Op/Ed: Glenn Beck’s revealing visit

by Caroline Glick

Read the original article from The Jerusalem Post here. Watch the Restoring Courage event here

American media superstar Glenn Beck’s visit to Israel this week was a revealing and remarkable event. It revealed what it takes to be a friend of Israel. And it revealed the causes of Israel’s difficulty in telling its enemies from its friends.

Many world leaders, opinion-shapers and other notables protest enduring friendship with Israel. From Washington to London, Paris to Spain, policy- makers and other luminaries preface all their remarks to Jewish audiences with such statements. Once their declarations are complete – and often without taking a breath – they proceed to denounce Israel’s policies and to deny its basic rights.

US President Barack Obama exemplifies this practice. Obama always begins his statements on Israel by proclaiming his enduring friendship for Israel. Then he tells us to deny Jewish property rights, accept indefensible borders, or desist from defending ourselves from aggression.

The Israeli Left habitually embraces self-proclaimed friends such as Obama. Often leftist leaders encourage such friends to harm Israel in the name of helping it. For instance, in 2007, speaking to then-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice – who had a habit of comparing her friend Israel to the Jim Crow South – then-Haaretz editor David Landau asked her to “rape” the Jewish state. Opposition leader Tzipi Livni recently encouraged Obama to increase pressure on Israel.

When anti-Semitic public intellectuals such as the late Nobel laureate Jose Saramago compare Israel to Nazi Germany, the Israeli Left makes light of their remarks. For instance, when at the height of the Palestinian terror war in 2002 Saramago said Israel was worse than the Nazis and that Jews had no right to speak of the Holocaust, Yediot Aharonot’s Ariella Melamed referred to Saramago as “one of the most beloved foreign novelists in Israel.”

On Thursday, Israeli Arab actor and filmmaker Muhammad Bakri was the subject of a two-page hagiographic profile in Yediot. Bakri’s libelous 2003 film Jenin, Jenin, in which he falsely portrayed IDF soldiers as murderers and war criminals, was brushed off as merely “controversial.”

Making no mention of Bakri’s family ties to terrorist murderers or supportive statements regarding terrorism and war against Israel, Yediot portrayed this foe as a hero. Bakri, who has used his considerable talents to criminalize and demonize the country and to support its terrorist enemies, was lionized as an unwilling culture warrior who would much rather be acting than fighting, but feels he cannot escape his duty to fight for the great causes he holds dear.

Also Thursday, Yediot ran a story about Beck’s Restoring Courage Rally beneath the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The headline read, “Glenn Beck’s Messianic Show.”

In general, the Israeli media responded to Beck’s visit to Israel either as a non-event, or they distorted who Beck is and what he is trying to do. Thursday’s print edition of Ma’ariv sufficed with a photograph from Beck’s rally in Jerusalem the previous day.

By casting Beck’s visit as insignificant, Ma’ariv disserved its readers. Beck is one of the most influential media personalities in the US today.

Unlike the leftist public intellectuals such as New York Times columnist Tom Friedman who are celebrated and obsessively covered by the Israeli media, Beck exerts real influence on public opinion in the US. His calls for action are answered by hundreds of thousands of people. His statements are a guidepost for millions of Americans. Aside from radio host Rush Limbaugh, no media personality in the US has such influence.

It is highly significant that thousands of Beck’s supporters followed his call and came with him to Israel for a week to express their support for Israel and the Jewish people. It is similarly significant that millions more of his supporters followed his actions on Internet.

Those media that did not seek to downplay the importance of Beck’s visit opted instead to distort who he is and what he is doing. As the Yediot headline indicated, the media portrayed him as an unstable messianic, or they castigated him as an extremist and marginal force in the US. Haaretz and Globes both ran articles attacking Beck as an anti-Semite.

These claims are outrageous and represent yet another gross disservice to Israeli news consumers who do not have an independent means of judging Beck, his message and his actions for themselves.

Beck came to Israel to launch a global movement of activists committed to supporting Israel, not in order to “rape” it, but in order to empower it to defeat its enemies and to stand up to an increasingly hostile world. In his speech under the Temple Mount, Beck roused his audience – which contrary to media reports was a mix of American Christians and American Jews joined by scores of Israelis – to action. With gripping prose, Beck told his audience to disregard the “convenient” lies about Israel and embrace the truth.

That truth, he said, is that “In Israel, there is more courage in one square mile than in all of Europe. In Israel, there is more courage in one Israeli soldier than in the combined and cold hearts of every bureaucrat at the United Nations. In Israel, you can find people who will stand against incredible odds, against the entire tide of global opinion, for what is right and good and true. Israel is not a perfect country. No country is perfect. But it tries, and it is courageous.”

From Israel he proceeded Wednesday night to South Africa to tell the true story of Apartheid and to dispel the popular falsehood that Israel bears any similarity to Apartheid South Africa. From there he will continue on to Latin America to meet with communal leaders and mobilize them to support Israel. And from there he will return to the US where he will launch his global movement to support Israel before a mass audience in Dallas early next week.

What was most remarkable about Beck’s message was its rarity. Beck did not say anything factually inaccurate. The vast majority of Israelis certainly would find nothing controversial in any of his assertions. Yet despite his honesty, and his reasonable interpretation of Israel’s strategic and diplomatic circumstances, Beck’s is a voice in the wilderness. One almost never comes across a foreigner – or even an Israeli – who is willing to speak such basic truths in public.

Both the rarity of truthful assessments of reality such as Beck’s and the gross distortion of his message and importance by the media are the consequence of intellectual and social intimidation that has led to groupthink among members of the media and of the cultural elites in Israel and throughout much of the Western world.

As Beck put it, “The grand councils of the earth condemn Israel. Across the border, Syria slaughters its own citizens. The grand councils are silent...

“These international councils, these panels of so-called diplomats, condemn Israel not because they believe Israel needs to be corrected. They do so because it is convenient.

“Everyone does it. In some countries, it’s a crime not to.

“The diplomats are afraid, and so they submit. They surrender to falsehood. The truth matters not. To the keepers of conventional wisdom, a sacrifice of the truth is a small price to pay. What difference does it make if we beat up on little Israel? These are the actions of the fearful and cowards.”

And in the face of this cowardice, Beck organized his visit to Israel under the banner “Restoring Courage.”

He told his audience, “I stand here to tell you this: Fear is the pathway to surrender. And to overcome fear, we must have courage.”

Beck is rare, because he refuses to bow to the intellectual intimidation and groupthink that plagues the discourse on Israel in Israel itself and throughout the world. He refuses to play by the rules in which friends of Israel are castigated as messianic crazies and extremists and Israel’s enemies are praised as friends and great artists and courageous dissidents. He is an exception to a demented rule.

Israel’s media didn’t come to their hatred of Beck on their own. Most of it is fueled by American Jewish leftists. Beck ran afoul of the liberal American Jewish establishment through his outspoken attacks on George Soros. In January, Beck ran several shows on Soros, the extremist leftist anti-American and anti-Zionist global financier who has given more than $100 million to radical leftist groups.

Among other things, Beck ran a 1998 interview that Soros gave to CBS News’s Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes. During the course of the interview, Soros admitted that as a boy in Nazi occupied Hungary he collaborated with the Nazis in confiscating Jewish property. Beck dwelled on Soros’s statement and his stated lack of guilt for his actions. Beck considered its impact on the shaping of Soros’s personality.

For his actions, Beck was attacked as an anti- Semite by the Soros-funded Jewish Funds for Justice. The group which conducts community organizing in liberal Jewish congregations collected the signatures of several dozen rabbis and ran a $100,000 ad in The Wall Street Journal asking Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch to take action against Beck. According to JCCWatch.org, New York’s UJA-Jewish Federation has given more than a million dollars to the Soros-funded organization.

The Left’s attacks on Beck are fueled by the fact that he is a Christian Zionist. The Left’s default mode is to accuse Christian Zionists of a hidden agenda to convert Jews and a secret desire to see us killed in an Armageddon.

But in truth the media’s embrace of Israel’s enemies, their rejection of Beck, and most important Beck’s refusal to bow to their conventional wisdom that Israel’s enemies should be praised and its friends should be condemned all reveal the reason that Christian Zionists can be trusted and embraced by Israelis.

Christian Zionists – like Jewish religious Zionists – are unmoved by the media’s intimidation because of their faith in God, and their reliance on scripture. Their faith provides them with a means of judging reality that is independent of the largely post-religious intellectual commissariat that runs the media and the cultural elite in the Western world. They don’t seek or care about receiving the accolades of the New York Times or other post-religious totems for their actions. And Beck’s message to Israelis is that we shouldn’t care either.

For most Israelis, this message rings powerful and true. But for the media, in Israel and throughout the West, it is dangerous sedition that must be marginalized and destroyed.

Beck said that his movement will be one of individuals who work together to defend Israel and the Jews from those who seek our destruction. He argued that regular people are far more capable of understanding what needs to be done than the well-heeled experts who lead us down the garden path of weakness and demoralization.

And he is right.

And in bringing this message to Israel, he demonstrated his friendship. We should return the favor by taking his advice. We should trust ourselves and our instincts and stop listening to the “experts” who preach weakness and surrender.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

For one night only at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, on December 7th, join internationally-acclaimed radio host and storyteller Glenn Beck as he walks you through tales of Christmas in the way that only he can. There will be laughs, and there might be a few tears. But at the end of the night, you'll leave with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.

Reconnect to the true spirit of Christmas with Glenn Beck, in a storytelling tour de force that you won't soon forget.

Get tickets and learn more about the event here.

The general sale period will be Friday, August 16 at 10:00 AM MDT. Stay tuned to for updates. We look forward to sharing in the Christmas spirit with you!