Op-Ed: Josh Hasten's Take on Beck
Josh HastenThe writer is President of the Bar-Am Public Relations Firm, and author of the recently released children’s book, “Itamar Makes Friends: A Children’s Story of Jewish Brotherhood.”
“As I have walked around the streets (of Israel, ed.), I am truly humbled and disturbed but what people say to me on the streets, and I have never felt anything like it. People will come to me on the streets and will sincerely thank me for saying the truth. They will sincerely look at me, and I get the feeling they are wide awake and they know what’s happening and they know what’s coming in the world… And what’s disturbing about it, is that if a guy just gets on tv or radio and says the truth, if that’s so unusual, Israel and the Western way of life is in grave, grave danger”
Glenn Beck in Israel’s Knesset, July 11, 2011
This past Monday I had the privilege of hearing US media giant Glenn Beck address a special session of the Knesset Immigration and Absorption Committee. Members of Knesset, Knesset advisors, journalists, and other distinguished personalities within the Anglo community were invited to attend the session hosted by MK Danny Dannon.
While some in the United States have labeled Beck a right wing fanatic, including members of the Jewish community, after hearing his talk it would be extremely hard for me to discount Beck’s true affinity for the Jewish state of Israel and its people.
Simply put, Beck gets it. He understands that we are truly in the midst of World War Three and that the worst is still to come. He understands that the battle which rages is a battle between the beliefs, morals, and values of Western Civilization and that of the Islamic death cult committed to the west’s demise. He understands that “as Israel goes, goes the rest of the world.” He understands that Israel is NOT the root cause of Islamic hatred of the West, but rather Israel is viewed as the ‘little Satan’ while the United States is the ‘great Satan’.
To put it simply, Beck understands that this is a battle between good in the world and evil.
While he is no doubt accurate with his assessment Beck’s talk was inundated with justified pessimism, as the paragraph above reflects a sad reality: if the truth is so unusual we are in grave danger.
The ultimate example of this assessment according to Beck is the 9/11 attack on America where the “normalcy bias” got people killed. On that tragic day, Beck says that despite the fact that planes had just missiled into the World Trade Center, some people left their desks to exit the building only to return, shut down their computers, and turn off the lights in their offices.
Those precious seconds, the seconds in which people rationalized that ‘this was an accident’ or that life would somehow return back to normal very shortly after, it was those seconds that cost them their lives, as the building’s stairwells immersed in fiery smoke preventing them from escaping the towering infernos.
Why then? Why is there this normalcy bias, which still remains today? According to Beck, the main culprit is the media. The mainstream media today does not and remains unwilling to tell the truth. While they (the media) have the truth says Beck, “they don’t want to tell it.” Why not? He asks rhetorically.
Doesn’t matter, he says, but the point is “don’t play the game,” referencing the early 1980’s movie ‘War Games’ in which a self-thinking computer hijacks the Pentagon’s network and prepares to convince the US Armed forces to launch its nuclear arsenal against the Soviet Union. The ‘game’, according to Beck, is the main stream media’s concocted reporting, which feeds their interests, whatever they may be, but leaves the public without the truth.
How does one stop ‘playing the game?’ – By seeking the truth. He says we must have the courage to ask questions, to think differently and create new systems and connections and most importantly we must go DIRECTLY to the people thus bypassing the media, in pursuit of the truth.
In this changing world says Beck, “people now have the power to communicate.”
“Truth is the underdog,” he concludes, “and the underdog always wins.”
While Beck was given a resounding applause by those in attendance I do not hesitate to believe that the two dozen or so members of the main stream media pool in attendance might have been somewhat irked throughout Beck’s comments. Nevertheless he did not hold back. He came to Israel to speak his mind and next month he plans to return for his highly anticipated event dubbed “restoring courage.” Beck admits that the idea for this event is his “Abrahamic moment,” in life.
While that revelation in itself might further turn off those who don’t subscribe to Beck’s philosophy, and his forecast of gloom and doom, it is nevertheless somewhat reassuring as a Jew living in Israel to know that there’s a friend out there. Someone who wields a great deal of influence over millions of viewers, listeners, and supporters, someone who flew to Israel and stated resolutely,
“Israel, you are not alone.”