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Likud and Glenn Beck: the two-headed monster

There’s much bewilderment about how the ruling party in Israel came to endorse someone like Glenn Beck. But the truth is that they are a perfect match – and while Beck is talking the (crazy) talk, it’s the Likud that’s actually walking the walk.

Reflecting on Glenn Beck’s visit, Haaretz puzzles (rather naively):

“It is mystifying that people from Israel’s ruling party, Likud, foremost among them Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon and World Likud Chairman Danny Danon, have joined the circle Beck’s fans.”

I find this statement equally mystifying for two reasons: 1) it obscures the close relationship between Beck and Likud by reducing it to being a Beck “fan”; 2) it ignores that Beck and Likud have a common agenda.

It’s important to remember that Beck didn’t just show up in Israel. In July, he came to address the Knesset at the invitation of Likud MK Danny Danon. Jonny Daniels, an advisor to Danon, was Beck’s scheduler for his August visit. Daniels also told +972 Magazine that he accompanied Beck on his trip to Poland, where the two visited concentration camps together. The Jerusalem Post reported that Danon “helped organize” the Restoring Courage rallies. And Beck met with a number of Israeli politicians upon his August arrival.

Likud is not shy about its agenda. Even though former Israeli defense officials say that the 1967 borders are, indeed, defensible, Prime Minister and leader of the Likud party, Benjamin Netanyahu, has said publicly that Israel will not return to those lines. Netanyahu has also stated that Israel will continue its de facto annexation of the Jordan Valley in the West Bank. The Prime Minister has also spent some time building the (false) case for an attack on Iran.

No, Likud is not shy, but it does seek to retain at least a veneer of respectability and legitimacy. So it leaves the fire and brimstone act to Beck, who the Israeli media writes off as a lunatic.

But, at the end of the day, Beck wants exactly the same thing that Likud does—unchecked Israeli expansion and regional hegemony. There’s nothing so mystifying about this alliance. Both Beck and Likud privilege the aspirations of the religious right at the expense of Israelis and Palestinians.

What’s mystifying to me is why the Israeli public—which was largely opposed or indifferent to Beck’s visit—would vote for a party that enacts policies that are even more dangerous to Israel than Beck’s rhetoric. If Beck is a lunatic just for talking like he does—and all he does is talk—imagine how much crazier those who follow messianic (read: expansionist) policies must be. Beck and Likud are two heads of the same monster—if the Israeli media and public is appalled by one, it should open its eyes and take a good hard look at the other.


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    COMMENTS

    1. David

      What does it mean when Israel is courting the extreme Christian Zionist Right and flipping the bird at moderate Jews like JStreet?

      Only that the current flavor of Zionism only likes fanatics.

      Reply to Comment
    2. aristeides

      Beck doesn’t want Israeli expansion, he doesn’t really give a damn about Israel.

      What Beck wants is an audience, which Danon handed him.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Y.

      What Mya is doing is to mix in two different things, to end up with some form of attempted guilt-by-association which makes no sense. Some Americans think Beck is a lunatic. They do so regardless (and probably in ignorance of) Beck’s positions on Israel. Israelis support certain positions** without regard to Beck, whom they care little for, so little they are mostly unaware of his reputation in certain circles.
      .
      Mya essentially states that if Beck thinks “A”, people should change their opinions to as far away as possible from A just to avoid being close. People who are not mindless partisans can easily see through that.
      .
      ** e.g. The 85% percent of Israeli Jews which support keeping the Jordan Valley. All those people who learned to ignore the professional “bith’onists” etc. etc.
      .
      P.S. Funny, but all claims Israel is seeking “Israeli regional hegemony” I ever hear come from Arabs and the far-Left. Funny that.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Sylvia

      Enough with this witch-hunt already. The intolerance of those radicals from the left is simply frightening.
      As long as they don’t come to cause harm, palophiles and judophiles alike are welcome in this country.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Sylvia

      David
      Jeremy Ben Ami was received at the Knesset, he was received by President Peres and President Abbas not very long ago.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Piotr Berman

      Mya indeed seems to be in error claiming that Beck has “agenda”. At least, it is hard to find his actual positions, besides “The conflict is about Islamists trying to destroy Israel, the West and USA” and “I am an ordinary American shlub and I have no idea what are you doing, Israel, but I love what you are doing anyway!”.

      I found no references to Beck commenting on Jordan Valley.

      I think that emanations from the headline appendage of Beck are rather harmful, as they cut IQ of one part of listeners and make other puke, but as few intelligent natives attended his rallies, his visit to Israel was relatively harmless. And if some new Breivik will be inspired, hopefully the damage will be limited to Muslim and Leftists.

      Reply to Comment
    7. aristeides

      Sylvia, no, “palophiles” are not welcomed in Israel, they are arrested at the airport and kicked out of the country.

      Reply to Comment
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