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Glenn Beck to address Knesset panel in July
By LAHAV HARKOV
28/06/2011
Knesset Immigration, Absorption, Diaspora Affairs C'tee chair Danon invites conservative pundit to talk about fighting delegitimization.
 
Conservative pundit Glenn Beck will advise MKs on fighting the delegitimization of Israel abroad during a trip to Israel in July.

Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee chair MK Danny Danon (Likud) invited Beck, a Fox News and radio host and an outspoken supporter of Israel, to address the committee on how to recruit friends of Israel in the US to defend Israel’s right to exist.

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“When we face an international wave of hatred of Israel and Jews – which is expressed in Facebook pages and films calling for our destruction – it’s good that Israel has talented friends that can contribute to our public-relations efforts,” Danon said.

The Likud MK added that the July 11 committee meeting with Beck will focus on September’s UN General Assembly, where the Palestinian Authority has said it will unilaterally declare statehood.

“September isn’t just a crisis,” Danon explained. “It’s an opportunity to explain to the world that we are not occupying anything.”

MK Nachman Shai (Kadima) criticized Danon’s “impressive use of his committee for his own political needs.

“Danon is deviating from his mandate [as chairman of the Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee] in a way that I think is problematic,” Shai, a former Army Radio commander and Israel Broadcasting Authority chairman, said.

“The Diaspora is something specific. It means Jewish communities, not ‘abroad’ in general,” he added. “The Immigration Committee shouldn’t be discussing hasbara.

“I wouldn’t say no to Beck, I would be happy to host him,” Shai added, “but I don’t understand what he’s doing in the Knesset Immigration Committee.”

Beck’s scheduler, Jonny Daniels, told The Jerusalem Post that Beck’s July visit will be filmed, in anticipation of the pundit’s mega event in August.

“The committee meeting will be filmed for Beck’s online show,” Daniels, who is also an adviser to Danon, said, “as will his visits to historical sites all over Israel that are significant for Jews and Christians.”

Daniels also said that Beck will visit Tamar Fogel, 12, whose parents and three siblings were murdered by terrorists in Itamar in March.

Beck hopes to attract speakers from both major American political parties for his August 24 event. Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain and Senator Joseph Lieberman, an Independent Democrat who caucuses with the Democrats, have both said they will attend the event.

The event, called “Restoring Courage,” will take place at the Southern Wall excavation site in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Fox News commentator’s website states the event will “unite the people of the world in standing with Israel and remind us of the need to have faith, honor and courage in our own lives.”

Gill Hoffman contributed to this report.
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