'Israel-You are not the bad guys!

Controversial American TV personality Glenn Beck believes Israelis should 'have the courage to admit that you are good'.

Glenn Beck (photo credit: REUTERS)
Glenn Beck
(photo credit: REUTERS)
It is a bright summer day in Jerusalem, and Glenn Beck has journeyed all the way to the Middle East armed with an acute sense of mission.
The popular radio host and former Fox News broadcaster, who has authored six best-sellers and launched a wildly successful multimedia empire, was in Israel last week in advance of the “Restoring Courage” event he is convening here in late August.
The gathering is slated to bring together a prominent array of foreigners and locals with the aim of reviving the concept of courage in the public mind-set and discourse of Israel and the West.
Beck’s message is simple, but certainly not simplistic: He wants people to discard the moral relativism that permeates much of the mainstream media and choose to stand together, imbued with the notion that there is good and evil in the world and a clear line of demarcation between the two.
His critics insist he is a purveyor of conspiracy theories and outlandish assertions.
But when he enters the 10th-floor executive lounge of the capital’s David’s Citadel Hotel for an interview with The Jerusalem Post, his earnestness is palpable, seemingly unscathed by the ravages of jet lag.
Whatever one may think of his views, Beck in person comes across as a wholly frank and genuine person.
A few days before the interview, Beck visited Auschwitz for the first time, a trip that clearly left an indelible impression on him. Recalling the experience, his eyes well up with tears and his voice is choked with emotion.
This isn’t showmanship – it is a sense of kinship, an expression of Beck’s deeply-felt solidarity with the State of Israel and the Jewish people. It is that sense of amity, of pathos for Jewish suffering and delight in Jewish success, that permeate the interview with him.
Before coming to Israel, you stopped off in Poland.
Why? On my way here, I first went to Poland. Emotionally, the most difficult and gut-wrenching event of my life – except for the birth of my child with cerebral palsy – was visiting Auschwitz. I wouldn’t recommend it to my worst enemy, but I would suggest it to my best friend.
I am doing a documentary now, not to show the gas chambers, but to focus on some of the amazing things that happened during that period, such as the actions of the Righteous Among the Nations. The question is, does the story live in a museum, or does it live in your heart? I met a righteous woman who saved her Jewish neighbor by giving her soup.
My documentary is on the good that happened, the courage it takes to do good.
It’s important to me to tell the world: This is history. This is where the Jewish people have come from, these are their roots and what that has meant. They came back to Israel from everywhere, changed the desert, and now they are changing the world.
What lesson do you think the rest of the world can learn from the Jewish people? I don’t think there is a people who have been persecuted more than you have, and yet you aren’t whiners. If that was my history, I would be whining a lot. The secret is to move on, but without forgetting.
Nowadays, Israel has the opportunity for the first time to defend itself. And it must not squander it. So stop with the self-doubt. Balance humility and arrogance, but don’t buy into the global PR that somehow or other you are the bad guys – you are not the bad guys! Why have so many in the West lost confidence in the justness of their cause? What happened? Political agendas, lies, social justice. It’s not just Israel, it’s the whole world.
There are people – and I say this not with malice toward them – who are just dead wrong and who believe that man cannot rule himself, he is not capable. [Businessman and philanthropist] George Soros said, and I am paraphrasing here, that the world is going to change and Israel doesn’t know what’s best for it.
Excuse me, but who are you, who am I, who is anyone to say such a thing? Unless you’re Israeli, who are you to tell them what’s best for Israel? Don’t bulldoze anyone, don’t steamroll anyone.
There are elites in every country that believe this about their own people.
President [Barack] Obama just said the other day that there is a difference between the regular person and the professional politician. Now, he was saying that the regular person doesn’t understand the debt. I contend it is the professional politicians who don’t understand the debt. We are being told the average person doesn’t get it. Well, yes, they do.
There is a fight for freedom going on that is real. The people who want to be free need to stand together peacefully and say enough is enough.
Israel is a small country of seven million people straddling the Mediterranean – why does it matter so much to the Western world and to you? Israel is the keystone to the Western world. If you pull out Israel, do you think the extremists will say, “Well, now we have their land, now we are all good”? Or will they say, we got Israel, now it is on to the rest of the world! That is the selfish reason that everyone should pay attention to Israel.
Now the real reason for Israel, the one we should connect on, is as human beings. I am so offended by people who say that I have no right to bring up the Holocaust because I wasn’t affected by it.
The entire human race should be affected by something like that having occurred! If you want to keep the Holocaust in a museum, then you are doomed and destined to repeat it. We all have to learn from it. The reason we have history is so we don’t repeat it. It is not for story time – it is so we do not repeat it.
Until humanity declares: We are not going to kill the Jews anymore, and they learn the lesson of history, we can’t move forward. When we see the signs, like we have in Iran now, where Iran is saying, “We are going to run them all into the sea,” are they joking? I don’t think so. We cannot let that happen on our watch.
How do you view the Arab Spring and the West’s reaction to it? Anyone with long-term vision should have been shouting from the rooftops: You can’t get into bed with [former Egyptian president Hosni] Mubarak. You cannot get into bed with dictators. Now, I do not know what the answer is, but I know staying true to your values must be paramount. Every time, the world makes excuses, saying, well, it is just the Jews, or we have to have the oil. There is nothing bigger than standing up for your values and saying, “No, here is a line that we are not going to cross.”
Do you think the American people have the stomach for stopping Iran? I think when the time comes, and it will, when things become clear for everybody, I pray that my fellow countrymen will stand. I was on the radio four years ago saying we’re passing all the exits. Soon it’s a cliff. You’ve got to turn the car around. Someone smarter than me needs to come up with what the solution is.
Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton said that if Israel doesn’t bomb Iran, there will be no way to stop them from building nuclear weapons. Do you agree? I told [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu five years ago, when [George W.] Bush was president, that the Americans are not going to bomb. They aren’t going to do it. No one else is going to do it. The world won’t do it, and you will be left with a choice, because they will build trains again. They will. Those guys have something that Hitler didn’t have: everyone all in one convenient location. [The Iranian president] has said that the Jews will burn in the fires of the Islamic fury. I think that’s pretty clear. Your prime minister said to me that “we will do what we have to because the Jewish people have a right to live.” I stand by him.
I know I am sitting in the middle of a wasteland with no oil beneath its soil, that Mark Twain described as desolate, and yet it sure doesn’t look desolate to me. It was foretold 2,000 years ago that the Jews would return. I think that is a miracle. The God of Abraham is not uninvolved. Who will stop Iran? I do not know. But I believe the Lord is not uninvolved.
I pray that good, decent people, prayerful, humble people, are the ones making the decisions in matters like that.
You are organizing a major event next month under the heading “Restoring Courage.” What does that mean? Last year, when I was in Washington, I held an event called “Restoring Honor,” which means find your integrity, your honor and honesty. Promise yourself today that you will tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may. Get under the protection of Divine providence.
This year, my message is: Tough times are coming, but we will be fine. Know that we will be fine, with firm reliance of the protection of Divine providence. Things will be okay if you live your life in accordance with the God of your understanding.
That is half of it. The message I would like to bring to Israelis is: Have the courage to admit that you are good, you have done amazing things, and you have a bright future ahead.
Look, I am a schlub and I don’t know much about Israel, but too many Israelis are doing now what many Americans are doing: They are saying to themselves, “Gosh, maybe we are bad.” No! The bad guys behead other people. They do it as a religious rite. We don’t behead people! Have the courage to say: Everyone may be against us, but we are still standing.
Will there be some followup to the event? If this is just an event, then we failed. It is a launch of a movement, a movement of decent, like-minded, freedom-loving, peaceful people that know the answer is not going to come from Washington or from Europe. It is not going to come from our political leaders, it is going to come from the people. It is a true freedom movement. It is a movement that the tech industry in Tel Aviv would understand, and it is a movement that the most Orthodox in Jerusalem would understand and come together around.
With regard to the event itself, there are actually three events. One is specifically designed for Christians on Sunday night. Hundreds of churches in the US will be viewing. It’s a kick-off event to get the Christian community in America to wake up and start standing up for Israel.
The second event will have politicians, four presidential candidates, senators, 30 to 40 national figures coming from the political realm in the US alone, not counting mayors or governors. Seventy political representatives from around the world are coming, as well as citizen delegations from 100 countries, including Bahrain, that will stand with Israel.
There are 700 viewing parties already scheduled. This is truly a global event.
They are just coming to stand with Israel. More than that, I cannot reveal.
Many Israelis are concerned about Obama. Will there be a danger to Israel’s security if he wins a second term? Now that we’re a global community, this answer doesn’t seem to make sense, because a lot of people here in Israel watch my program. But I don’t talk about the policies of my country outside of my country. If you want to know my opinion of the policies of the president, you can go to YouTube and see what I said in New York and which I will continue to say in New York. There will not be politics at the “Restoring Courage” event, and it will not be an anti-Obama event. There are values, virtues and principles that we will stand for.
So where are things headed for Israel and the US? Many people in America have been asleep for a long time. I used to be among them – we were asleep for a long time. There are Americans who still say it will never happen, it will always be this way. Everything will work out because we are America.
I know Americans outside of Washington who know that’s not necessarily true, not unless you change that behavior.
We are waking up to what could be on the horizon, and what could be on the horizon is the vaporization of Israel and the end of the Western way of life as we know it. It’s my job... to warn them.
There are those who can’t be persuaded, but those with eyes will see, those with ears will hear. It’s time to prepare people for the other outcome, and that is: people standing together, being righteous and being decent. And most importantly, standing up and protecting one another peacefully.