The media has started to tune into what Glenn is doing in Israel (although some like Al-Jazeera don't seem to be fans...SHOCKER), and now that the first event has started they can start to get a sense of what is really going on. While other news outlets may have wanted to judge Glenn's plans before they even took place, some have actually watched and, you know, reported the news!
The solutions to the problems of our times are not within the reach of political leaders, rather divinity, US pundit Glenn Beck told nearly 3,000 enthusiastic followers in the Caesarea Amphitheater on Sunday night, at the opening event of his four-day Restoring Courage rally.
“I’ve spent the last few years trying to find solutions for what is happening in the world,” he said on the backdrop of the pillars of the grand stage. “While there may not be a political solution, the good news is the God of Abraham ain’t running for office,” he said to loud applause. “Be not afraid, know who he is, know his face, know that he is a God of covenants and miracles. We are leaving the age of man-made miracles of spacecraft, and we are entering the age of the miracles of God.”
The pleasant evening wind carried the gentle fragrance of the adjacent Mediterranean Sea to the audience in the ancient outdoor theater, the dozens of buses that brought them to the northern city lined up impeccably and awaiting their return in the parking lot like Roman legions. The group of nearly 2,000 Christians who flew in especially for Beck’s event, most of them Americans, will attend an event Monday in memory of the Holocaust, with the grand finale of the tour being the Wednesday Restoring Courage event, to take place near the Western Wall.
“There’s an important distinction of saying I love Israel, I defend Israel, and not separating that from the Jewish people. Make sure to say not that we only love Israel, but we love the Jewish people as they are.”
One Jew not afraid of contemporary Christian love is Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Efrat’s chief rabbi, who is active in Jewish-Christian dialogue. “He is the reason I had hope, because he reached back and didn’t question, just heard love and that is good enough for him,” Beck said of Riskin, who was instrumental in making Beck believe he could pull off the event.
“For close to 2,000 years we were persecuted by the church, suffered wars at the hands of the church,” Riskin said. “Now, despite the fact we are different, Jews and not Christians, who respect Jesus as a Jewish teacher and not as god – you Christians have the courage to love us in our otherness. We are grateful to your courage to love us, stand by us, in the time of our grave need and danger, as rockets fall on southern towns.”
Beck also addressed the controversy over his visit here, which is being frowned upon by politicians from the Left.
“Somebody said we’re going to bring chaos, mayhem,” in the Wednesday rally, close to the Temple Mount, “and I thought- it’s the Middle East, how would you know?” “We don’t bring chaos and mayhem,” he said in a more serious tone. “No, we bring truth, we bring peace, we bring support, we bring comfort. Let our actions this week and from here out – let the Jewish people know, no matter what our governments say – we are not our governments, we stand with you.”
Some 3,000 people, mostly American Christians, filled the seats at the amphitheater in Caesarea on Sunday night for 90 minutes of a show hosted by Glenn Beck - the first of his much-hyped, and much-discussed, three-night run in Israel.
The evening's opening act, a dissection of Israel's significance that felt more like a news channel studio debate than a live show, was followed by video footage of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he vowed that "Jerusalem must never be divided." This statement won the first of many raucous rounds of applause of the night.
Barton brought historical gravitas to the words of the Bible; a moist-eyed Evans recounted a traumatic childhood of anti-Semitic taunts from which he was saved by a vision of Christ; and Riskin spoke of Jewish appreciation for the support of the Christian pro-Israel community, and in particular that of Glenn Beck, who, according to Riskin, is a "deeply patriotic American, a true friend of Israel."
"We are not alone," Riskin said. "We are Jews and not Christians; you Christians, nevertheless, have the courage to love us in our otherness.
"We are profoundly grateful for your courage to love us and stand with us," he added.
It all seemed carefully scripted, even down to the screens with lyrics of the Hebrew songs transcribed in English. The determination to stand by Israel and the devotion to the Jewish State was palpable, and oft declared.
Like Woodstock and Glastonbury, the headline name came last, and unlike Riskin et al, Pastor John Hagee got a standing ovation the moment he strode onto the stage. The most vehement of the speakers, he drew an analogy with JFK and his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, when he announced "Ani Yisraeli" (I am an Israeli ). He then coaxed the crowd into repeating his mantra: "I am an Israeli!" they chanted over and over.
And the evening closed with words of wisdom from the host: "We bring truth, we bring peace, we bring support, we bring comfort," Beck said of his reason for bringing his roadshow to Israel as he closed off the evening. "Let the Jewish people know, no matter what our governments may say, we are not our governments, we stand with you."
But ultimately, this was just a warm-up for Wednesday night, when around 2,000 people will join Glenn in a sold-out event at the Davidson Center in Jerusalem.
The Roman ampitheater hosts some of the wildest concerts in Israel, but it rarely sees a crowd as excitable as this one. After all, this was no mere musical act, but the conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck.
An hour before the start, almost everyone was seated, a feat of punctuality unheard of in Israel. People marveled at the amphitheater watched the sun set in front of them over the Mediterranean, chanted and cheered.
“We’ve got courage yes we do, we’ve got courage how about you?” yelled people in one bloc of seats, pointing to another which repeated the chant and passed it on. Then they did the wave. After that it was time to watch the live broadcasts going out on Glenn Beck TV, and followed at 1,200 “viewing parties” across the world.
While most of the Israeli rabbinic establishment steered clear of the event, American-born Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi of the West Bank settlement of Efrat, attended and spoke. He told the crowd that the event was “magnificent” and “transformative,” and praised Beck’s “courage to love us in our otherness.”
The few Israelis in the audience felt it was a shame that more did not attend. “People told me I’m crazy for coming,” said Seth Greenberg, a high-tech manager from Ranana. “A lot of Israelis are afraid to assert themselves and think it will cause us problems, but I think the time that people like the underdog has passed and we need to be proud because the world loves a winner.”