Glenn Beck likes to say that "[t]here is no one more pro-Israel or more pro-Jew than I am." But what exactly does that mean?
Over the past month, hundreds of thousands of Israelis (out of a population of about 8 million) have protested high housing costs and other economic issues. A Haaretz poll from late July found that fully 87 percent of Israeli respondents supported the protests; just 9 percent opposed the protests.
But Glenn Beck disagrees. Last week, he and his co-hosts blasted the protesters, whom they characterized as “obviously from the hard left.” They sarcastically described calls to “enshrine the right to housing in the law” as something that “worked out well for the Soviets” and mocked proposals for rent control.
Beck went on to speculate that the protests are being orchestrated by some sort of “leftist global financing” and that the protesters are working with Islamic extremists.
In other words, Beck apparently thinks 87 percent of Israelis support a movement that is collaborating with Islamic extremists and a shadowy network of international “leftists.”
Beck has also criticized large portions of the American Jewish community. Earlier this year, 400 rabbis signed an open letter criticizing Beck's inappropriate rhetoric about the Holocaust and his false claims that George Soros collaborated with the Nazis. In response, Beck went on the attack. He falsely claimed that the letter was signed only by “Reformed rabbis” and insisted that Reform Judaism is “more about politics” than about faith, which he said makes it similar to “radicalized Islam.”
The Reform movement, which includes 1.5 million Jews, is the largest denomination of North 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.
In May, Beck complained that “the Jewish community” wasn't condemning President Obama's “absolute betrayal” of Israel. Beck declared that “the Jewish community seems to be giving him a pass yet again” and asked, “How is that possible?”
Beck also has a long history of mainstreaming anti-Semitism. He has promoted the writings and statements of anti-Semites like Eustace Mullins, Elizabeth Dilling, and former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. He engaged in a series of attacks on Soros that were steeped in anti-Semitic stereotypes and imagery. In January, Beck infamously identified nine villains who, over the past century, have conspired to control the population; eight of them happened to be Jewish.
So perhaps it's unsurprising that in promoting his upcoming Restoring Courage rally in Jerusalem, Beck is trumpeting the support of Billy Graham, who once said the following to then-President Richard Nixon:
GRAHAM: A lot of the Jews are great friends of mine. They swarm around me and are friendly to me, because they know that I am friendly to Israel and so forth. But they don't know how I really feel about what they're doing to this country, and I have no power and no way to handle them.