Glenn Beck and Larry Derfner – A World Turned Upside Down

Yesterday I joined a large crowd at Safra Square, the site of the Jerusalem Municipality, for the public viewing of Glenn Beck’s live broadcast in the nearby Old City of Jerusalem.

Although I know very little about either the personal or professional background of Glenn Beck, his recent involvement with Israel has brought him into my orbit. For the last few months I’ve heard the various accusations and warnings from all corners of the Jewish world – for some he’s a right-wing extremist and fascist while for others his strong Mormon beliefs arouse suspicion.

With these thoughts on my mind I decided, following Dudu Fisher’s stirring rendition of Israel’s national anthem “Hatikvah”, to just sit back and hear the man talk. As it turns out, I wasn’t disappointed.

For starters, the claims that the man is an extremist or fascist regarding his views on Israel are absolute nonsense. It was obvious to anyone who was there yesterday that the man was just speaking the clear, direct and honest truth. Having said that, in a world that has been heavily influenced by a biased and skewed projection of Israel in large sections of both the mainstream western media and the academic world, and where hypocrisy rules the day as Israel is routinely singled out and condemned by the international community, it should come as no surprise that Beck’s words concerning Israel are difficult for certain people to digest.

Regarding the second apprehension, although I don’t claim in any way to be a psychologist it seemed clear to me that his concern for Israel and the Jewish people is genuine and not part of some ulterior religious mission.

As the secular Israeli teenagers sitting behind me repeatedly shouted “ha-ish gadol!” (“the man is great!”), I kept thinking to myself “why don’t we have any Jewish leaders that speak this way?”

With these thoughts still fresh in my mind, I was forwarded this morning an article called The awful, necessary truth about Palestinian terror from the blog of Larry Derfner, a columnist for the Jerusalem Post. Already known as a far left-wing columnist, in this article Derfner simply went over the edge.

Never mind his preoccupation with the so-called Israeli “occupation”. This is nothing new, even if I don’t agree with him or anyone else on this issue. In fact, I actually welcome opposing views and I’m always happy to discuss the issues. Derfner, however, does the unthinkable, taking his beliefs to another level in order to justify the Arab murder of Israelis. He writes:

“Whoever the Palestinians were who killed the eight Israelis near Eilat last week, however vile their ideology was, they were justified to attack. They had the same right to fight for their freedom as any other unfree nation in history ever had.”

Such statements, even from a hard-core Israeli leftist, are quite shocking. In comparison Yossi Sarid, the former leader of the far-left political party Meretz and harsh critic of Israeli presence in Yesha, never advocated Arab violence against Jews and only supported active civil revolt against what he considered the illegal Israeli occupation. Or even former prime minister and current defense minister Ehud Barak, who made the supremely foolish and irresponsible statement during a 1998 interview – “If I were a Palestinian at the right age, I would have joined one of the terrorist organizations at a certain stage” – never actually condoned the Arab murder of Israelis.

Thus Derfner’s comments are both shocking and disturbing. But in a world turned upside down it shouldn’t come as a surprise when Glenn Beck, the non-Jew, is criticized by some Jews for being too pro-Israel while Larry Derfner, the Jew, writes for a mainstream Jewish newspaper despite the fact that he condones the Arab murder of Jews.

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13 Responses to Glenn Beck and Larry Derfner – A World Turned Upside Down

  1. mick says:

    Intentionally targeting civilians is illegal regardless of causus belli. Then again, it’s unfair to bother Derfners tiny little mind with actual international law.

  2. monostor says:

    Mr. Meltzer, I have an idea. I am reading right now an extraordinary book written by Bat Ye’or, “Europe, Globalization and the Coming Universal Caliphate”. You should find out when this brilliant journOlist has his birthday and I send you a copy of the book to give it to him as a present. Maybe, and I say maybe we can also set up a slush fund, buy some more books and send them to the elite class of politicians and peoples’ representatives sitting in the nice airconditioned Knesset busy cutting the country’s legs off. You can picture a smiley at the end of my comment, but the truth of the matter is that I am, mildly put it, upset. We are told here every day that we have to be “civil”, so ‘nough said.

    • Yoel Meltzer says:

      Cute suggestion Monostor but I seriously doubt him or anyone else would read books that were sent to them.

      • monostor says:

        I knew that, but I had to say something…:) BTW, Caroline Glick published today a very nice article on the topic.

  3. Dear Joel,
    1. Why does the Jerusalem Post (identified as the only right wing newspaper in Israel) keep such a lunatic on their payroll?
    2. What does Caroline Glik say to this lunatic when she meets him every day at the JP?
    3. Since he advocates killing Israelis, does that include himself? Or perhaps there is another philosophy in play when he is involved?
    Abe Gill

    • Yoel Meltzer says:

      Hi Abe,

      I think the JPost is more center than right-wing. Regarding your other questions, I don’t know.

      All the best.


  4. Ruth says:

    Beck isn’t a Christian; he’s a Mormon. You wouldn’t call a Druze a Muslim. It’s about the same kind of difference. I think Beck comes across as “Christian” partly because he didn’t grow up Mormon (therefore lacks some of their cultural markers) and partly because his personality and style are like Christian televangelists. His strong belief in American exceptionalism is certainly very Mormon, and I doubt you’d like what he has to say about the lost tribes of Israel.

    That’s not to downplay his message at all. He’s a secular evangelist who preaches a worldview in which Israel embodies many of the important qualities that he wants to encourage. But there’s nothing “messianic” about what he has to say. It’s cultural blindness for the Israeli media to cover him that way: as if every American who isn’t Jewish is a Christian. In the land of Druze and Circassians, surely they could understand if they tried a bit harder.

    • kathy says:

      I think you would be suprised at the number of Americans who call themselves Christian simply because they are not Jewish. They simply do not know any better. There are specific steps one must take to be a Christian. It has nothing to do with religious labels, like Mormon or Catholic; religion is what man does to other men. It’s just an imperfect system, made up by imperfect men. I could care less that Glenn Beck practices Mormonism, what I want to know is he a Christian? Vast difference. Thank you for letting me post.

    • Yoel Meltzer says:

      Thanks Ruth. I made the change from Christian to Mormon.

  5. Ruth says:

    Everything about Israel is so upside-down. I think I read somewhere that in Netanyahu, Sr.’s academic career studying medieval Spanish Jewry, he came to the conclusion that hatred of Jews is a sort of emotional or spiritual virus. It’s like hatred of Jews is the world’s cancer; just when you think you’ve done radical surgery to remove it, it turns out that it spread to other organs. And when you pour on the chemotherapy to stop this kind of hatred, it just weakens the immune system and the disease comes up in another form. When Jews themselves won’t defend against the virus, it has an autoimmune element. Glenn Beck is like some kind of radical alternative medicine cure, and we can only hope it works.

  6. Canadian Otter says:

    I would not waste a second debating with leftist scum. I don’t even bother clicking on their columns and reading their warped arguments.

    Raising them to the level of a legitimate opinion as alternative to patriotism and self-respect (shame on the Jerusalem Post) lends them a legitimacy they don’t deserve at all. Treason is not a valid argument. We don’t debate with child molesters or mass murderers as representatives of an alternative philosophy. The Jewish left should just be denounced for advocating and often perpetrating treason.

    So with time and energy being limited, efforts should be concentrated on exposing those with real power in Israel (political, financial, etc.) who call for self-abasement, treason and surrender to the enemies of Israel.

    Leftist writers propagate their ideas, but there are individuals who actually implement them. They are the ones who are precipitating the weakening of Israel. One can never silence voices of hatred and deceit, but the Israeli power elite should not be allowed to continue undisturbed with illegal acts leading to the dhimmification, partition, and the eventual dismantling of Israel – all under the cloaks of democracy, multiculturalism, affirmative action, peace and cooperation with the Arabs, international pressure, or whatever they use from their ideological arsenal.

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