Daily Israel Report

‘Beck Responsa’: Whose Courage Is He Restoring?

Glenn Beck is in Israel, and everyone loves him or hates him. A ‘response to a response” questions whose faith he is restoring.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 8/24/2011, 11:25 AM

Beck in a visit to Gush Etzion
Beck in a visit to Gush Etzion
Flash 90

One thing is for sure about Glenn Beck in Israel. Everyone loves him or hates him. A ‘response to a response” questions whose faith he is restoring.

Mina Fenton, a former Jerusalem city councilwoman and fervent opponent to “evangelist Christians,” told Arutz Sheva that a defense of his appearance by nationalist David Ha’Ivri has a connection with Ha'Ivri's  being “beholden to evangelists and the Christian Right.”

“There is not such a being such as a believing Christian who does not follow his testament demand that he must bring the Word of His Messiah,” she stated. “It has to be understood that the meaning of Christian Bible Believers is believing in the New Testament and the Tanach (Bible) according to Christian interpretation.”

Ha’Ivri told Arutz Sheva earlier this week that Glenn Beck is a “unique Gentile” who loves Israel and Jews and that this hysterical rant is embarrassing and potentially damaging to Israel.” His comments followed Fenton’s original statements on Arutz Sheva that “holding a Christian event near the southern wall will help in strengthening the Christian ‘Returning to Zion’ project….They actually say that this area belongs to them.”

Beck is holding a “Restoring Courage” rally below the Temple Mount at the southern wall on Wednesday afternoon.

Fenton said Wednesday that Beck is “super media star" whose broadcasts make clear his Christian messages, besides his pro Israel claims.

“Beck's choice for the location of his historic event is derived from his Christian faith and his Christian truth. He did not choose it because of its importance to the Jewish People, a sensitive Holy place to us," according to Fenton.

“Beck wanted to give to his Christian listeners the spiritual uplift and about this special place where ‘Jesus acted.’ Whose courage is Beck restoring?”

Beck’s rallies in Jerusalem on Wednesday underscored the controversy raging for more than 20 years among rabbis and lay people over accepting financial support from pro-Zionist Christians. There is a near total consensus among the rabbis that the political and ideological support is important and necessary for Israel, an embattled country that is increasingly isolated. The concept of "gentile righteous" in WWII was for acts of lifesaving, often life threatening for  the non-Jew. The controversy is over financial aid, which many feel might have strings attached and might result in undue influence on poor families receiving it.

The debate between Ha’Ivri and Fenton, who feels that any support may have strings attached and that there is no justification for giving the floor to Christians in Israel, leaves the issue up in the air, each one quoting different rabbinical sources.