Glenn Beck’s conspiracy theories have made the right-wing commentator the darling of the Israeli right, even garnering him an invitation from Israeli parliamentarian Danny Danon to speak before the Knesset. That love-fest between Beck and the Israeli right reached new heights last night when, at a gala for an American Zionist group, right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Beck for “defending” Israel.
Netanyahu delivered taped comments to the crowd at the Zionist Organization of America’s (ZOA) gala after Beck received the Miriam & Sheldon Adelson Defender of Israel Award from right-wing billionaire (and Netanyahu supporter) Sheldon Adelson. Netanyahu said:
I also want to congratulate Glenn Beck for winning the Miriam and Sheldon Adelson award, the Defender of Israel award. Glenn, you can be sure that if Sheldon and Miri Adelson put their name to something, it must stand for a lot. You stand for a lot. You’ve been fearless in defending Israel against the slanders that are hurled against it. You’ve done that with considerable personal cost but you’ve never backed off, you’ve never flinched, you’ve walked away. And I want to tell you how deeply we appreciate this stand of courage and integrity.
Watch the video:
All Israelis might not view Beck the way Netanyahu does. This summer, when Israel saw its largest protests ever in the name of social justice, Beck denounced the gathering. Despite 88 percent approval for the protests among Israelis, Beck, in a typically conspiracy-laced tirade, derided the prostesters a leftist-Islamist-Nazi plot to bring Israel down.
Beck also launched an attack last year on liberal billionaire George Soros. Michelle Goldberg of the Daily Beast called the episode of Beck’s now-defunct Fox News Show “a symphony of anti-Semitic dog-whistles.” The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) chided Beck’s remarks as “horrific.” Later, the ADL also criticized Beck for comparing Reform Judaism to radical Islam, this time eliciting an apology from the radio host.
The Los Angeles Times also rounded up some of Beck’s contrversial statements about Jews:
He has several times had to fend off allegations of anti-Semitism. Last year he appeared to endorse the notion that Jews killed Jesus Christ; his list of the world’s nine most “dangerous” people includes eight Jews…
An official from the liberal Israeli organization Peace Now told the paper: “If this is the only kind of friend Israel’s government can find around the world, that’s a very poor sign.”