Should Israel Welcome Glenn Beck's Support?

by Alan Dershowitz

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All decent people, whether on the left or the right, should support Israel's right to exist as the democratic nation state of the Jewish people. All decent people should support Israel's right to defend its civilians from terrorist attacks. All reasonable people should favor a just peace that assures Israel's ability to thrive in a dangerous neighborhood and to defend its borders.

These issues should not divide decent people along ideological or political lines. Israel's existence and right to defend itself should be bipartisan issues, not only in the United States, but in all democratic countries of the world.

The reality, however, is very different. The Jewish state is demonized by the hard left in America, by virtually the entire left in much of Europe, and by most of the left and right in Ireland, Norway and Sweden. Its right to exist is denied by a high proportion of Arabs and Muslims, and most of the Arab and Muslim nations do not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

In many circles, anti-Zionism easily morphs into anti-Semitism, and in some countries Jews are afraid to walk the streets wearing any clothing or symbols that identify them as Jewish.

The general assembly of the United Nations has become the world's new Der Sturmer, whose podium hosts, and many of whose audience members cheer, virulent anti-Semites such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Defenders of Israel, even those critical of some of Israel's policies, are banned from speaking at universities, are attacked personally by the hard left media and are treated as pariahs by their academic colleagues.

It is against this sad and increasingly dangerous background that one must evaluate Glenn Beck's visit to Israel. I disagree with much of Beck's politics and with virtually all of his conspiracy theorizing. Yet I admire his courage in putting his body in the line of fire. I believe him when he says:

If the world goes down the road of dehumanizing Jews again, "then count me a Jew and come for me first."

At a time when old friends and allies who should be supporting the Jewish state are abandoning it in droves, Beck's willingness to stand up for Israel must be accepted with gratitude. I, for one, do not question his motives. I believe they are genuine. One need not accept all of Beck's positions on Israel—and I certainly do not—in order to agree with him that support of Israel is one of the great moral issues of the 21st Century.

Those who thoughtlessly attack Israel no matter what it does and thoughtlessly defend Israel's enemies regardless of what they do, are making peace far more difficult. They incentivize terrorism by Israel's enemies and disincentivizes compromise on all sides.

I will wait to hear precisely what Glenn Beck says during his visit to Israel before I evaluate it. Just as I feel free to criticize the Israeli government when I think it is wrong, I certainly feel free to criticize defenders of Israel when I think they are wrong. But I will not prejudge Beck until he is given a full opportunity to express his views.

I certainly admire Beck's decision to go to Israel far more than the decision of so many so-called artists and intellectuals who call for a boycott against the Jewish state without even bothering to go there and see for themselves. I welcome the support of religious Christians who love Israel for religious reasons. I abhor the ignorant and misguided efforts of other Christians, such as Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu, who misuse their faith against the Jewish state. I hope that more Christians will follow in Beck's footsteps and take the time to visit Israel. They will see Christianity thriving in Israel while at the same time being dismantled and destroyed in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Egypt, and in other areas in which Islamic fundamentalists have taken over. Christian religious sites are preserved in Jerusalem and other areas under Israeli control. When the Jordanian government controlled parts of Jerusalem, it destroyed many historic religious sites sacred to both Jews and Christians.

Nation states are entitled to engage in Realpolitik so long as they do so within the limits of acceptable morality. Realpolitik requires accepting support from, and sometimes giving support to, nations and people who are not in complete agreement over policies. Consider Nelson Mandela's alliances with some of most brutal dictatorships (Libya, Cuba, Syria) and supporters of terrorism (P.L.O., Iran) while he was engaged in his just struggle against the evils of apartheid. I do not recall the left condemning Mandela for doing what he had to do. But the same left was unforgiving in Israel when it was forced to make some strategic military deals with South Africa, while strongly opposing its apartheid policies. I do not mean to compare dictatorial, terrorist or apartheid regimes with Glenn Beck, only to make the point that the Jewish state is often subjected to a double standard when it comes to the support it receives or gives.

Many Israelis will welcome Glenn Beck's support. Some will oppose it. Others will wish his views were more consistent with their own. This is as it should be in a democracy. The fact is that Israel is the only country in the Middle East that would allow Glenn Beck to express his views, without censoring them or even knowing in advance what he was going to say. This too is as it should be in a democracy.

Acclaimed environmentalist and author of "Apocalypse Never" Michael Shellenberger joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Wednesday to warn us about the true goals and effects of climate alarmism: It's become a "secular religion" that lowers standards of living in developed countries, holds developing countries back, and has environmental progress "exactly wrong."

Michael is a Time "Hero of the Environment," Green Book Award winner, and the founder and president of Environmental Progress. He has been called a "environmental guru," "climate guru," "North America's leading public intellectual on clean energy," and "high priest" of the environmental humanist movement for his writings and TED talks, which have been viewed more than 5 million times. But when Michael penned a stunning article in Forbes saying, "On Behalf of Environmentalists, I Apologize for the Climate Scare", the article was pulled just a few hours later. (Read more here.)

On the show, Micheal talked about how environmental alarmism has overtaken scientific fact, leading to a number of unfortunate consequences. He said one of the problems is that rich nations are blocking poor nations from being able to industrialize. Instead, they are seeking to make poverty sustainable, rather than to make poverty history.

"As a cultural anthropologist, I've been traveling to poorer countries and interviewing small farmers for over 30 years. And, obviously there are a lot of causes why countries are poor, but there's no reason we should be helping them to stay poor," Michael said. "A few years ago, there was a movement to make poverty history ... [but] it got taken over by the climate alarmist movement, which has been focused on depriving poor countries, not just of fossil fuels they need to develop, but also the large hydroelectric dams."

He offered the example of the Congo, one of the poorest countries in the world. The Congo has been denied the resources needed to build large hydroelectric dams, which are absolutely essential to pull people out of poverty. And one of the main groups preventing poor countries from the gaining financing they need to to build dams is based in Berkeley, California — a city that gets its electricity from hydroelectric dams.

"It's just unconscionable ... there are major groups, including the Sierra Club, that support efforts to deprive poor countries of energy. And, honestly, they've taken over the World Bank [which] used to fund the basics of development: roads, electricity, sewage systems, flood control, dams," Micheal said.

"Environmentalism, apocalyptic environmentalism in particular, has become the dominant religion of supposedly secular people in the West. So, you know, it's people at the United Nations. It's people that are in very powerful positions who are trying to impose 'nature's order' on societies," he continued. "And, of course, the problem is that nobody can figure out what nature is, and what it's not. That's not a particular good basis for organizing your economy."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Dr. Voddie Baucham, Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to explain why he agrees with Vice President Mike Pence's refusal to say the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

Baucham, who recently drew national attention when his sermon titled "Ethnic Gnosticism" resurfaced online, said the phrase has been trademarked by a dangerous, violent, Marxist movement that doesn't care about black lives except to use them as political pawns.

"We have to separate this movement from the issues," Baucham warned. "I know that [Black Lives Matter] is a phrase that is part of an organization. It is a trademark phrase. And it's a phrase designed to use black people.

"That phrase dehumanizes black people, because it makes them pawns in a game that has nothing whatsoever to do with black people and their dignity. And has everything to do with a divisive agenda that is bigger than black people. That's why I'm not going to use that phrase, because I love black people. I love being black."

Baucham warned that Black Lives Matter -- a radical Marxist movement -- is using black people and communities to push a dangerous and divisive narrative. He encouraged Americans to educate themselves on the organization's agenda and belief statement.

"This movement is dangerous. This movement is vicious. And this movement uses black people," he emphasized. "And so if I'm really concerned about issues in the black community -- and I am -- then I have to refuse, and I have to repudiate that organization. Because they stand against that for which I am advocating."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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On last week's Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck revealed where the Black Lives Matter organization really gets its funding, and the dark money trail leading to a cast of familiar characters. Shortly after the program aired, one of BLM's fiscal sponsors, Thousand Currents, took down its board of directors page, which featured one of these shady characters:

Ex-Marxist professor and author of "Beyond Woke," Michael Rectenwald, joined Glenn Beck on the TV show to fill us in on the suspicious change he discovered on the Thousand Currents webpage and the Communist terrorists who is now helping run the organization. (Fortunately, the internet is forever, so it is still possible to view the board of directors page by looking at a web archive from the WayBack Machine.)

Rectenwald revealed the shocking life history of Thousand Currents' vice chair of the board, Susan Rosenberg, who spent 16 years in federal prison for her part in a series of increasingly violent acts of terrorism, including bombing the U.S. Capitol building, bombing an FBI building, and targeting police for assassination.

"Their whole campaign was one of unbelievably vicious, murderous cop killings, assassinations, and bombings," explained Rectenwald of Rosenberg's terror group known as the May 19th Communist Organization or M19.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


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