Godspeed to Jerusalem, Glenn Beck

The American Right and Israeli Right have become the closest, most natural of allies.

June 15, 2011 23:58
4 minute read.
larry derfner 58

larry derfner 58. (photo credit: courtesy)


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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 Mike Huckabee.

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.

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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 mind.

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 allies.

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 meshuggenehs. What is Israel? A right-wing meshugge country.

Sheldon 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 forbidding.

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 for the job.

The writer blogs at Israel Reconsidered

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