Beck says he is losing $1 million on Israel events

US broadcaster says he intends to show choice between good, evil; critic calls events "end-of-times messianic- lunacy circus show."

Glenn Beck Restoring Honor 311 (photo credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Glenn Beck Restoring Honor 311
(photo credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
American broadcaster Glenn Beck responded to critics of the events he is organizing in Israel this week, telling The Jerusalem Post in an interview in the capital that his intentions are pure.
The “Restoring Courage” rally at the Southern Wall excavations site on Wednesday will be the central event of Beck’s three-night attempt to demonstrate to Israel and the world that the Jewish state does not stand alone. There will also be a rally for Christian leaders Sunday in Caesarea and a Holocaust-related event on Monday.
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Beck’s opponents in the US have said that Israel should not be cooperating with the American talk show host, who has angered Jewish leaders in the past with comments about the Holocaust and about Reform Jews.
Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater, who chairs an interfaith group, wrote in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal that Beck’s Restoring Courage event is “nothing more than a media driven, money-making, self-serving, end-of-times messianic- lunacy circus show.”
Beck advised his critics to watch the event. He said that when he held his “Restoring Honor” event at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, last August, people said he would desecrate the site with what they thought would be a right-wing political rally, but it ended up being nothing of the kind.
The American broadcaster especially objected to the charge that he was doing the events for his own financial gain. He revealed that he was losing “about a million dollars” on the rallies, which he called “wildly expensive,” and said he was open to donations to fray the costs.
“This is not a money-making event,” Beck said. “What man in his right mind pulls off an event last summer that took a year to plan, that media said would be a nightmare and could have caused a civil war."
"What man in his right mind would then try to do that in four months in Jerusalem at the height of global unrest. Who thinks that’s a good idea? I am doing it because I’m obedient and I do what I’m supposed to do: to show the world the courage of Israelis and the choice between good and evil and life and death, and to remind people that life’s not a spectator sport.”
Beck has tried to steer clear of both American and Israeli politics in the event, but the only featured democratic speaker at the event, Senator Joe Lieberman, pulled out because of family reasons. A spokesman for the senator said of the cancellation, "Senator Lieberman supports this event and wishes he could be there in person to express his support for a secure and free Israel, for Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, and for a rock-solid US-Israel relationship based on shared, eternal values and common current interests and enemies."
Republican presidential candidates Herman Cain and Rick Santorum will be attending the event but another Republican candidate, Tim Pawlenty, pulled out of the event after he dropped out of the race.
Arab MKs have warned that holding the Jerusalem rally so close to the Temple Mount could lead to violence, and Peace Now called upon MKs to boycott the rallies after Beck compared Tel Aviv housing protesters to communists.
“I’m not here for politics,” Beck said. “It doesn’t matter what any American or any foreigner thinks about politics in Israel. It’s your country."
"You have a right to decide what you want to do. One of the biggest problems in the world today is Israeli people believing they are the bad guys, which leads to Americans saying it.”
When asked what he thought of the housing demonstrators demands, he said: “I can tell you what my country does. But that’s not of interest to Israel. You’re not America. You can look at what worked and didn’t but it’s your decision, not mine.”
Regarding the upcoming United Nations General Assembly vote on declaring a Palestinian state, he advised Israelis to “stop worrying about what the UN might say and the US might say. There are millions around the world who know the difference between good and evil and will stand by your side.”
He urged both the Israelis and the Palestinians to “return to their original values, stop listening to voices other than God’s, remember how great He is, relay their values to their children, and obey the 10 commandments.”