Glenn Beck unites Israel’s right and left against him
Beck wanted to show his support for the Jewish state at Jerusalem rally
Not content with making enemies at home, the former Fox News presenter Glenn Beck is upsetting Israelis. Even before arriving in the country for a mass rally tonight, he attempted to characterise middle-class activists taking part in a cost of living protest in Tel Aviv as communists in league with Islamic extremists.
Beck had totally misunderstood the situation. Protesters had gone to great lengths to be politically neutral. They even suspended their protests last week after Palestinian militants killed eight people in an attack on Israeli buses near Eilat.
And that's only the start of Beck's problems in Israel.
Tonight's 'Restoring Courage' rally in Jerusalem is intended "to show the world the courage of Israelis and the choice between good and evil". Yet Beck has achieved the astonishing feat of uniting against him the left-leaning group Peace Now, which promotes a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with, at the other extreme, a group of right-wingers who want to annexe the Palestinian territories and offer Palestinians money to emigrate to other countries.
Etai Mizrav of Peace Now, which will protest against the rally, told Haaretz: "This is a person who seems to support Israel, but he is a fanatic. I don't know how the right wing intends to protest [against Beck], but if they want to join us they are welcome."
In the right-wingers' camp is Likud member Moshe Feiglin, who told the Jerusalem Post: "Jews like it when goyim finally smile at them, but sometimes a smile is more dangerous than a scowl, and this is one of those occasions."
Feiglin is particularly critical of Beck's decision to hold his rally – intended as a follow-up to last year's 'Restoring Honor' rally in Washington DC – close to the Temple Mount, possibly the most religiously sensitive site in the world.
This is where Jesus is said to have overturned the tables of the money changers in the Temple, creating, says Feiglin, "the image of Jews as pursuers of money and Christian anti-Semitism that led to rivers of Jewish blood."
A crowd of 1,600 had been expected to turn out for Beck's rally, the mayor of Jerusalem included. How many will come now? Watch this space.