Judaism" whose doctrine is that the messiah will manifest as the second coming of "Jesus (sic)".  

It was about the aforenamed alleged "savior" that I once heard a Rabbi say that "he was born over 100 years after he died."   And I remember how Rabbanim back in Philadelphia fought hard against the messianic missionaries, once even missing Yom Kippur's Kol Nidre for standing outside a messianic site trying to dissuade disconnected Jews from entering and being proselytized.    And it is regarding such messianic missionaries that a Rabbi, also in Philadelphia and who taught me as a Ba'al Teshuva, would always exhort his talmidim at the conclusion of his Parsha HaShevua shiur, that Xian missionaries go out and "get Jews" and, how each of US should go out and "get a Jew" and bring him to the next shiur, for a Shabbos, etc. 


One cannot ignore Jewish history of persecutions, pogroms, expulsions, slaughters and gassings during the nearly 2,000 year in Galut, as well as times in our history when we were showered with love -- if only we would abandon Torah, stop praying to Hashem, etc., but when we didn't things reverted to murderous form.   So too with the evangelicals -- no altruism here,  who shower Israel with love, support and finances with their prime motivation being that the ingathering of the Jews back to Israel representing the fulfillment of Xian prophecy -- the second coming of their messiah.  And when their prophecy doesn't happen, inevitably they too will revert to murderous form.

But I have taken note as well of Beck's countless chalkboards and talking points discussing injustices which have evolved over recent decades in the United States as well his thoughts and ideas on how to "take back America."  I refer readers to Moshe Feiglin's recent comments regarding Beck, but want to suggest that "the baby not be thrown out with the bath water" -- that the constructive not be discarded with the destructive.

In looking at Glenn Beck's Israel context, however, it is vital to separate out Beck's two dimensions -- discarding, in a Jewish context, the "antagonistic", i.e. Beck's possible missionary track behind the "Restoring Courage" event, yet taking Beck's protagonist side: the "take back America" model regarding ending injustice, and use it in developing a model capable of attacking and dismantling the cancerous leftist, elitist tentacles which tie down Jewish Israel; in the intelligencia, the media, the college and university campuses, the military, the ministries, bureaucracies and governance which have caused the evolution of internal spiritual malaise among the Jews in Israel today. 


Continue reading the other blog and opinion pieces being sent to Jewish Israel by our members and concerned readership:

JI member Sharon Katz

JI  member Mordechai Yaacov Allen

JI member Ya'aqov Ben Yehudah

JI board member Professor  Richard Landes

JI board member Anita Tucker (first part of post)

Moshe Feiglin's Take on Beck

(As always, the opinions, editorials, writings and news published on this site do not necessarily reflect the opinions of JewishIsrael.)


JI posts on Glenn Beck:

Why Jews should be uncomfortable with Glenn Beck

Another Beck Column

Missionary TBN to broadcast Beck in Caesarea

Letter sent to Rabbis and a Former Missionary Reports on Beck's Cae...

Glenn Beck and Al-Dura: What IDF Footage?


Related videos:

Glenn Beck's Christian mission for Israel 

Glenn Beck uses the Holocaust to portray Israel as besieged, isolat...

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Comment by Jewish Israel on July 27, 2011 at 5:34pm

"A little bit of bitachon, friends! We have a Rock on whom we can depend. While there may be enough grey area for us not to feel compelled to reject Beck, there's certainly no reason why we should give him rock star status. "


Comment by Stefan on July 27, 2011 at 5:13pm
The main problem, I feel, is not so much Beck's views but how we - as Jews and/or Israelis - respond to him. Personally, I detest the man: his rants are simplistic, bombastic and shallow (when they're not being down right offensive such as his crass comment on the youth camp targeted by the Norwegian murderer). That he chooses to devote some of those rants to defending Israel well, America's a free country, let him do it. But we do not have to adulate and adore him simply because he does that. A little bit of bitachon, friends! We have a Rock on whom we can depend. While there may be enough grey area for us not to feel compelled to reject Beck, there's certainly no reason why we should give him rock star status. 

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