Restoring Courage

Tags ››› Restoring Courage
  • Palling Around With Terrorists: Glenn Beck, Yisrael Ariel, and Baruch Goldstein

    Blog ››› ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN

    Glenn Beck promoted a religious organization run by an extremist Israeli Rabbi who once praised mass murderer Baruch Goldstein as a "martyr" who is "above saints and righteous men."

    Last week, Beck held a pro-Israel event near the base of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Before the event, he broadcast a brief feature on the history of the mount, which promoted the plans of a group called the Temple Institute to help bring about the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple:

    NARRATOR: Plans are now underway to build a Third Temple. Groups like the Temple Institute in Jerusalem are preparing the necessary vessels and garments in accordance with Jewish Law. A new generation of Levite priest is being trained for Temple service. And a two million dollar menorah, covered in 95 pounds of gold, stands at the ready. Although Muslim holy sites currently dominate the Temple Mount, religious Jews agree the Temple will be rebuilt here. The only question is whether it will happen before the Messiah comes, or after.

    The Temple Institute shares Beck's obsession with prophecy and the End Times. According to its website, the Institute "is dedicated to every aspect of the Biblical commandment to build the Holy Temple of G-d on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem." The Jerusalem Post describes the Institute as "a once-marginal organization that has been gaining increasing prominence." According to a January 25, 2000, piece published in Ha'aretz, "most" of the Institute's members are "extreme right wing."

    As we reported last week, the Institute's founder and head, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, was a close ally of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane and ran for the Knesset on the ticket of Kahane's Kach party. Kach has since been banned from Israeli elections because of its overt racism and its association with violent activities. Both the Israeli government and the U.S. State Department have officially listed Kach as a terrorist organization.

    Since the 1970s, members of Kahane's organizations -- including the Jewish Defense League (JDL) and Kach -- have carried out terrorist attacks in the United States and Israel.

    Perhaps the bloodiest attack took place on Feburary 25, 1994, when Baruch Goldstein -- a member of Kach and the JDL -- used an automatic rifle to murder 29 Muslims praying in a Hebron mosque and to wound more than 100 others before being beaten to death.

  • Church That Closed Its Doors To Gay Navy Vet Opens Them Up For Beck

    Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

    Glenn Beck announced that to follow up his rally in Jerusalem, he will be appearing at High Point Church in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday. That church is notable for a particularly horrific example of anti-gay bigotry: its decision to cancel a memorial service for a Gulf War veteran because the deceased man was gay.

    In 2007, the church volunteered to host a memorial service for Cecil Sinclair, a Navy veteran who served in the Gulf War. However, the day before the memorial service was to be held, the church withdrew its invitation. The Associated Press reported at the time that family members said that the church knew Sinclair was gay, but canceled the service "after his obituary listed his life partner as one of his survivors."

    According to the AP, High Point pastor Rev. Gary Simons said that "no one knew Sinclair, who was not a church member, was gay until the day before the Thursday service, when staff members putting together his video tribute saw pictures of men 'engaging in clear affection, kissing and embracing.' " The AP continued:

    Simons said the church believes homosexuality is a sin, and it would have appeared to endorse that lifestyle if the service had been held there.

    "We did decline to host the service - not based on hatred, not based on discrimination, but based on principle," Simons told The Associated Press. "Had we known it on the day they first spoke about it - yes, we would have declined then. It's not that we didn't love the family."

    Simons said the decision had nothing to do with the obituary. He said the church offered to pay for another site for the service, made the video and provided food for more than 100 relatives and friends.

    "Even though we could not condone that lifestyle, we went above and beyond for the family through many acts of love and kindness," Simons said.

    [Simons' sister Kathleen] Wright called the church's claim about the pictures "a bold-faced lie." She said she provided numerous family pictures of Sinclair, including some with his partner, but said none showed men kissing or hugging.

    Beck has a pattern of associating with virulently anti-gay figures.

  • Glenn Beck Embraces A Kahanist

    Blog ››› ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN

    Glenn Beck is promoting the organization of a far-right Israeli extremist who has ties to the late Rabbi Meir Kahane's terrorist Kach movement.

    Yesterday, Beck held a pro-Israel event near the Temple Mount, which is sacred to Muslims, Christians, and Jews. It's the place where the first and second Jewish temples once existed and where the Islamic Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque now stand. Shortly before the event, Beck broadcast a brief feature about the mount, which discussed plans by "religious Jews" to "build a Third Temple" there. Beck's broadcast promoted the work of an organization called the Temple Institute.

    Watch:

    NARRATOR: Plans are now underway to build a Third Temple. Groups like the Temple Institute in Jerusalem are preparing the necessary vessels and garments in accordance with Jewish Law. A new generation of Levite priest is being trained for Temple service. And a two million dollar menorah, covered in 95 pounds of gold, stands at the ready. Although Muslim holy sites currently dominate the Temple Mount, religious Jews agree the Temple will be rebuilt here. The only question is whether it will happen before the Messiah comes, or after.

    What exactly is the Temple Institute? According to its website, the Institute "is dedicated to every aspect of the Biblical commandment to build the Holy Temple of G-d on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. Our short-term goal is to rekindle the flame of the Holy Temple in the hearts of mankind through education. Our long-term goal is to do all in our limited power to bring about the building of the Holy Temple in our time."

    The Jerusalem Post describes the Institute as "a once-marginal organization that has been gaining increasing prominence." According to a January 25, 2000, piece published in Ha'aretz, "most" of the Institute's members are "extreme right wing."

    The founder and head of the Institute is Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, who, according to according to the Jerusalem Report, "ran for Knesset on Meir Kahane's racist Kach party ticket in 1981, and has argued that Jewish law does not allow Christians or Muslims to live in the Land of Israel." Ariel was apparently quite close to Kahane. According to a 1990 Jerusalem Post article, Ariel "served as No.2 to Kahane in the early '80s" before Kach was banned from Israeli elections. Ariel was seen as a potential "spiritual successor" to Kahane.

  • Beck Wildly Inflates Attendance At His Israel Rally

    Blog ››› ››› MIKE BURNS

    Yesterday, former Fox News host Glenn Beck held his much-hyped and highly controversial "Restoring Courage" rally at the foot of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Today, he whined about the skimpy coverage of the event by the media. (Hint: If a pillar of fire had appeared or if the Zechariah prophecy had been fulfilled as Beck had predicted might happen, there might have been more coverage.)

    Since no prophecies appear to have been fulfilled, Beck began inflating the numbers of attendees at his rally. According to a blog post from yesterday by Yahoo's Joe Pompeo, Beck's spokesman said that 4,700 people attended the rally. (1,700 attendees at the spot where Beck was speaking and an additional 3,000 at a remote location where Beck's event was broadcast live.) But by the time Beck went on the air today, Beck was suggesting that "five to seven" thousand people showed up at the remote location. He was immediately corrected by one of his aides who said there were "5,000 seats set up, and at last count, we had about 8,000 people that showed up, standing room only." Beck then said there were "10,000 people just in these two locations alone."

    And lo and behold, in the space of one day, event attendees grew from 4,700 by Beck's own spokesman's reported count, to five to seven thousand, to 10,000.

    Listen:

    Of course, this wouldn't be the first time Beck has grossly exaggerated attendance figures for his rallies. In the wake of his 8-28 "Restoring Honor" rally, Beck said he heard that the crowd had been "between 300,000 and 500,000." But according to an outside firm hired by CBS News, the only independent and semi-official estimate of the crowd was 87,000. Beck has also made the absurd claim that the 9-12 protests that he created and hyped were the "largest march on Washington [D.C.] ever," and said that a "really conservative" crowd estimate for that march was "500,000." Later, his estimated number for the 9-12 crowd grew to 750,000 or a million. In fact, one unofficial D.C. fire department estimate placed the number between 60,000 and 75,000 participants.

    Maybe miracles do happen at Beck's events: The crowd size doubles (or sometimes grows by a factor of ten) without any explanation.

  • Why Did Fox News Ignore Glenn Beck's "Planet Course-Altering" Israel Rally?

    Blog ››› ››› BEN DIMIERO

    Despite the evidence to the contrary -- his dwindling ratings, his loss of hundreds of advertisers, frequent criticism from network colleagues, and his steady drumbeat of embarrassments to Fox News -- when Glenn Beck left Fox, he made a big show about how the two sides were parting on good terms.

    In the press release announcing the split, Fox News and Beck's company wrote that they will "work together to develop and produce a variety of television projects for air on the Fox News Channel as well as content for other platforms including Fox News' digital properties." Fox News chairman Roger Ailes said that he "look[s] forward to continuing to work with" Beck, and Beck said that he was looking "forward to starting this new phase of our partnership."

    So far, there has been little evidence of this "new phase" of the partnership (though this obviously doesn't preclude them from working together in the future). Nonetheless, if Fox News and Glenn Beck are on good terms, why did the network completely ignore Beck's Israel rally this week?

    Aside from a passing mention this morning by Fox & Friends guest Herman Cain, there has apparently been a complete blackout on the network this week regarding Beck's rally.*

    Beck's rally served as a de facto launch event for his GBTV network, which could theoretically compete with Fox for conservative eyeballs, so it was unlikely that Fox would have given it wall-to-wall promotion ahead of time. But considering Beck promoted the rally as a "planet course-altering event" that may be a fulfillment of Bible prophecy, it seems peculiar that Fox News wouldn't even give it passing mention as a news event.

    The Beck blackout extended to Fox's online properties as well. Both Fox Nation and FoxNews.com have ignored the Beck event this week, instead choosing to feature stories like "Bikini Face-Off: Heidi vs. Coco."

    Complaining about the press coverage of yesterday's event, Beck mentioned on his radio program this morning that several news outlets sent reporters to the event, but added, "I don't believe Fox was there."

    *According to a search of Snapstream and the Nexis database.

  • Glenn Beck Launches "Declaration Of Rights & Responsibilities"

    Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

    Glenn Beck, as he has done before, has released yet another project for his followers to be involved with. This time it's a "declaration of rights and responsibilities" that he released during his televangelist-style speech during the "Restoring Courage" event in Israel.

    The document initially echoes the Declaration Of Independence, declaring "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" to be inalienable rights, then adds that "with those rights come responsibilities." Beck goes on to list these responsibilities, some of which include:

    And so on.

    Beck has a history of launching ambitious-sounding initiatives that he either discards or forgets about ("e4 ," "40 Day Challenge," "The Black Robe Regiment," "In Or Out 2010"), so it remains to be seen just how much longer this new declaration has.

  • Did Beck's Sidekick Get In Trouble For Telling People Not To Listen To Beck's Radio Show?

    Blog ››› ››› MIKE BURNS

    Today, Glenn Beck held his "Restoring Courage" rally in Jerusalem at the same time as his radio show was airing. Beck streamed his rally on his new subscription website, GBTV.com. So what should Beck fans do?

    At the start of Beck's radio show, Beck's sidekick Pat Gray had an answer. Gray -- who was co-hosting the show in place of Beck -- encouraged people listening to Beck's radio show to "sign up right now" on GBTV.com for Beck's rally so they could "see it right now":

    Shortly thereafter, however, Gray urged listeners to "stay with the radio show" and "stay with the radio station" rather than watch the rally live and then watch Beck's rally when it re-airs on GBTV this evening:

    We can't tell for sure why Gray changed his tune, but during his tenure at Fox News, Beck came under fire from Fox News chairman Roger Ailes for using his platform at the network to promote a variety of his own ventures outside Fox News. The New York Times reported in September 2010:

    BECK IS A STRENUOUS cross-promoter. He spoke constantly on the air about his Washington rally before and after the event. He invites viewers and listeners to visit his Web site and, better yet, the Glenn Beck Store ("Restoring Honor" photograph books can be preordered for $35) and become an "insider extreme" member for premium video and audio links. He recently started a new Web site, the Blaze, which he also mentions on his television and radio shows.

    The cross-promotion can be a sore spot at Fox News, particularly for its president, Roger Ailes, who has to promote a variety of his own ventures outside Fox News. Ailes has communicated this to Beck himself and through intermediaries. It goes to a larger tension between Fox News and Beck in what has been a mutually beneficial relationship. Ailes, a former Republican media guru, runs his top-rated cable-news network like a sharp-edged campaign, speaking with a single voice and -- ideally -- for the benefit solely of Fox News's bottom line.

    Indeed, throughout his career at Fox, Beck repeatedly used his own show and guest appearances on other shows, to promote his books, tours, subscriber-only Web content, and the Restoring Honor and Restoring Courage rallies.

    And we know how well that worked out for Beck at Fox.