Feiglin objects to Beck Jerusalem event

Hawkish Likud activist tells 'Post' he objects to US Christian broadcaster's plan to hold Restoring Courage rally near Temple Mount.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
August 22, 2011 05:22
3 minute read.
Moshe Feiglin

Moshe Feiglin 520. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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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 site.

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.

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“Glenn Beck 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 centuries.

“This created the image of Jews as pursuers of money and Christian anti-Semitism that led to rivers of Jewish blood,” Feiglin said.

“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.

“Jews like 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."

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Feiglin 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 palace.

Melanie Lidman contributed to this report.

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