Last month, 400 rabbis signed an open letter from Jewish Funds For Justice to Rupert Murdoch requesting that Glenn Beck be sanctioned for his false claims that George Soros collaborated with the Nazis.
Today, rather than apologizing, Beck lashed out at the rabbis. Beck falsely claimed that "all" of the rabbis who signed the letter came from the Reform movement of Judaism. Beck asserted that Reform Judaism is "more about politics" than about faith. Beck went on to liken Reform Judaism to "radicalized Islam."
Here's the clip (the relevant portion starts at about 2:55):
STU BURGUIERE (executive producer): And now remember, this is all fueled by an organization that Soros funds, that has a bunch of progressive rabbis that came out against Glenn and said --
BECK: OK, you have to -- hang on just a second. When you talk about rabbis, understand that most -- most people who are not Jewish don't understand that there are the Orthodox rabbis, and then there are the Reformed rabbis. Reformed rabbis are generally political in nature. It's almost like Islam, radicalized Islam in a way, to where it is just -- radicalized Islam is less about religion than it is about politics. When you look at the Reform Judaism, it is more about politics. I'm not saying that they're the same on --
BURGUIERE: No, obviously not.
BECK: -- and they're going to take it at that, but -- stand in line.
BURGUIERE: "Glenn Beck says --"
BECK: It's not about terror or anything else, it's about politics, and so it becomes more about politics than it does about faith. Orthodox rabbis -- that is about faith. There's not a single Orthodox rabbi on this list. This is all Reformed rabbis that were -- that made this list.
BURGUIERE: Yeah, I don't know that for a fact. I know that certainly this organization is a progressive political organization. And that's fine.
These are pretty outrageous claims -- even for Beck.
First of all, the letter was signed by rabbis from the Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstruction, and Reform movements. So Beck is dead wrong about that.
But more importantly, the Reform movement isn't some fringe, radical group that has abandoned Judaism; it's the largest religious denomination of American Jews.
According to the National Jewish Population Survey 2000-01, 35 percent of American Jews consider themselves to be Reform, compared to 10 percent who consider themselves to be Orthodox and 26 percent who consider themselves to be Conservative.
Similarly, the survey found that 39 percent -- a plurality -- of American Jewish households that belong to a synagogue are Reform.
According to its website, the Union for Reform Judaism includes "more than 900 congregations in the United States, Canada, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands" and "is the largest Jewish movement in North America and represents an estimated 1.5 million Jews."
That's a lot of Jews that Beck just smeared.