Glenn Beck kicked off his “Restoring Courage” week in Israel last night with a pep rally at the ancient ampitheatre in Caesarea. On Wednesday Beck will hold the main event, inside the Old City of Jerusalem.
Last time I was at Caesarea was for an Ehud Banai concert, my idol. And before that for an off-Broadway production of “A Chorus Line”.
All three shows sent shivers down my spine, yet for very different reasons.
Having Glenn Beck, John Hagee, thousands of pumped, middle-aged and above evangelicals, a few hundred settlers and an Israeli choir singing Holocaust hymns – all on your home turf – can frighten even the bravest of souls.
It was a fairly solemn event. There were the preachers, the Glenn Beck WaterWorks (“I cry so much!) and the Amens. But things only really started to pick up when they brought out Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, from the settlement of Efrat – who in my humble opinion is a wasted talent. This guy should be running a mega-church in the bible belt. Efrat is way too small for him.
But it was Pastor John Hagee who brought the Roman pillars down, with his fiery speech invoking the memory of JFK and making every one in the crowd scream “I am an Israeli!”. Here’s an excerpt of that unforgettable moment:
And here is an excerpt of Rabbi Riskin’s speech, with a teary-eyed Beck introducing him:
And here is Jon Voight, who came all the way to Caesarea to talk about Israelis who know the bible so well and dig things up all the time. Which is true. I’m going downstairs after I post this to do some digging myself.
And here’s Haggee’s speech in full, if he happens to be your cup of tea.