The Glenn Beck rally in Jerusalem for Israel, or at least for everything that’s
lousy about Israel, is taking shape. According to Wednesday’s Yediot Aharonot,
the rally has a name – “Restoring Courage.” Also a date – August 24. Also
a place, or places – the Old City and Teddy Stadium. Also, tentatively, some
guests of honor – Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and
It’ll be sort of a GOP/Tea Party convention, only in
Jerusalem, with thousands of godly Americans expected to fly in to join tens of
thousands of godly Israelis, with free admission, snacks and drinks, fireworks
and pop stars. So far there’s been no word about Koran-burnings, but the
program’s final touches are still a way off.
Likud MK Danny Danon, who
chaperoned Palin on her recent visit here, and who recently remarked that
“President Barack Hussein Obama adopted the phased plan of Arafat,” is handling
the Israeli side of things. Beck and his friends will be welcomed by their
Knesset admirers, who will be returning the favor for the way the GOP-led
Congress welcomed Bibi.
There will be lots of tears and solemn oaths to
God, Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and Judeo-Christendom. Since
it’s going to be televised across America, where there’s an election next year,
my guess is that they’ll soft-pedal the crazy stuff – the birther business, the
conspiracy theories, the comparisons with Hitler and Stalin, the really overt,
ghastly expressions of Muslim-hatred.
But the Glenn Beck rally, I
believe, will be a historic event for this country and how it is seen in the US
– especially by American Jews. This “pyrotechnic” spectacle will light up the
sky with a truth that’s been obvious for a long time, but that is still taboo to
say out loud: Israel and America’s right-wing meshuggenehs
are of one
The stupider and more rotten an American’s politics, the more
loudly he’s likely to cheer for Israel.
The reason for this is partly out
of love for Mordechai, but more so out of hatred for Haman: Right-wing Americans
hate the Muslims, the Muslims are their new Commies, and who’s right there at
the front in the war with the Islamic world? Israel.
So wackos like Beck
and Palin and Bachmann love us – but only as long as we go on fighting their
enemies. If we ever make peace with them, our dear, devoted Republican friends
will not be amused. Neither will the likes of Danny Danon, of course, so the
American Right and Israeli Right have become the closest, most natural of
Incidentally, who, more than anybody else, forged this covenant?
Netanyahu, starting about 30 years ago, and along the way gaining the admiration
of every major crackpot, Islamophobic evangelical preacher, from the late Jerry
Falwell to Pat Robertson to John Hagee and on.
And what the Glenn Beck
rally will do is proclaim this covenant in blazing fashion. It will sear into
the consciousness of Israelis and Americans, but above all American Jews, what
this country now stands for. By showing them who Israel’s friends are, it will
show them what Israel is.
Who are Israel’s friends? Right-wing
. What is Israel? A right-wing meshugge
Adelson, Morton Klein, Eric Cantor, the Emergency Committee for Israel, the
Brooklyner Jews and the rest of the hardasses over there will be buoyant. But
what about all those middle-ofthe- roaders, all those Democrats – the great
majority of American Jews who feel a basic connection to this country, but at
the same time are repelled by the likes of Beck, Palin and the Christian Right?
How comfortable are they going to be with that connection when they see, so
dramatically, who else this country is connected to – and not tangentially, but
at the hip?
Israel is a tragic story. It used to inspire idealists, now it
appalls them. The moderates, the silent majority, are left sort of perplexed –
they’re not going to speak against Israel, but they’re not really moved to speak
for it, either, when it seems to have become so aggressive, so
I think the Glenn Beck rally will have a clarifying effect on
American Jewish moderates. They’re going to say: I wish Israel luck, but this is
not for me.
Beck is going to make post-Oslo, 21st century Israel a
headache and an embarrassment for lots more American Jews – not just liberals,
but moderates, too.
He’s going to polarize attitudes toward this country
even more than they already are. He’s going to “energize the base” but alienate
the mainstream. He will win no new converts for Israel‘s cause, but he will turn
a lot of “undecideds” against it.
And I can’t wait. Post-Oslo, 21st
century Israel is too far gone, too fearful and hateful, for gradual change. It
needs radical change, and that means it has to get worse and worse until it hits
the wall, until it alienates too many people in its world – and only then will
it be shocked and scared into sanity.
So come on, Glenn. Do not tarry.
Light up the sky over Jerusalem, televise this extravaganza, proclaim the
covenant between Israel and whack-job America for all to see. We need an
apocalypse around here – not a literal one like you and your friends are praying
for, but a political one. And I couldn’t think of a better meshuggeneh
The writer blogs at Israel Reconsidered