Glen Beck is Not Helping Israel

Posted on March 31st, 2011

Recently, a number of Facebook friends (both those I know and those I have never met) have been sharing videos of Glen Beck talking about Israel. These are usually accompanied by many “likes” and comments of “must watch.” I tried watching it and got about halfway through before I moved on. I did not share it, like it, or add a comment with an exclamation point. I simply left Mr. Beck in mid-speech and moved on. Because with all due respect for the Beck groupies, he’s just not helping our cause.

But before your fingertips fly to your keyboards to express your astonishment that I would be so bold as to dis the might Beck, I want you to know one thing:

I agree with everything Beck says (on Israel).

It’s just the guy who is saying it that’s the problem.

Because if you are one of those people who have shared, liked, and praised a Beck video, then I would wager money you are not a problem for Israel. If you were nodding your heads while listening to Beck decry the grossly unfair way Israel is treated, I’m not worried about you. You did not have to be convinced that terrorism is more of a problem than home building. You do not have to be swayed by the fact that a Democracy in Israel is morally superior to a theocracy in Iran or dictatorship in any of Israel’s other neighbors.

Much as you enjoyed spending a few minutes listening to the mighty Beck, he did not change your opinion about Israel. Whether you are Jewish or not, if you are a fan of Beck, I know you’ve got my back. I don’t have to worry about what you think of my little country.

Except for a fringe of isolationists and followers of the anti-Semitic ramblings of  Pat Buchanan, conservatives generally support Israel. When I worked for AIPAC, the best audiences I had on Capitol Hill were with conservative Members of Congress.

I remember one new Congressman from the deep South. When I showed up for a meeting, he called his entire staff into his office – -from his Chief of Staff to the Summer intern — and told them all to listen carefully because he wanted everyone to hear “about Israel, America’s most important ally.” For an hour, he and his staff listened, asked questions, and assured me that on every vote important for Israel, the Congressman would be there.

This was quite different treatment than when I would meet with a liberal Congressman from the Northeast. In that case, usually I was given five minutes to make my case to a low ranking staff member who would be interrupted by phone calls throughout the meeting. I would then be told that while everything I was saying was nice, why wouldn’t Israel just stop beating up the Palestinians and withdraw from Jerusalem in the interests of peace?  

Beck speaks to Conservatives and the problem is that no true liberal wants to listen to him. In fact, as soon as Beck opens his mouth, most liberals flee. His ultra-right wing philosophy has made him a public enemy to many. In fact, people  now associate ANYTHING he says as reactionary paranoia.

And that’s the problem.

It should be a liberal telling the world about human rights in Israel as compared to the Arab world.

“Gays are still today tortured and killed” (by Israel’s neighbors.)”

Is there any issue more compelling to a true liberal than Gay rights? Should this sentence be screamed over and over by those who care about justice and equality?

“Bloggers jailed without cause.”

“Women humiliated, raped, and murdered.”

“Dissidents killed, protesters shot.”

Liberals — these are your core issues. Why are you letting Glen Beck decry the treatment of Gays in the Middle East? Is he really an appropriate spokeman for Gay issues? Shouldn’t you be standing on the top of the Azrieli Tower in Tel Aviv — arguably the most “gay friendly” city in the world —  heaping praise on Israel and demanding changes in the Arab world? 

You can be sent to jail and tortured for the “crime” of being gay if you live in many Middle Eastern countries. Where are the protest rallies by their embassies?

Injustice is crying out in the Middle East and YOU — who honestly believe in human rights and equality — remain silent, preferring to use your considerable political energy to condemn Israel. No Israel is far from perfect, and we need change, but stack it up:

Is there any comparison between the way Israel and her neighbors treat gays, women, minorities, the press, and political opposition?

But alas, I have fallen into the trap. I am simply “Becking.”

Because if you are nodding your heads and about to “like” this then you are not the audience that needs to read it.

Where are all the real “liberals?”

Please share this article with your liberal friends.

Because Israel already has the Becks —  we need the liberals.

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  1. Adina says:

    I agree with everything you’ve said in here but one point: Glen Beck is not only not helpful because he’s preaching to the choir, but also because the other things he says, when he’s not talking about Israel, are filled with prejudice. I can’t post this column to share with all my fellow liberals because it speaks so favorably of someone who is so scary in so many other ways. Now, if you make these same points about Israel without the Beck part, I’d gladly post it, and I think it would be useful, and might even give some people something to think about.

  2. Bill Landau says:

    Some of your friends are – or at least is – a “real ‘liberal'” on most issues. When it comes to Israel, though, I am not a liberal or conservative, I am a Zionist.

  3. I might be revisit the theme later. I did update the post a little to make it seem less pro-Beck.

  4. Naomi Rickett says:

    He’s not speaking to Jews but to Christians so Beck probably shouldn’t even be an issue to us. I’ve listened to Beck for many years, when he was just on radio and not a face on tv. The way I see his show now is basically a Christian program that happens to be on Fox. I don’t think a lot of Jews were aware of him until recently, particularly after the Fogel piece he did. We are not his audience but his audience is pretty big in America and I think the message is good even if he is “preaching to the choir” because we are living in difficult times and he can help strengthen the choir. The way I look at it, we’ll take all the friends we can get and the only friends we have with real strength and courage (here visiting Israel even when Jews aren’t) are Zionist Christians. Now if we could only get Charles Krauthammer to be our voice….

  5. Ezra says:

    Beck is not a conservative, or even an ultra conservative. He’s a lunatic, and he’s made it very easy to make fun of him. People are more likely to do the opposite of what he says. The man is borderline delusional, and he keeps getting worse.

  6. Marc B says:

    Israel needs all the friends “it can get” even if they are flawed. We should welcome Beck’s support. In fact, I think Beck supports Israel more than some of my ultra liberal Jewish friends. I have encouraged my liberal friends to listen to Beck and some have. In fact, the liberal armor on two of them has even begun to crack. Even the editor of the Jewish Week in New York alluded to Beck’s support in an editorial last week!!! Is Beck being dismissed the same way that liberals dismiss support from groups like Christians United for Israel? (For the record, YES I am Jewish).