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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Beck vows to defend Israel against UN, NGOs

1,000 supporters attend J’lem rally where US broadcaster announces formation of global pro-Israel movement.

US broadcaster Glenn Beck announced at a Jerusalem rally on Wednesday that he is forming a new global movement that will seek to defend Israel from the United Nations and human rights organizations around the world.

The “Restoring Courage” rally attracted more than 1,000 American Evangelical Christians and right-wing Israelis to the Southern Wall excavation site outside the Old City. Additional crowds watched the event at Jerusalem’s Safra Square and at more than 1,400 viewing parties in 60 countries around the world, including China and Cuba.

Speaking above the din of Peace Now activists protesting the event, Beck enthralled the crowd with his praise for the people of Israel and his condemnations of critics of the Jewish state.

“In Israel, there is more courage in one small square mile than in all of Europe,” Beck said. “In Israel, there is more courage in one soldier than in the combined cold hearts of all the bureaucrats in the United Nations.

“In Israel you can find people standing against incredible odds against the entire tide of world opinion just because it’s right, just because it’s just and just because it’s good.”

Turning to the UN, Beck said the “so-called leaders of the world” talk about human rights while they abuse the meaning of the concept by condemning democratic Israel while ignoring dictatorships that murder their own people like Libya, Syria, and North Korea.

“The cause of human rights has been taken over by individuals who share little with those who originally led those movements,” he said.

“These organizations have become bullies and grotesque parodies of what they claim to represent. They criticize free nations and they spare the unfree. They are nearly comical in their double standards.

Whatever moral force they had is spent, and so today, we dismiss them.”

Beck said his new global movement, which will be based in Texas, aimed to “take back the phrase ‘human rights,’ and put it back where it belongs.”

The Jerusalem speech was just the first stop in a global tour launching the movement that will take him to South Africa and South America before a major event in Texas on Sunday. Beck will broadcast his show from Capetown on Continued from Page 1 Thursday to remind people about the horrors of apartheid and categorically reject attempts by Israel’s adversaries to call Israel an apartheid state.

Beck’s main message to Israelis was to have confidence they are in the right and critics of the state are wrong.

“Sadly, even Israelis are beginning to believe the lies and believe that if they do a little of this or this, maybe it will go away,” Beck said. “Do not lose hope. Do not lose confidence in yourself. You must have courage. You must have knowledge that God led you to this land and that God is not a stranger to the children of Abraham.”

The rally began at 5 p.m., and finished before dark in order to accommodate thousands of Muslims who came to the Temple Mount for Ramadan prayers. Beck included the Muslim history of Jerusalem, in addition to its Jewish and Christian past, when telling the story of the holy city.

Awards were presented at the event to the mayor of Itamar in honor of the remaining members of the Fogel family, whose parents and siblings were murdered there in March, to the Jewish and Arab owners of a Haifa restaurant blown up by terrorists and to Jerusalem supermarket magnate Rami Levi for encouraging coexistence at his branch in Gush Etzion.

A letter was read aloud at the event from Muslim Sheikh Abdel-Khaer Jabari of Hebron, who is a wellknown defender of Israel.

“You are congratulated for organizing a rally of Jews and Christians standing for Israel,” Jabari wrote. “I greet you with the courage of a loving friend. May we truly act arm in arm together and bring the one God to the universe united in peace.”

Glenn Beck Restoring Courage Rally in Israel Video Promo

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Glenn Beck rally in Jerusalem draws applause, demonstrations

2,000 people attend former Fox TV personality's final event on his tour of Israel; Protesters outside rally urge 'Glenn Beck, go home.'

Former Fox TV personality Glenn Beck capped a contentious visit to Israel yesterday with a strong call of support for the Jewish state during a rally in Jerusalem's Old City.

The conservative commentator has won fans among Israel's far-right with his unabashedly pro-Israel, anti-Muslim rhetoric, and 2,000 people turned out to hear him speak next to the compound that is known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

"What happens here does not just affect Israel. From this moment forth, it affects the future of the entire globe," he said, to a standing ovation. "The only message that I have for Israel and the Israelis is this: My friends, do not lose hope, you must not lose confidence in yourself. You must have courage. You must draw courage from the knowledge that you were led to this land by God."

Outside the Old City walls, a small group of protesters held banners saying, "Glenn Beck, go home."

Beck left Fox News in June after ratings dipped to launch a daily two-hour show for paying customers on his own Internet network. His departure from Fox was hastened when advertisers began boycotting him after he said that U.S. President Barack Obama had a "deep-seated hatred for white people."

Beck, who is Mormon, also got into trouble for describing George Soros, the liberal billionaire financier who survived the Holocaust, as a "Jewish boy helping send the Jews to the death camps."

His speech yesterday marked the final leg of his "Restoring Courage" tour in Israel.

Both religious figures and left-wing politicians in Israel came together in an unusual alliance to appeal to Israelis to shun his embrace. Religious Jews worried that he came to spread the Christian gospel, while dovish Israelis rejected Beck's support for West Bank Jewish settlements and his criticism of peace efforts.

"It is embarrassing that the government of Israel and the city of Jerusalem is identifying with a character like this and giving him a warm embrace," said Etai Mizrav, an activist from Peace Now. "He expresses racist and anti-Semitic sentiments in the guise of affection for Israel."

Peace Now launched a Facebook page entitled "Glenn Beck Stay Home" that has attracted more than 1,200 followers online. The organization released a video that included comments from Beck in which he compared the victims of the recent shooting attack in Norway to Hitler Youth and suggested that Israelis protesting the country's high cost of living were linked to Islamist groups.