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Monday, August 22, 2011

Beck's Caesaria rally impresses

Perhaps the biggest thing that can be said about Glenn Beck's Caesaria rally on Sunday night is that even Haaretz was impressed.

But Haaretz can wait. Let's go to the videotape. Then we can go to Haaretz.

It all seemed carefully scripted, even down to the screens with lyrics of the Hebrew songs transcribed in English. The determination to stand by Israel and the devotion to the Jewish State was palpable, and oft declared.

Like Woodstock and Glastonbury, the headline name came last, and unlike Riskin et al, Pastor John Hagee got a standing ovation the moment he strode onto the stage. The most vehement of the speakers, he drew an analogy with JFK and his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, when he announced "Ani Yisraeli" (I am an Israeli ). He then coaxed the crowd into repeating his mantra: "I am an Israeli!" they chanted over and over.

And the evening closed with words of wisdom from the host: "We bring truth, we bring peace, we bring support, we bring comfort," Beck said of his reason for bringing his roadshow to Israel as he closed off the evening. "Let the Jewish people know, no matter what our governments may say, we are not our governments, we stand with you."

But ultimately, this was just a warm-up for Wednesday night, when around 2,000 people will join Glenn in a sold-out event at the Davidson Center in Jerusalem.

Wednesday night's event will "issue a challenge to all citizens of the world to stand with and declare their support for Israel," the handout distributed at the beginning of the evening stated.
Yisrael Medad, who was there, adds:
I would approximate that there were about 300 kippah-wearing Jews there or more. I was with Sondra Baras of CFOIC and her husband, Shosh Shiloh of Kedumim, David Bedin and his wife from Efrat, Stuart Palmer and his wife from Haifa's ICAN & CoHaV, David HaIvri and his wife of the Samaria Liason Office, Helen Frieedman of AFSI, Martin Sherman and many other including Zalmi from the UK and Toby Willig.

There was controversy when some Rabbis had demanded that residents from the yishuivim abstain from the event. One of the Rabbis who blessed the event, Aryeh A. Leifert, it seems, was Facebook threatened. Beck has had trouble from American Rabbis before.

But there was nothing to be uncomforatble about and afterwards, I made a point of walking around and asking.

This has the potential of marking the real beginning of the turnabout of Israel's political and diplomatic isolation on matters of morality in world affairs.
Barry Rubin - who was not there - adds:
The call for support of Israel comes at a critical moment. In addition to the terrorist attack on the Egypt-Israel border and a foiled kidnapping attempt in Bersheva, more than 100 rockets struck Israel over the weekend. Three longer-range Grad missiles were shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome system which passed its first series test in combat conditions.

At an emergency meeting of the Israeli parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, committee, Shaul Mofaz, a retired general and the number-two leader of the center-left Kadima Party, called for Israel to hit Hamas hard in order to “topple their infrastructures and create a system of ties with Egypt in order to prevent terrorism coming from its border.”

The international crisis is overshadowing the social protest movement in Israel, another reminder that national defense spending inevitably trumps housing and other needs, a matter of guns over kosher butter. The build-up of forces and installations on Israel’s southern front is going to be costly.

Under ordinary conditions, Israel would be gearing up for at least a heavy round of airstrikes against Hamas military installations, rocket factories, and the like. But there’s a new factor in the equation and Hamas knows it.

Within Egypt the old anti-Israel hysteria is building again. An Egyptian who took down the flag from Israel’s embassy—located in an ordinary apartment building—has become a national hero. Speaking live on al-Jazira television, he said, “Millions of Arabs want to pull that flag….This is a message to Israel that we can send millions of martyrs for the good of our country,” he said. A mob burned the flag, chanting, “The path to Jerusalem leads through Cairo.”

One “liberal” activist remarked, “After the revolution people don’t believe there should be concessions to an apartheid regime and what he did was take action in reshaping the official stance.”


The problem is that despite so many examples in the past—from the Iranian revolution’s hostage-taking to suicide bombers and September 11—many in the West still don’t believe that Middle East revolutionaries—Islamist, leftist, and radical nationalist—believe it when they say this kind of thing. They are not merely interested in material gain, higher living standards, and democracy. And the brave minority that doesn’t go along with this world view gets trampled.

By the way, note what name was not even mentioned by Beck.



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