Media Matters is reporting that “Professor” Glenn Beck is promoting the organization of a far-right Israeli extremist who has ties to the late Rabbi Meir Kahane’s terrorist Kach movement.
Last week, Beck held his “pro-Israel” event near the Temple Mount, a sacred site in Jerusalem to peoples of many faiths including Muslims, Christians, and Jews. It’s the site where the Solomon’s and Herrod’s Jewish temples once existed and where the Islamic Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque now stand. It is revered as the site where Abraham took his son Isaac when called upon by God to sacrifice his only son.
Shortly before the “event”, Professor Beck broadcast a brief feature about the mount, which discussed plans by “religious Jews” to “build a Third Temple” there. Beck’s broadcast promoted the work of an organization called the Temple Institute, a group allegedly “dedicated to every aspect of the Biblical commandment to build the Holy Temple of G-d on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem”.
The group declares its short-term goal is to rekindle the flame of the Holy Temple in the hearts of mankind through education, and that its long-term goal is “to do all in our limited power to bring about the building of the Holy Temple in our time.” The Jerusalem Post however describes the Institute as “a once-marginal organization that has been gaining increasing prominence.” According to a January 25, 2000, piece published in Ha’aretz, “most” of the Institute’s members are “extreme right wing.”
The group’s founder – and current head of the Institute – is Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, who, according to according to the Jerusalem Report, “ran for Knesset on Meir Kahane’s racist Kach party ticket in 1981, and has argued that Jewish law does not allow Christians or Muslims to live in the Land of Israel.” The Rabbi – it appears – was quite close to Kahane, and according to a 1990 Jerusalem Post article, Ariel “served as No.2 to Kahane in the early ’80s” before Kach was banned from Israeli elections. Ariel was seen as a potential “spiritual successor” to Kahane.
According to Media Matters, in his book, The End of Days, historian Gershom Gorenberg explained that among the aims of the Kach party “was making sexual relations between a Jew and an Arab a capital crime” and that “the party’s eventual goal was the expulsion of all Arabs from Israel and the occupied territories.” According to Gorenberg, “Kahane’s small group of aggressive followers splattered Jerusalem walls with posters demanding that Israel ‘erase the mosques form the Temple Mount.’ “
Israeli police broke up an alleged plot – in 1983 – by armed Kahanists and other extremists to forcibly seize the Temple Mount. According to Reuters, “Police said the group was inspired by Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, who [in 1982] was involved in nationalist resistance to the Israeli withdrawal from Sinai.”
According to a March 12, 1983, Washington Post article, some of the alleged conspirators were arrested at Ariel’s home, “Jerusalem police, alerted in advance, last night broke up what they described as a well-organized attempt by orthodox and militantly nationalistic Jews to take over and establish a ‘settlement’ on the Temple Mount, a site holy to both Jews and Moslems in Jerusalem’s Old City.”
At the time of the arrest, police officials said some of those arrested included followers of Rabbi Meir Kahane, and that some of those arrested, including the soldiers, were armed with automatic weapons in preparation for the takeover attempt.
Ariel has since tried to distance himself and the Temple Institute from those who seek to use terrorism to destroy the mosques in order to rebuild the Jewish Temple. ”We don’t want to blow up the mosque,” he told The New York Times in 1989. ”Our intention is to do everything that we can within the law. We’ll prepare whatever we can so that we can eventually worship there again.”
But, if one applies the logic espoused by Beck and other uber-conservative talking heads when they repeatedly attacked President Obama over his alleged connections to William Ayers – once a terrorist, always a terrorist, and thus Beck’s Rabbi buddy and his organization must still be terrorists; because you can’t have your cake and eat it too Professor.
Media Matters reports that since its inception in 1969, members of the Jewish Defense League and related Kahanist organizations have allegedly carried out a relentless campaign of violence, culminating in JDL-member Baruch Goldstein’s 1994 massacre of 29 Muslims in Hebron. In 1997, the U.S. State Department officially designated Kach and Kahane Chai as “foreign terrorist organizations.” The State Department noted that both groups “were declared to be terrorist organizations in March 1994 by the Israeli Cabinet under the 1948 Terrorism Law.
So, of all the groups, and of all the individuals, Glenn Beck could pick to affiliate himself within Israel he chooses an uber-conservative, militant, terrorist organization? Beck is either proving himself – once again – to be completely obtuse and not understanding things nearly as clearly as he likes to portray, or, he knows full well who Rabbi Yisrael Ariel is, and what his organization is. Of course, in the right-wing nut job world of Beck and his devotees, Israelis can’t be terrorists, and killing Muslims is all according to “God’s plan”. But, then again, Beck also claims to be receiving “revelation” and “inspiration” from God, and that makes whomever he hangs out with OK; at least in the twisted mind of Professor Beck.