Beck hoping to make Jerusalem mega-event bipartisan

Attracting Democrats may be challenging due to commentator's controversial image, frequent criticism of Obama's policies on Israel.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
June 16, 2011 22:08
2 minute read.
Glenn Beck I Stand With Israel

Glenn Beck I Stand With Israel 311. (photo credit: screen shot)

 
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Conservative commentator Glenn Beck has appealed in recent days to top Democratic Israel supporters and has urged them to come to Jerusalem in August to speak at the megaevent he is planning.

Beck has already lined up Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain and has reportedly invited candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann for the event as well as possible candidate Sarah Palin, though none of them has confirmed participation.

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On the Democratic side, the only big name Beck has attracted is Connecticut senator Joseph Lieberman, who caucuses with the Democrats but was elected as an independent and supported Republican candidate John McCain in the last election.

But organizers of the event want to show that Americans in general are on Israel’s side and not just Republicans. In an effort to make the event more bipartisan, they are trying to persuade top pro-Israel democrats to attend, such as New York Senator Charles Schumer.

Attracting Democrats could pose a challenge due to Beck’s controversial image and his frequent criticism of US President Barack Obama’s policies on Israel.

The August 24 event has been billed “Restoring Courage” and it will take place at the Southern Wall excavation site in the Old City of Jerusalem. Organizers said it will also be shown by video at another site in Jerusalem, such as Teddy Stadium, Sultan’s Pool, or Sacher Park.

Beck’s website said “Restoring Courage” would “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.”



Top Israeli singers such as Eyal Golan and Sarit Hadad are expected to perform and perhaps top American performers as well amid fireworks and pyrotechnics.

Beck met recently in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu but there has been no discussion yet in the Prime Minister’s Office about whether Netanyahu would attend the event, speak by video or purposely avoid it.

“We need to thank Glenn Beck for his work on behalf of Israel, whether it’s his support that he displays on his show every day or with the event he is planning,” said Likud MK Danny Danon, who is helping Beck organize the rally.

“I am sure the event will attract MKs from across the political spectrum.”

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