Wednesday, August 24, 2011. 5:25 PM
Few will accuse Glenn Beck of being overly equivocating in his “Restoring Courage” keynote address earlier today, at the end of his several-days-long event in Israel. Titled “The Courage To Stand,” Beck’s speech occurred earlier today by the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Near the very beginning of the speech, Beck (who broadcasts on his own GBTV network and who can also be heard in the New York City area on 800 WLAD-AM) challenged his large audience: “Today, I ask you turn your eyes to Israel and restore courage.” He continued by praising the Israeli sense of resolve: “I have been asked: ‘What can you teach Israel about Courage? My answer is simple. Nothing. Then they ask: ‘Why are you coming to Israel?’ Because, I say: In Israel, you see courage.”
Beck elaborated further: “In Israel, there is more courage in one square mile than in all of Europe. In Israel, there is more courage in one soldier than in the combined and cold hearts of every bureaucrat at the United Nations. In Israel, you can find people who will stand against incredible odds… against the entire tide of global opinion, for what is right and good and true. Israel is not a perfect country. No country is perfect. But it tries… and it is courageous.”
Later, Beck provided a pessimistic assessment of the current state of world affairs: “You don’t have to be a prophet to know that things are not going well in the world. The threats are mounting. Darkness is falling.” Shortly thereafter, Beck’s words sounded reminiscent of Biblical prophecies: “In Europe, the great nations of the past – Greece, Italy, Spain, Britain – are falling into chaos and violence. We have raised up a generation who cannot tell the difference between what they owe society and what society owes them.”
Beck also compared the way world public opinion criticizes Israel, as opposed to the way it looks the other way in regard to the actions of Israel’s sworn enemies. He said: “When the Fogel family was killed in their sleep the world barely took note. The grand councils of earth condemn Israel. Across the border, Syria slaughters its own citizens. The grand councils are silent. It’s no wonder children light their streets on fire.”
The popular radio and television host was also unsparing in his assessment of the prevailing mentality in much of the Muslim world: “You see evil rear its head in our time. You see the signs again. The swastikas are on display in the street marches. This week they’re holding up signs in Cairo that say: We’re building the gas chambers. They dress their children in suicide belts. They are given the choice, and they choose death.”
Beck closed his speech with a combination of a call to action (Beck’s positive tone here suggests the way many Shabbat Haftarah readings involving the words of Prophets are ominous throughout until the very end, when they end with a more pleasant tone):
No one wants to be on the point, the person that sticks out. My first death threat came in 2002 after my first visit to Israel and my declaration of support of the Jewish people and state. My latest death threat was today.
And so I say: LO IRA. I fear not.
Many of us may fall along the way. Some will have their reputation destroyed or business or career ended and others still may pay the ultimate price.
But let us link arms and make the journey together and if one shall fall, let 10 join our ranks.
You were not born so someone else could rule over you. God did not create you, endow you with rights so you could remain silent while injustice and evil grow. You have a purpose and it is rooted in love, compassion and responsibility.
There are many reasons to hear my words, leave here and do nothing. We all have been trained to believe that we are not strong enough, smart enough or powerful enough.
Abraham was old, Moses was slow of speech, Ruth was a widow, David was a little boy, Joseph was in prison, and Lazarus was dead. What is your excuse?
You were born for a time such as this. Begin by declaring that this is why you were placed on this earth. It doesn’t matter how you’ve spent your years on this planet. What matters is what you do now from here.
I cannot promise you safety, prosperity or comfort.
But I can promise you this. One day, your children and grandchildren will ask you: “What did you do when the world was on the edge again? What did you say when the West, Israel and the Jews were blamed again?”
You will look them in the eye and say: I had courage. And on the 24th of Av, I committed to stand with courage… to walk… to march… arm in arm… behind God’s pillar of fire.
Adonai li v’Lo Ira.
Asked for what he thought of Beck’s keynote speech and the “Restoring Courage” event in general, Dan Friedman of Manhattan’s Upper East Side responded, “There can be no reasonable doubt that Glenn Beck is sincere about his love of Israel and the Jewish people. If only some of our so-called Jewish leaders were as outspoken and unequivocal.”
The full text of Beck’s speech can be found here.
Selected portions on video are available here, courtesy of Israpundit (Ted Belman).
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