July 15, 2011
By LAHAV HARKOV
Conservative pundit Glenn Beck was met with praise from coalition and opposition MKs, when he addressed the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs committee on Monday, but some seemed to think he was not right-wing enough when it comes to Israel.More than one MK spoke out against a Palestinian state in the committee meeting, but Beck told Channel 10 news later that evening that he would not oppose such a state.
“I’m not against a Palestinian state. I’m not here for a political solution,” he said. “There’s something bigger than politics here. I don’t think in my lifetime I’ve seen a more clear definition of evil that has been dismissed,” he added, referring to the massacre of the Fogel family in Itamar earlier this year.
“I believe in a two-state solution, because I remember that there is already a Palestinian state in Jordan,” National Union MK Arye Eldad told Beck. “Israel belongs to the Jews. We need to end the occupation – the Muslim occupation of Israel that began 1,300 years ago.”
MK Ayoub Kara (Likud) said that “the world doesn’t understand that there are already two states here, and now they want three states.”
“There were never Palestinians in this area,” Kara said.
Eldad also objected to Beck’s statement in the Knesset committee meeting that Arabs and Israelis are all “people who want to live their lives and raise their kids.”
“You say we’re all people – I have a problem with this,” Eldad said.
He recounted his experience as a doctor with a “shlemazel suicide bomber” as a patient. The failed suicide bomber slipped and fell while crossing the street so he could explode closer to more children, Eldad explained.
“Not everyone is like us. They don’t just want to have a good life. They have different motives than we do,” Eldad said.
Beck has never come out in favor of freeing Jonathan Pollard from prison, a cause which MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) and MK Marina Solodkin (Kadima) mentioned to the commentator at the meeting.
At the same time, the few MKs that were not from right-wing parties, such as MK Einat Wilf (Independence), and Kadima MKs Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich and Marina Solodkin, praised Beck.
Beck discussed his view on Israel’s portrayal in the media in a speech peppered with jokes, in a room packed with MKs from six parties, media figures and onlookers.
The television and radio host was introduced by committee chairman MK Danny Danon (Likud) who said he is “glad to host a friend of the State of Israel.”
“We see that your love for Israel comes from your heart; you support Israel unconditionally,” Danon said. “We wish we had more people like you.”
“If we didn’t have someone like Glenn Beck, we would have to invent someone like him,” the Likud MK quipped.
Beck explained that Israel and the Western world’s troubles are rooted in a fear of telling the truth.
“My message is to think outside the box, and the way to think outside the box is to tell the truth, whether you’re in media, politics or business,” Beck said. “We have created a system of politicians who are afraid to tell the truth. Instead they’re telling people what they think they want to hear.”
He added that before his first visit to Israel in 2002, “I thought Israelis cooked their food over a burning bus, because that’s what the media showed the rest of the world. I got here, and I was like ‘wow, great hummus!'”
Beck said that when he returned to the US, “I got my first death threat, because I came back and said the truth – the conflict is about the destruction of Israel and the end to the Western way of life.
The conservative commentator said that he has been stopped on the streets by many Israelis.
“People will sincerely thank me for saying the truth,” Beck said. “What’s disturbing is that if a guy gets on television or the radio and says the truth, and that’s so unusual, then Israel and the Western way of life are in great danger.”
“The great Satan and the little Satan, we’re on the ropes,” Beck added, using Islamic extremists’ nicknames for the US and Israel. “What do we do? Tell the truth. Live our lives with honor, and integrity, and have courage.”
“Someone said to me no one wants to hear our message. That’s not true. No one wants to tell our message. The people who want to can’t hear it,” he said, and recounted a visit to Idaho on America’s Independence Day, where he saw people waving Israeli flags at a patriotic rally.
Beck also warned that “anti-Semitism is going to go through the roof” due to the current economic climate.
“When these conditions appear, it’s always the Jews’ fault. It’s not about the Holocaust – the Holocaust was just the latest in a string of [anti-Semitic] events over thousands of years. The Holocaust is the most famous, the one they made movies about.”
Beck referred to his upcoming demonstration at the “original seats of power” in Jerusalem, titled “Restoring Courage,” and implied that it came to him in divine inspiration.
“Israelis may like to hear and see that you’re not alone,” he said. “There are millions of people [support Israel] that you don’t see, because the media doesn’t want to tell their story, either.”
Beck added that 70 political representatives from around the world, as well as four American presidential candidates will be attending the demonstration. In addition, 700 “remote viewing parties” have been planned.
The conservative pundit quoted the Book of Ruth, saying people all over the world support Israel and say: “Where you go, I will go. Where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people are my people. Your God is my God, and where you die I shall die.”
When asked about a segment of his Fox News television dedicated to the massacre in Itamar, Beck said: “You have a horror show that Hollywood spends months dreaming up. You have villains like I’ve never seen before. Not just adults – teenage villains. It’s something I’ve never seen before.”
He said that he admired Israelis courage and ability to be hopeful in the face such tragedies.
“After the shooting, people in Itamar said ‘we’re not going to be engaged in hate,'” Beck added.
Various MKs praised the pundit after his speech.
Shas MK Nissim Ze’ev referred to this week’s Torah portion, Pinhas, to discuss the importance of leadership qualities and the Jewish people’s Biblical right to the Land of Israel.
“Our message is one and clear. We are natives of Israel not since 1948, but since Joshua [the prophet], over 3,000 years ago. We have only returned after exile,” Ze’ev said.
“We don’t need to be defensive and explain ourselves all the time,” the Shas MK added.
He then praised Beck for doing “holy work.”
Kara pointed out that both he and Beck are not Jewish, but they “see the justice” in the Jewish state, and feel the need to spread the word.
“Unfortunately people try to hide it. This is something I don’t understand,” he said.
Kara also referred to the Druse tradition that they are descendants of Jethro, and therefore “commanded to watch over the Land of Israel for the People of Israel.”
“I’m not Jewish, but I feel more Jewish than the Jews. I am a Zionist,” Kara said.
Shamalov-Berkovich explained that “in the 21st century, people have lost faith in themselves, in one another, in the world and in God.”
“I think that when a person like you comes to Israel, it’s important, because you give people hope,” she said.
“If we in Israel do not believe our truth, it will be very hard to explain it to everyone else,” Shamalov-Berkovich told Beck, adding: “There should be more people like you here, and around the world.”
“It isn’t a coincidence that you’re a religious person [and support Israel],” Hotovely said. “This conflict isn’t territorial. If it was, it would have been solved a long time ago.”
“This is a religious battle led by Islam. We can’t ignore this basic truth,” she added. “It’s important that we stand behind a historical truth: We’re not just here because of Zionism, but because of the Bible.”
During the meeting, Beck leaned over and whispered to his assistant: “Can you believe how much God plays a role here?”