Former Fox News television personality Glenn Beck addressed the Knesset — Israel’s parliament — today, delivering a mixture of pro-Israel talking points, commentary on the media and a typical smattering of his end times-inspired predictions of chaos and destruction.
Beck has a history of running afoul of mainstream U.S. Jewish organizations. In February, Beck’s comments comparing Reform Judaism to Islamic extremist terrorism were characterized as “bigoted ignorance” by the Anti Defamation League and his ongoing attacks on George Soros — who he refers to as “The Puppet Master” — have been widely criticized for running disturbingly close to the fraudulent antisemitic tract, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” But that didn’t keep Danny Danon, a right-wing Likud Party Minister, from praising Beck, saying “If we didn’t have Beck, we’d invent someone similar.”
Multiple standing ovations met Beck’s standard litany of cryptic and sinister warnings. +972 Magazine’s Ami Kaufman reported Beck said:
You have to think out of the box. The way to do that is to tell the truth. Everyone feels the truth, in the gut. My message to you is: ‘stop playing the game’. We in the West are being set up. Israel is being set up.
Beck’s descriptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict served more as a reminder of his ignorance rather than a call to arms. He said:
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, at the ruling class, is about the destruction of Israel and the end of the western way of life. Period. That’s what it is. I don’t know a lot of Palestinians but I also don’t know a lot of Jewish people either. I don’t really classify people that way. They’re just people.
In his remarks today, Beck might have been preaching to the choir, but it’s worth noting that his fanbase now extends across the Atlantic and into the Israeli far-right.
It appears that Beck, a figure whose declining ratings led to his show’s cancellation in the U.S., is finding a ready audience among the Israeli right. But unless Beck starts talking about more specifics and cuts down on his cryptic references to the “ruling class” and predictions of world changing events, it’s hard to imagine his “Restoring Courage” rally, occurring next month in Jerusalem, making much of an impact in either Israel or the U.S.