Beck's Theory That Israel May Come Under U.S. Attack Is Riddled With Falsehoods

››› ››› SOLANGE UWIMANA & MIKE BURNS

Glenn Beck continues to push the lunatic theory that recent events show that the left and the Obama administration are laying the groundwork for military action against Israel. In fact, Beck's theory rests on utter falsehoods and wild distortions.

Beck: Obama Administration "Is Siding With The Wrong Side," But "I Stand With Israel"

Beck: "Our Administration Is Siding With The Wrong Side" And "Protecting The Killers And The Terrorists," But "I Stand Tonight With Israel." From the March 29 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: [T]he world is being led to the water that Israel is the evil one and it's about to drink. Don't drink that water. They have measurably -- no, it's the Middle East. They have immeasurably more freedom than any other Middle Eastern nation. Women are free to drive. Women and our daughters can walk alone in the streets without being stoned or jailed. You can bring a Bible or a Quran into Israel. When a woman can't walk down the street alone and be safe, and not because she's in a dangerous neighborhood but because she walked alone without a man, how do you possibly stand with that country? How do you possibly stand with a group of people that say, "I'm going to kill you if you don't go to my faith"? A country that treats women or people who are at all different like a dog, treats a woman as a piece of furniture or a sexual toy that can be raped and the courts will allow it -- how is it that a country like ours actually listens to those evil people saying this is evil and we believe it? How many Israelis have taken someone off the streets and then beheaded them on videotape just for political reasons?

Our administration is siding with the wrong side. They are standing against good and encouraging evil in the Middle East. We are reprimanding the nation that is as flawed as we are and protecting the aggressors. We're protecting the killers and the terrorists. We have gone from a nation who was doing the wrong thing by siding with Mubarak to a nation who is doing an even greater evil by arming Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood which empowers Iran and also in the end destroys Israel. It is not difficult to tell good apart from evil. Let's start with some simple ideas -- voting rights. Generally speaking, which is better? Voting rights of Iran, Muslim Brotherhood, those who run Al Qaeda? How about free speech? Rights of women? Rights of homosexuals? America and Israel, or the people we seem to be siding with? I stand tonight with Israel. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 3/29/11]

Beck Claims Obama Administration Is "Pushing The Responsibility To Protect Act" That May Hurt The "Survival Of Israel"

Beck: "Players In The White House Are Pushing The Responsibility To Protect Act." From the March 29 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: Let's look at the direction in the Middle East. Do you think it's headed towards the -- towards the peaceful conclusion? To a happier world? Do you think it's going to end well, or not so much? Are things happening that are beneficial to the survival of Israel, or not so much? Is there any leader in the world standing up for Israel, or not so much? Yeah, Bob, I'd have to go for not so much. Israel is under attack, and let me show you just a couple of things.

OK. First of all, we have George Soros's powerful group and his players in the White House saying that there are obstacles. And also, his players in the White House are pushing the Responsibility to Protect Act. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 3/29/11]

REALITY: No "Responsibility To Protect Act" Has Been Introduced During Obama's Time In Office. A search of the Library of Congress' Thomas database shows that at no point during Obama's tenure has anyone in Congress introduced a "Responsibility to Protect Act." While there are Congressional resolutions asserting that the United States has a responsibility to protect the international community against mass atrocities, no binding legislation has been passed to date. [Thomas.LOC.gov, accessed 3/29/11]

Beck Twists Statement By Obama Adviser To Portray Her As Anti-Israel

Beck Plays Edited Video Clip Of Power To Suggest She Favors Using "Protect Doctrine" "Against Israel." From the March 29 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: That brings us to the responsibility to protect doctrine. This states that states have the right to protect the population, in fact, the responsibility to protect the populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. That's apparently what was happening in Libya. That's what we used -- justification to wage kinetic military action against a country that, as Defense Secretary Gates said, was not a vital interest to the United States. But we had a responsibility to protect. And that was an idea spawned by none other than Samantha Power. She's a White House aide and the wife of the most dangerous man in America, Cass Sunstein. I'm thinking about calling them the most dangerous couple of the year, because she's now out in the press bragging that it was Obama who triggered the Libya uprising. What? Excuse me? I'm sorry, hmm?

Power, before being in the White House, explicitly stated how she would deal with Israel. Here she is.

POWER [video clip] What we need is a willingness to actually put something on the line in sort of helping the situation. And putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import. It may more crucially mean sacrificing -- or investing, I think, more than sacrificing -- literally billions of dollars not in servicing Israelis', you know, military but actually in investing in the new state of Palestine, in investing billions of dollars it would probably take also to support I think what will have to be a mammoth protection force.... [A]ny intervention is going to come under fierce criticism, but we have to think about lesser evils, especially when the human stakes are just becoming ever more pronounced.

BECK: Too high. That bad, bad Israel. The responsibility to protect doctrine. It worked in Libya and they're going to try it again against Israel because the stakes are just too high. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 3/29/11]

REALITY: Power Was Responding To A Question About What Would Happen If "One Party Or Another" Were "Moving Toward Genocide." From an undated 2002 edition of Conversations With History, a program produced by the University of California-Berkeley Institute of International Studies:

HARRY KREISLER (host): Let me give you a thought experiment here, without asking you to address the Palestine-Israel problem: Let's say you were an adviser to the president of the United States. How would, in response to current events, would you advise him to put a structure in place to monitor that situation, at least one party or another be looking like they might be moving toward genocide?

POWER: Well, I don't think that in any of the cases, a shortage of information is the problem, and I actually think in the Palestine-Israeli situation, there's an abundance of information, and what we don't need is some kind of early warning mechanism there. What we need is a willingness to actually put something on the line in sort of helping the situation. And putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import. It may more crucially mean sacrificing -- or investing, I think, more than sacrificing -- literally billions of dollars not in servicing Israelis', you know, military but actually in investing in the new state of Palestine, in investing billions of dollars it would probably take also to support I think what will have to be a mammoth protection force, not of the old, you know, Srebrenica kind or the Rwanda kind, but a meaningful military presence, because it seems to me at this stage -- and this is true of actual genocides as well and not just, you know, major human rights abuses, which we're seeing there. But -- is that you have to go in as if you're serious, you have to put something on the line. And unfortunately, imposition of a solution on unwilling parties is dreadful. I mean, it's a terrible thing to do; it's fundamentally undemocratic. But sadly, you know -- we don't just have a democracy here either. We have a liberal democracy. There are certain sets of principles that guide, you know, our policy, or that are meant to, anyway. And there, it's essential that some set of principles becomes the benchmark, rather than a deference to people who are fundamentally politically destined to destroy the lives of their own people, and by that I mean what Tom Friedman has called "Sharafat." I mean, I do think in that sense, there's -- that both political leaders have been dreadfully irresponsible, and unfortunately, it does require external intervention which, very much like the Rwanda scenario -- that thought experiment, of "if we had intervened early" -- any intervention is going to come under fierce criticism, but we have to think about lesser evils, especially when the human stakes are just becoming ever more pronounced. [Conversations With History, UC-Berkeley Institute of International Studies via YouTube, accessed 3/29/11]

Beck Misrepresents Soros' Words On Israel

Beck Falsely Claims Soros Sees Israel As "The Main Problem In The Middle East To Transformation." On his television show, Beck lifted a statement from Soros out of context to falsely accuse him of saying that Israel is " 'the main stumbling block' to the transformation of the Middle East":

BECK: While Soros' group advocates for these radical groups, he then singles out Israel, calling them -- I'm quoting -- "the main stumbling block" to the transformation of the Middle East. He added, in this report, "in reality, Israel has much to gain from the spread of democracy in the Middle East as the United States has, but Israel is unlikely to recognize its own best interests because the change is too sudden and carries too many risks."

Isn't it good to have a grandpa or a great-great-great-grandpa that will just take us all by the hand and just fix all our problems, because we're just too dumb or young to understand. Remember, George Soros says Israel is the main problem in the Middle East to transformation. It's too scary for them. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 3/29/11]

REALITY: Soros Was Referring Specifically To Support For Mubarak In Israel, Which Soros Argued Was Not In Israel's "Own Best Interests." In a Washington Post op-ed titled, "Why Obama has to get Egypt right," Soros wrote about the revolutions sweeping the Middle East, focusing particularly on the situation in Egypt. From the op-ed:

Some have articulated fears of adverse consequences of free elections, suggesting that the Egyptian military may seek to falsify the results; that Israel may be adamantly opposed to a regime change; that the domino effect of extremist politics spreading to other countries must be avoided; and that the supply of oil from the region could be disrupted. These notions constitute the old conventional wisdom about the Middle East -- and need to be changed, lest Washington incorrectly put up resistance to or hesitate in supporting transition in Egypt.

That would be regrettable. President Obama personally and the United States as a country have much to gain by moving out in front and siding with the public demand for dignity and democracy. This would help rebuild America's leadership and remove a lingering structural weakness in our alliances that comes from being associated with unpopular and repressive regimes. Most important, doing so would open the way to peaceful progress in the region. The Muslim Brotherhood's cooperation with Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel laureate who is seeking to run for president, is a hopeful sign that it intends to play a constructive role in a democratic political system. As regards contagion, it is more likely to endanger the enemies of the United States -- Syria and Iran -- than our allies, provided that they are willing to move out ahead of the avalanche.

The main stumbling block is Israel. In reality, Israel has as much to gain from the spread of democracy in the Middle East as the United States has. But Israel is unlikely to recognize its own best interests because the change is too sudden and carries too many risks. And some U.S. supporters of Israel are more rigid and ideological than Israelis themselves. Fortunately, Obama is not beholden to the religious right, which has carried on a veritable vendetta against him. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is no longer monolithic or the sole representative of the Jewish community. The main danger is that the Obama administration will not adjust its policies quickly enough to the suddenly changed reality. [The Washington Post, 2/3/11]

Beck Omits Context And Suggests Soros Sees America As "The Main Obstacle To A Stable And Just World Order"

Beck: Soros Sees America As "The Main Obstacle To A Stable And Just World Order." From the March 29 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: George Soros is also the guy that believes that -- this -- quoting him: "The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States." Whoa. So let's see if we have this right. Israel and the U.S. is an obstacle to what he or his groups believe should happen. Huh!

You know who else thinks that? Osama bin Laden. Oh, I know. How about like Iran? Wait. We didn't stand up for the people of Iran. That's a weird coincidence. It's almost like Iran. Remember, they say we're the "great Satan" and Israel is the "little Satan." They're just using "Satan" while he's using "obstacles." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 3/29/11]

REALITY: Soros Was Critiquing The Policies Of The Bush Administration, And His Top Priority Was "Changing That Attitude And Policies Of The United States." In his book The Age of Fallibility: Consequences of the War on Terror, Soros wrote that the "main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States" and this was because "the Bush administration is setting the wrong agenda." He went on to write that "[c]hanging that attitude and policies of the United States remains my top priority." From The Age of Fallibility:

The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States. This is a harsh -- indeed, for me, painful -- thing to say, but unfortunately I am convinced it is true. The United States continues to set the agenda for the world in spite of its loss of influence since 9/11, and the Bush administration is setting the wrong agenda. The Bush agenda is nationalistic: it emphasizes the use of force and ignores global problems whose solution requires international cooperation. The rest of the world dances to the tune the United States is playing, and if that continues too long we are in danger of destroying our civilization. Changing that attitude and policies of the United States remains my top priority. [The Age of Fallibility: Consequences of the War on Terror via Media Matters, 11/10/10]

Beck Misrepresents Report By Group That Received Soros Money To Claim It Supports Radical Groups Like Al Qaeda

Beck Distorts International Crisis Group Report To Claim It "Advocates For ... Radical Groups." Beck stated:

BECK: The only thing that would make George Soros look foolish is his ideas spoken clearly out in the open -- ideas that are wildly out of step with the American people and, I do believe, becoming dangerous, which is why he has to keep them in disguise. He has put together one serious operation. It's a serious operation that is on the wrong side of history.

For example, do you know about the Soros-funded International Crisis Group? Look up the International Crisis Group. It is -- oh, it's quite amazing. And it seems to be right in the center of almost everything that is happening overseas, especially in Libya now and Egypt. The International Crisis Group has consistently worked to support the groups in the Middle East who want to establish an Islamic government, including the Muslim Brotherhood and even Al Qaeda.

There is a report that came out in June 2008 -- it's this one -- it's entitled, "Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood: Confrontation or Integration?" Guess what they decided would be best? It was put out by his group, the International Crisis Group, who I believe he sits on the board and so did [Mohamed] Elbaradei for a while. Well, he resigned as soon as he got that call.

The report calls on Egypt's government and calls the crackdown of Egypt's government back then -- the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood as, quote, "dangerously short-sighted," adding, "the regime should take preliminary steps to normalize the Muslim Brotherhood's participation in political life." Oh, had Mubarak only listened. Had he only listened. Now, while Soros' group advocates for these radical groups, he then singles out Israel, calling them -- I'm quoting -- "the main stumbling block" to the transformation of the Middle East. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 3/29/11]

REALITY: ICG Report Stressed That Muslim Brotherhood Needed To Moderate And Alter Certain Views. In a June 2008 report titled, "Egypt's Muslim Brothers: Confrotation Or Integration," Soros-funded group the International Crisis Group analyzed the situation in Egypt in the aftermath of that country's 2005 elections, in which the Muslim Brotherhood captured an unprecedented 20 percent of parliamentary votes. It offered several recommendations to the government of Egypt and to the Brotherhood, including "amend[ing] the Society's political program." From the report:

The Society of Muslim Brothers' success in the November-December 2005 elections for the People's Assembly sent shockwaves through Egypt's political system. In response, the regime cracked down on the movement, harassed other potential rivals and reversed its fledging reform process. This is dangerously short-sighted. There is reason to be concerned about the Muslim Brothers' political program, and they owe the people genuine clarifications about several of its aspects. But the ruling National Democratic Party's (NDP) refusal to loosen its grip risks exacerbating tensions at a time of both political uncertainty surrounding the presidential succession and serious socio-economic unrest. Though this likely will be a prolonged, gradual process, the regime should take preliminary steps to normalise the Muslim Brothers' participation in political life.

[...]

The Muslim Brothers also carry their share of responsibility. Although they have made considerable efforts to clarify their vision and can make a credible case that they embrace the rules of democratic politics, including the principles of citizenship, rotation of power and multiparty political life, serious questions linger. Many of their pronouncements are ambiguous; not a few - including in their most recent political program - retain a distinctly non-democratic, illiberal tone. This is particularly true concerning the role of women and the place of religious minorities, neither of whom, for example, the Muslim Brothers believe should be eligible for the presidency. Clarification is needed. Democratising the Society's internal practice also would help, particularly if the group's more pragmatic wing is able to make a credible case for a doctrinal revision as the price to pay for political integration.

[...]

To the Society of Muslim Brothers:

4. Engage in a dialogue with members of the government, opposition and civil society, notably by:

(a) approaching officials and reform-minded NDP members to discuss conditions necessary for the Society's peaceful political integration;

(b) engaging with secular opposition parties and movements to form a consensus on how the Society can best be integrated as well as wider issues of political reform;

(c) engaging with representatives of the Christian community in a frank dialogue on sectarian relations and the Society's stance toward religious minorities;

(d) supporting comprehensive political reform clearly, as opposed to a bilateral arrangement between the Society and the regime; and

(e) ensuring that consensus positions on these issues are formed within the Society in a democratic manner to avoid contradictory approaches by members.

5. Finalise and amend the Society's political program, in particular by:

(a) altering its position on the role of women and non-Muslims in public life;

(b) continuing to seek input from a wide range of its members as well as non-members; and

(c) clarifying relations between the Society and a future related political party. [International Crisis Group, "Egypt's Muslim Brothers: Confrotation Or Integration," 6/18/08]

Beck And Right-Wing Media Have Repeatedly Pushed Theory That Obama May Attack Israel

Beck Claims United States Will "Mount A Campaign Against Israel." On his radio show, Beck discussed the situation in the Gaza Strip, claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood is "taking over the military in Egypt" and forming what he called a "mammoth protection force for the Palestinians." He then said: "I'm telling you, Israel is being set up." He continued: "And you watch, you mark my words, responsibility to protect will be used to go and mount a campaign against Israel. Please, I am begging Jewish-Americans to wake up. Please, wake up." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 3/25/11]

Frank Gaffney: "The Gadhafi Precedent: Could Attack On Libya Set The Stage For Action Against Israel?" In a Washington Times op-ed, Frank Gaffney commented on the U.S. decision to join a multilateral effort to establish a no-fly zone over Libya, writing that the "Gadhafi Precedent" could be "used in the not-too-distant future to justify and threaten the use of U.S. military forces against an American ally: Israel." [The Washington Times, 3/21/11]

Fox Nation: "Could Attack On Libya Set State For Action Against Israel?" The Fox Nation website highlighted Gaffney's article, using the headline: "Could Attack on Libya Set Stage for Action Against Israel?":

foxnation

[Fox Nation, 3/22/11]

WorldNetDaily: "American Military Targeting Israel?" In a column referring to Gaffney's article, WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein wrote: "Could President Obama's decision to sidestep Congress and strike Libya as part of an international coalition put the U.S. on a military collision course with Israel?" He further stated: "While the prospect of American or Western forces confronting Israeli troops may seem remote, one Middle East policy expert is warning the precedent set by Obama in agreeing to target Libya opens the door to other possible United Nations-backed confrontations, including perhaps one day with Israel." [WorldNetDaily, 3/22/11]

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel, WorldNetDaily, Fox Nation
Person
Glenn Beck, Frank Gaffney, Washington Times
Show/Publication
Glenn Beck show
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