Friend with dubious benefits

Friend with dubious benefits

What do you call someone who urges an audience of millions to rediscover the forgotten books of anti-Semitic conspiracy-mongers? Who promotes the idea that the Federal Reserve is part of a “Rothschild”-orchestrated conspiracy of devious bankers? Who interviews as a knowledgeable expert someone who claims that “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the infamous czarist forgery, “accurately describes much of what is happening in our world today”?

If you are Deputy Knesset Speaker Danny Danon, chairman of the Aliyah, Absorption, and Diaspora Affairs Committee, you call such a person “honored guest.”

Danon hosted broadcaster Glenn Beck at the Knesset this week, praising him for his support of Israel. “If there wasn’t a Glenn Beck, Israel would have had to invent one,” Danon said.

In truth, it would be harder to invent a better example of someone who loves Israel but appears to have no love for Jews.

Beck has been called on the carpet more than once by the Anti-Defamation League.

There was the time he compared efforts to raise awareness about global warming to Hitler’s plans to exterminate the Jews.

There was the time he implied that the Jews were responsible for killing Jesus.

Not too long ago, he described financier and political donor George Soros as a regime-toppling “puppet master” and even approvingly quoted from an avidly anti-Semitic Soros critic, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Beck’s own description of Soros’ childhood experiences during the Shoah was denounced by the ADL as “completely inappropriate, offensive and over the top.”

Then there was the time Beck compared Reform Judaism to radical Islam, which the ADL’s Abe Foxman said was “highly offensive and outrageous,” and “demonstrates his bigoted ignorance.”

Speaking at the Knesset, Beck warned that “anti-Semitism is going to go through the roof” due to the current economic climate.

Beck himself, of course, does not blame the Jews. But Beck is prominent among those seeking to popularize the fringe idea that secret, shadowy conspirators are to blame for these economic hard times. Time and again, the “puppet masters” Beck blames for our economic and political woes, real and imagined, are Jews.

Perhaps it is too much to expect that the Israeli parliamentarian concerned with the Diaspora would speak out on our behalf with visitors. How sad.