American broadcaster Glenn Beck has faced criticism from left-wingers and Reform
rabbis in the US and warnings from Arab MKs and Peace Now in Israel ahead of his
Jerusalem mega event set for Wednesday night at Jerusalem’s Southern Wall
But Beck has been welcomed warmly by the Israeli Right until
Sunday, when hawkish Likud activist Moshe Feiglin denounced him in an interview
with The Jerusalem Post
. Feiglin objected to the Christian broadcaster holding
his Restoring Courage rally so close to Judaism’s holy site.
should do such an event in his court, not mine,” Feiglin said. “Besides
territorial sovereignty, there is also a concept of spiritual sovereignty. When
he holds his event so close to the Temple Mount, he is supporting us physically
but undermining us spiritually.”
Feiglin noted that Beck was purposely
holding his event close to the site where, according to the New Testament, Jesus
overturned the tables of the moneychangers where Jews on pilgrimage to Jerusalem
redeemed funds for sacrifices that would be made in the Temple. He said this was
problematic, because the incident has been a source for anti-Semitism for
“This created the image of Jews as pursuers of money and
Christian anti-Semitism that led to rivers of Jewish blood,” Feiglin
“Glenn Beck doesn’t back the Jewish mission. What drives him is the
Christian mission. I have no problem doing business with him, but he has to
respect me when he comes here just like I don’t try to force my identity on him
when I come to him.”
Feiglin mocked right-wing figures such as MK Danny
Danon (Likud) and Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza
Strip chairman Danny Dayan who have facilitated Beck’s visit.
it when goyim finally smile at them, but sometimes a smile is more dangerous
than a scowl, and this is one of those occasions,” Feiglin said.
Dayan responded that "Israel has too many real foes and very few genuine
friends like Glenn Beck. I cannot understand the urge to reject his
friendship with pseudo-theological argumentation."
He added, "Rejecting friendship is not a sign of national pride but a proof of very low self confidence."
also said he had a “deep problem” with Efrat Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
participating as a featured speaker at a Chrisitan prayer rally Beck organized
at the Caesarea Amphitheater Sunday night.
Following warnings from Arab
MKs in the Post that Beck’s Jerusalem rally could lead to violence, the
Jerusalem Police were asked whether they had considered forcing the event’s
cancellation or moving it to a different site. Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel
Ben-Ruby said the police had not received information or threats of violence
against the event.
“There has been absolutely no decision to change [the
event],” Ben-Ruby said. “We are not going to revoke the permit in any
way, shape, or form.”
Ben-Ruby said the police will have a regular
security detail. Peace Now received a permit to hold a counter-demonstration
outside the event to protest Beck’s conservative views and the decision to hold
the event in a controversial location.
The Davidson Center at the
Southern Wall is part of the Jerusalem Archeological Park in and around the Dung
Gate, and is located about 100 meters from the Temple Mount. The building was
created over the underground storage area for a 17thcentury Umayyad
Melanie Lidman contributed to this report.