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Aug 9, 2011 12:22 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Glenn Beck Discusses Change During Visit To Hampton Synagogue

Aug 9, 2011 2:31 PM

Controversial television and radio personality Glenn Beck, whose conservative stance and strong opinions typically elicit a wide range of emotions from both fans and critics, received a strong showing of support on Sunday night in Westhampton Beach.

Mr. Beck, who left his self-titled television show on Fox News in June but still hosts the “Glenn Beck Program” radio show, was greeted by more than 300 people inside the Hampton Synagogue on Sunset Avenue, where he discussed a variety of topics, including those related to Israel and his upcoming visit there. He was joined by David Brog, the executive director of Christians United for Israel, a national organization.

While introducing Mr. Beck, Rabbi Marc Schneier, the leader of the Westhampton Beach synagogue, told attendees that noble achievement is born in the heart of an individual who refuses to accept the status quo. “Glenn Beck refuses to accept things as they are, particularly when it comes to the state of Israel,” Mr. Schneier said. The rabbi credited Mr. Brog, the author of the book “In Defense of Faith,” with possessing those same qualities.

Mr. Beck, who recently embarked on a new venture called GBTV.com, an internet channel for audio and video programming, will be heading to Israel later this month. His stated mission: to ask people of all faiths to stand together for change.

Christians United for Israel, Mr. Schneier noted, is the largest organization in the United States that supports Israel and its people, boasting a membership of more than 700,000. Mr. Brog began Sunday night’s discussion, which focused on embracing faith, by admitting that he wasn’t always a fan of Mr. Beck’s. “I never liked the guy,” Mr. Brog said, bluntly. “Shame on me for never listening to his program. I relied on mainstream media to form my opinion of Glenn Beck.”

But following a meeting in May, Mr. Brog, whose book examines whether mankind can transcend inherent selfishness, said, “I have grown to love and care for him like a brother.”

Mr. Beck will head to Israel later this month to spread his own message about “Restoring Courage,” an initiative that asks those of all faiths to stand together for what is right. As part of his global broadcasting events, Mr. Beck will also make stops in Africa and South America.

“Everyone says I am crazy to do it,” Mr. Beck said, explaining that he received death threats after attending a rally in Washington, D.C., last August with Sarah Palin. But Mr. Beck, who travels with security guards, said he won’t be deterred because he said the world must work together and focus on basic principles. “There’s trouble coming,” he warned. “We must link arms.”

Mr. Beck, who is a Mormon, noted that his religious beliefs are constantly being challenged. “If I have one more Christian question my faith, I’m going to blow a gasket,” he said. He added that religious groups should not try to baptize Jews; instead, Mr. Beck said, people of all faiths should “have the courage just to love people.”

He also told parents in the audience that they must teach their children and obey God. Becoming visibly emotional—as he often did during his television show—Mr. Beck cried while recalling a recent tour of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland with his family.

“Those who say the Holocaust was an elaborate hoax, or deny the Holocaust, should not be listened to,” he said. “They don’t have a place at the table of mankind.”

That comment was met with thunderous applause.

Mr. Beck also said that people today are too focused on their cellphones, iPads and other materialistic things. “We’re losing sight of everything that’s important,” he said. “What’s important is each other. It’s God. It’s love.”

Mr. Beck, who has taken a lot of heat for his comments about President Barack Obama—Mr. Beck has reportedly called the president a “racist” and has stated that Mr. Obama has sympathy for terrorists’ causes—said he recently had dinner with an Obama supporter. “When did we become a people or a nation where we have nothing in common if we disagree on politics?” Mr. Beck asked the audience. “This is a movement. We need to stand up for good versus evil. It’s very clear.”

During a question-and-answer session, Ron Carner, the president of the Maccabi USA Sports For Israel based in Philadelphia, asked Mr. Beck to comment on recent descriptions of Anders Behring Breivik. Mr. Breivik, the Norwegian right-wing extremist charged with last month’s bombing in Oslo that killed eight people, and the mass shooting at a children’s camp on the island of Utøya that killed 69 people—mostly the teenage children of the country’s Labour Party—has been labeled by some as a “Christian terrorist,” according to Mr. Carner.

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This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Laszlo Lowenstein (37), East Hampton on Aug 10, 11 4:53 PM
Really? This article is inappropriate for a single reason: no context. Where are the opinions of those who might take issue with an event of this type?
By Laszlo Lowenstein (37), East Hampton on Aug 11, 11 11:56 AM
I will never understand the Jewish community's alliance with Beck. He only cares about Israel because he believes that it will be the site of the rapture, when, in the End Times, the Christians of the world will be gathered together in the air to meet Jesus Christ - the problem, those who are not followers of Christ, and that would include those of the Jewish faith, will perish.

And, as the article points out, this lunatic compared the kids attending a camp in Norway where a mass murder ...more
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Aug 13, 11 9:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
You truly are always on the wrong side of any issue. What do you say about Ahmadinejad and his beliefs in the twelfth Imams prophecy to be for-filled only when the blood of the infidels runs in the streets ? asking for Allah to “hasten” the arrival of the Islamic messiah, also known as the “Mahdi.” as he chants death to America and the Zionests.What motivates such an anti american stance such as yours, philathome and local 84 is very hard to understand.
By 27dan (2817), Southampton on Aug 15, 11 3:38 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Aug 19, 11 3:17 PM
I am Beck fan, but take issue with him when it comes to his unwavering support for Israel, even as Israel persecutes it's Arab citizens and spits in the eye of it's neighbors by expanding the "settlements" in occupied territory.
By bigfresh (4594), north sea on Aug 15, 11 5:04 PM
Israel is in the eye of the storm surrounded by people who would love to see them obliterated. I have no problem with them using any means necessary to defend themselves
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Aug 19, 11 9:33 PM