Blog ››› ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN
Glenn Beck promoted a religious organization run by an extremist Israeli Rabbi who once praised mass murderer Baruch Goldstein as a "martyr" who is "above saints and righteous men."
Last week, Beck held a pro-Israel event near the base of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Before the event, he broadcast a brief feature on the history of the mount, which promoted the plans of a group called the Temple Institute to help bring about the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple:
NARRATOR: Plans are now underway to build a Third Temple. Groups like the Temple Institute in Jerusalem are preparing the necessary vessels and garments in accordance with Jewish Law. A new generation of Levite priest is being trained for Temple service. And a two million dollar menorah, covered in 95 pounds of gold, stands at the ready. Although Muslim holy sites currently dominate the Temple Mount, religious Jews agree the Temple will be rebuilt here. The only question is whether it will happen before the Messiah comes, or after.
The Temple Institute shares Beck's obsession with prophecy and the End Times. According to its website, the Institute "is dedicated to every aspect of the Biblical commandment to build the Holy Temple of G-d on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem." The Jerusalem Post describes the Institute as "a once-marginal organization that has been gaining increasing prominence." According to a January 25, 2000, piece published in Ha'aretz, "most" of the Institute's members are "extreme right wing."
As we reported last week, the Institute's founder and head, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, was a close ally of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane and ran for the Knesset on the ticket of Kahane's Kach party. Kach has since been banned from Israeli elections because of its overt racism and its association with violent activities. Both the Israeli government and the U.S. State Department have officially listed Kach as a terrorist organization.
Perhaps the bloodiest attack took place on Feburary 25, 1994, when Baruch Goldstein -- a member of Kach and the JDL -- used an automatic rifle to murder 29 Muslims praying in a Hebron mosque and to wound more than 100 others before being beaten to death.