American broadcaster Glenn Beck responded to critics of the events he is
organizing in Israel this week, telling The Jerusalem Post in an interview in
the capital that his intentions are pure.
The “Restoring Courage” rally
at the Southern Wall excavations site on Wednesday will be the central event of
Beck’s three-night attempt to demonstrate to Israel and the world that the
Jewish state does not stand alone. There will also be a rally for Christian
leaders Sunday in Caesarea and a Holocaust-related event on
Glenn Beck arrives in Israel ahead of
Beck and the Jews: Does he get them? Do they get
Beck’s opponents in the US have said that Israel should not be
cooperating with the American talk show host, who has angered Jewish leaders in
the past with comments about the Holocaust and about Reform Jews.
Joshua Levine Grater, who chairs an interfaith group, wrote in the Los Angeles
Jewish Journal that Beck’s Restoring Courage event is “nothing more than a
media driven, money-making, self-serving, end-of-times messianic- lunacy circus
Beck advised his critics to watch the event. He said that when he
held his “Restoring Honor” event at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, last
August, people said he would desecrate the site with what they thought would be
a right-wing political rally, but it ended up being nothing of the
The American broadcaster especially objected to the charge that he
was doing the events for his own financial gain. He revealed that he was losing
“about a million dollars” on the rallies, which he called “wildly expensive,”
and said he was open to donations to fray the costs.
“This is not a
money-making event,” Beck said. “What man in his right mind pulls off an event
last summer that took a year to plan, that media said would be a nightmare and
could have caused a civil war."
"What man in his right mind would then try
to do that in four months in Jerusalem at the height of global unrest. Who
thinks that’s a good idea? I am doing it because I’m obedient and I do what I’m
supposed to do: to show the world the courage of Israelis and the choice between
good and evil and life and death, and to remind people that life’s not a
Beck has tried to steer clear of both American and
Israeli politics in the event, but the only featured democratic speaker
at the event, Senator Joe Lieberman, pulled out because of family
reasons. A spokesman for the senator said of the cancellation, "Senator
Lieberman supports this event and wishes he could be there in person to
express his support for a secure and free Israel, for Jerusalem as the
undivided capital of Israel, and for a rock-solid US-Israel relationship
based on shared, eternal values and common current interests and
Republican presidential candidates Herman Cain and Rick
Santorum will be attending the event but another Republican candidate, Tim Pawlenty, pulled out of the event
after he dropped out of the race.
Arab MKs have warned
the Jerusalem rally so close to the Temple Mount could lead to violence, and
Peace Now called upon MKs to boycott the rallies after Beck compared Tel Aviv
housing protesters to communists.
“I’m not here for politics,” Beck said.
“It doesn’t matter what any American or any foreigner thinks about politics in
Israel. It’s your country."
"You have a right to decide what you want to
do. One of the biggest problems in the world today is Israeli people believing
they are the bad guys, which leads to Americans saying it.”
what he thought of the housing demonstrators demands, he said: “I can tell you
what my country does. But that’s not of interest to Israel. You’re not America.
You can look at what worked and didn’t but it’s your decision, not
Regarding the upcoming United Nations General Assembly vote on
declaring a Palestinian state, he advised Israelis to “stop worrying about what
the UN might say and the US might say. There are millions around the world who
know the difference between good and evil and will stand by your
He urged both the Israelis and the Palestinians to “return to
their original values, stop listening to voices other than God’s, remember how
great He is, relay their values to their children, and obey the 10