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Monday, September 5, 2011

The "Restoring Courage" wrap-up: the company Beck keeps

Posted by Jewish Israel

Now that Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Courage" extravaganza is behind us, Jewish activists and journalists in the national camp are busy assessing the success or failure of what was supposed to be a history-making mega-event.

While the jury is still out as to whether or not Glenn Beck and this happening was good for the Jews, what is clear is that the national religious camp did not flock in their masses to the multi-million dollar faith based extravaganza.

Many are fingering the press for negative publicity, but as can be expected, Jewish Israel is taking a different, more introspective route. We've chosen to examine the nature of the "Restoring Courage" events and some of the problematic personalities involved...more


6 comments:

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
Keep up the good work, Ellen et al! Without JI's information many people would have to work a lot harder to find sources to back up their statements.

ellen said...

Thanks for the encouraging words, Hadassa.

Keliata said...

I agree entirely with what Hadassa wrote.

******

I'm actually quite pleased that JI has done a follow up on Restoring Courage in part because I am so upset about the reaction I received on a news web site about the event. To be perfectly honest I have cried for a couple of days in a row.

I simply wrote in a talkback that I supported Israel but not Glenn Beck. From that I have been accused of lying, writing shameful things, trying to alienate Jews from Israel's only friends, to being a Muslim writing for Media Matters (never heard of it until I read the comment).

Worst of all--I was compared to those who remained silent during the Holocaust! This was a punch in the gut and perhaps not even lashon hara but motzi shem ra (if I am using the term properly in this context.)

This was so hurtful because from the day I first learned of the Holocaust and watched actual footage of the liberation of a death camp (I was 17) I vowed to do something if I ever saw any of that in my lifetime. No bli nader (sp) whatsoever.

Last summer, at the age of 49, I saw a swatika near a light post. A week later it was still there, along with a double lightning bolt symbolizing the SS and an obscure word on a nearby bikepath--Berzerker. Just do a search of the terms berzerker and neo Nazis.

I tried to write about the graffiti at the newspaper I work for. It kept getting rejected.

So I made two videos and sent them to a local CBS affliate. The next day they did a story on it and the graffiti was promptly removed.

I just checked the same web site that I wrote on regarding Beck and was told again that I was a liar and the person implied that I was insensitive to Holocaust survivors.

Ironic since the swastika I mentioned was a odd variant. Before I sent it to the TV station I first asked a friend--a child of a holocaust survivor to look at my video.

I asked if I could send it to him first, as I was trying to be sensitive and not make him look at one if it was too painful. He did look at it and agreed that it was indeed a swastika.

So you can see why I was literally in tears. Other terms for anyone who objected to Beck were "anti-Israel" and "God haters."

And then, directed at me, was a remark to me regarding my comments--that there were "laws in place" implying that in some countries Holocaust denial was a crime.

Me?!!!

I've tried to put this into perspective after watching videos on You Tube in which Glenn Beck compares virtually everyone who objects to him as Nazis. Apparently some of his fans also feel that anyone who objections to him makes them anti-Israel, anti-Semitic and a G-d hater.

Finally, I was questioned as to what I have done to promote Israel. Perhaps not enough, other than sponsoring a 9-year old Israeli girl, writing an article on anti-Israeli bias by the BBC a few other articles. I don't know that it was promoting Israel so much as correcting misinformation.

Could I do more? Of course. Everyone can and should.

Batya, I hope you will allow this comment to remain up. I thought of emailing either you or Ellen because I am utterly heartbroken at this comments I received for merely objecting to Beck's visit.

Suffice to say, I took an even worse beating than Moshe Feiglin took and he really took quite a pounding.

I don't think I wrote anything that could even remotely be considered anti-Israel, a Holocaust denier or a God hater.

I am sorry for venting. I just needed someone to listen.

I am hurt beyond belief over these comments.

(I am going to read the full JI article to help me put this into perspective).

Keliata said...

I agree with everything that Hadassa wrote.

***

I'm also pleased that JI has done a recap on Restoring Courage. I didn't know where I could write about the response I got on a news web site for simply writing that I supported Israel but not Glenn Beck or his rally.

For that I was called a liar, a Muslim PR hack being paid to write my comments by Media Matters (which I never heard of until I read the comment about it).

Worst and most painful of all were accusations that I was like those who remained silent during the Holocaust. This had me in tears for days.

When I first saw an actual news reel of the liberation of a death camp I had a panic attack and my high school teacher apologized for not preparing the class. I was 17 at the time and made a vow to myself that if I ever saw anything remotely anti-Semitic I would do something.

Beck cried "lo irah" at his rally. In a way I said no bli nader (sp).

Last year I saw a swastika on a light post. On a bus shelter I saw the double lightning bolt symbol of the SS. Nearby, on bikepath, I saw an oscure word--BerZerKer.

I won't go into its meaning but just do a search of the word and neo Nazis. I wrote an article about the graffiti but my editor rejected it because it was about anti-Semitic graffiti.

So I took pictures and videos of the graffiti and sent it to the local CBS affliate. They did a story on it the next day. The graffiti was promptly removed after that.

Another commenter had this to say about my comments about Beck--that I was insensitive to Holocaust survivors, and implied that there were "laws in place" about such people as me. In other words, for objecting to Beck I was compared to a Holocaust denier.

Other comments made to basically anyone who objected to Beck and/or his rally were "anti-Israel" and God haters."

That hardly describes me. For the life of me I can't understand why I took such a beating and with the most cruel and painful words possible. If their goal was to deeply hurt and defame me mission accomplished.

IMO this went beyond lashon hara to motzi shem ra (sp, hope I am using it correctly). I took a worse beating than Moshe Feiglin and he was really pounded. I've read talk backs on many other sites and couldn't find anyone described or characterized as I was for merely objecting to the rally and Beck's comment about worshipping the same G-d.

It is hard not to take all of this so personally but I have been crying off and on for several days. Still, I have also watched several Glenn Beck videos in which he describes virtually all of his opponents as Nazis. Apparently some of this fans feel the same.

Batya, I hope you will allow me post this.

Ellen: I thought about emailing you for advice on how to deal with this.

Keliata said...

Ellen, I agree with everything you wrote, especially the indepth reporting on JI.

Batya said...

I suggest that people click to read the entire Jewish Israel article.

Ellen, thanks again for posting here. I feel very priviliged that you honor this blog with your valuable knowledge.