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About a month ago I started following and paying attention to the work of @JIDF on twitter. I am very pro- Israeli and feel we do not have enough advocates online. JIDF (Jewish Internet Defense Force) claims to do just that and therefore has my full support in that effort. However this past week I had a disagreement with @JIDF when he claimed Fox News host Glenn Beck was an anti-semite. Since that time JIDF has been on a non-stop crusade regarding the extent of Beck’s anti-Semitism. This has devolved into calling Beck advocates idiots and Anti-Semites as well. He claims they need to wake up and that there is lots of evidence of Beck’s hatred of Jews. JIDF also claimed that no one could refute his facts and Beck supporters are just crazy for disagreeing. All of this came as a shock to me and many other people who have watched Beck and consider him very pro-Israeli and see no evidence of him hating Jews. Now JIDF is even claiming Fox News is somehow anti-Israeli. JIDF posted a recording where he explained his evidence of Beck’s anti-semitism. I noticed just a few minutes in that besides the attack words many pieces of the evidence were things I knew were untrue or unfair left wing attacks by anti-Beck groups.
I watched Beck for years, and still do many days. I disagree with a lot of his conclusions (many times overestimates left and 2 conspiratorial), but also think he points out and finds a lot of important material. Furthermore, Beck daily tells his audience not to believe what he says, but to do their own research. Something no other host does. He often advocates for extensive reading and historical learning. In the spirit of openness and education and to encourage JIDF to do the same thing he states to Beck fans in “waking up”, I am now doing what he claimed was impossible; responding to his evidence of Beck’s Anti-Semitism.
Claim 1) Beck Claimed that Jews killed Jesus
Not true. He didn’t say Jews killed Jesus. In the show liberal bloggers refer too, He actually made the point that Jesus was not vengeful because he didn’t come back and take revenge on Jews. Jesus coming back to life is a matter of Christian doctrine, not historical argument, but it is a historical fact Jews turned Jesus over to the Romans (who were the ones who actually killed him), which is why he would take revenge on them. Mentioning historical fact is not Anti Semitic. This has been used as an excuse for Christians to hate Jews in the past, but that was not what Beck was promoting in talking about this.
Claim 2) Beck consistently trivializes the holocaust. I had 7 great grandparents killed during the Holocaust so I do not take this claim lightly. As someone who has seen and head Beck talk about it a lot, which I seriously doubt JIDF has beyond what seems like Media Matters clips, I have never found his commentary trivializing. One of the most important things that the Jewish people decided after the holocaust was the “Never Again”, the only way you can ensure that is to be aware of what happened and be able to learn from it. Beck does make comparison to certain elements of Germany in the 20’s etc., but those are historical facts. I am not one of those people who buy’s the ADL idea that the holocaust is never to be referenced. Beck has never said that anything being done is equivalent to the holocaust or what Germans did. He points to specific things like that Goebbels wrote about being influenced by progressives, these are facts not trivializations. Even if you disagree with this point it does not make someone an anti-semite.
Claim 3) Beck promoted Nazi Sympathizer Elizabeth Dilling. Now this claim came directly from Media Matters (Israeli Hating Soros funded MMFA.. no irony here.. and btw several of the people congratulating JIDF for his Beck commentary are openly anti Israeli.. this doesn’t give him pause it seems). If you actually listen to what happened, Beck referred to a book Dilling wrote about exposing communist threat in American in the 20’s, 30’s (which was real and also supported Jew killer Stalin and Hitler until he turned on Stalin). Now unlike what MMFA implies there is no way someone just reading that book, The Red Network: A Who’s Who and Handbook of Radicalism for Patriots, could possibly know Dilling was an anti-Semite. Beck was promoting her exposure of communists, not her views on Jews. Not to mention Beck promotes a new historical book on almost a daily basis. So how does promoting a book that has nothing to do with jews by a person whose views about jews would take serious investigation make someone an anti semite.. besides in the eyes of a partisan Media Matters? idk
Claim 3) Beck only supports Israel to please viewers or because he wants all of them to convert after we all move to Israel. 1) Beck has never said the conversion thing. 2) I don’t care what someone’s motivation for supporting us is, considering all the people who don’t. 3) The viewer arguing is also devoid of fact as Beck used to defend Israel a lot on CNN headline news, where he did not have the same size or demographic audience.. JIDF has no evidence of these not being his real beliefs.
Claim 4) Beck compared Reform Judaism to Radicalized Islam. He was specifically talking about their approach to religion v. politics, not the ideologies in general. This one is true, but what JIDF fails to mention was this was one offhand comment that Beck almost immediately apologized for: “In an apology on his radio program Thursday, Beck said he had made “one of the worst analogies of all time” in saying on a radio show on Tuesday that, like Islamic extremists, Reform rabbis place politics ahead of religion. He delivered a special apology to Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman, who was among the Jewish leaders who slammed Beck for his comments and demanded he apologize.”
Claim 5) Beck made list of worst people in history or world and didn’t include Hitler and included almost all Jews. This lie came from Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic (the same guy who claimed this week that Israel-hating J Street are Zionists)
This came from a show Beck did exposing George Soros and his organization. Even JIDF has admitted Soros is a self hating Jew (and I only say Jew by the traditional definition of being born that way, as he himself sais he no longer believes in the religion). Admittedly Beck painted an over conspiratorial picture of Soros and his organization, but at no point did Beck mention anything about him being Jewish (instead based on his far left organization which is involved in many subjects and heavily funded by Soros). As Beck also pointed out in that show, Soros also actually helped Nazis collect Jewish property during the Holocaust and worst of all has said he does not regret his actions. In any case JIDF points to Hitler not being on the list, but if he bothered to read beyond the Media Matters talking points he would have seen it is a list of CURRENT people Beck sees as contributing to the “era of the big lie”. Yes eight of the people happened to be Jews, but ALL of them were liberals. More importantly they were involved with modern progressivism either now or its start and several of them have renounced their religion. JIDF of course is either unaware or ignores all of these facts. He refuses to consider that maybe Beck really does go after people he believes are hurting America, or Progressives. So is Beck not supposed to mention these people or his ideas if they happen to be Jewish.. this is like the Al Sharpton theory of anti-Semitism. It is hard to overplay the anti-Semite card because so much of it out there, but that is exactly what is being done in this case. This only hurt the cause of defending Israel and Jews, of which Beck is a big supporter as you can see by the video below from his show just the other day. Did I mention Beck was almost the only news program I saw cover the Fogel family being killed in Itamar in the days immediately following? You can disagree with Beck, but to call him an anti semite, much less focus on him with all the real Antisemitism going on is just not helpful to the cause of defending Jews.