Glenn Beck, FOX News Attacking the Memory and Meaning of the Holocaust

Jan 28 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Glenn Beck

The headline might read “right-wing fundamentalist pisses off Jewish rabbis.”

And throw Rupert Murdoch and FOX News Chief Roger Ailes as well.

Good job, boys!

These guys pretend to be friends of Israel and Judaism but it seems anti-Semitism is never far from the surface.

What started the melee was a three-day defamation extravaganza of holocaust survivor George Soros in which Beck claimed that Mr. Soros only survived by collaborating with the Nazis. Roger Ailes defended him and spoke derisively of “left-wing rabbis.”

Now Jewish Funds for Justice reports that hundreds of rabbis are calling on Murdoch to sanction Beck. And they want an apology from Ailes.

Yesterday, Jewish Funds for Justice announced an open letter to Rupert Murdoch requesting that “Glenn Beck be sanctioned by Fox News for his completely unacceptable attacks on a survivor of the Holocaust and Roger Ailes apologize for his dismissive remarks about rabbis’ sensitivity to how the Holocaust is used on the air.”

From the press release:

Hundreds of rabbis are taking News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch to task in an open letter to be published Thursday in the Wall Street Journal and the Forward, demanding that he sanction Fox News Host Glenn Beck for his repeated perversion of the memory of the Holocaust.  The letter also demands an apology from Fox News Chief Roger Ailes for his characterization of Jewish critics as nothing more than “left-wing rabbis.”

The press release goes on to say that

The letter signed by rabbis from across the United States — including the heads of the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements as well as prominent Orthodox rabbis – accuses Mr. Beck and Mr. Ailes of diminishing the memory and meaning of the Holocaust.

The letter states, “In the charged political climate in the current civic debate, much is tolerated, and much is ignored or dismissed. But you diminish the memory and meaning of the Holocaust when you use it to discredit any individual or organization you disagree with. That is what Fox News has done in recent weeks, and it is not only ‘left-wing rabbis’ who think so.”

Below please find the rabbis’ letter to Rupert Murdoch in its entirety:

January 27, 2011

Dear Mr. Murdoch:

We are rabbis of diverse political views. As part of our work we are devoted to preserving the memory of the Shoah, and to passing its lessons on to our future generations and to all humankind. All of us have vigorously defended the Holocaust’s legacy. We have worked to encourage the responsible invocation of its symbols as a powerful lesson for the future.

We were therefore deeply offended by Roger Ailes’ recent statement attributing the outrage over Glenn Beck’s use of Holocaust and Nazi images to “left-wing rabbis who basically don’t think that anybody can ever use the word, Holocaust, on the air.”

In the charged political climate in the current civic debate, much is tolerated, and much is ignored or dismissed. But you diminish the memory and meaning of the Holocaust when you use it to discredit any individual or organization you disagree with. That is what Fox News has done in recent weeks, and it is not only “left-wing rabbis” who think so.

Abe Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, a child survivor of the Holocaust, described Beck’s attack on George Soros as “not only offensive, but horrific, over-the-top, and out-of-line.” Commentary magazine said that “Beck’s denunciation of him [Soros] is marred by ignorance and offensive innuendo.” Elan Steinberg, vice president of The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, called Mr. Beck’s accusations “monstrous.” Rev. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, called them “beyond repugnant.” And Deborah Lipstadt, professor of Holocaust Studies at Emory University, says Beck is using traditional anti-Semitic imagery.

“I haven’t heard anything like this on television or radio — and I’ve been following this kind of stuff,” Lipstadt said. “I’ve been in the sewers of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial more often than I’ve wanted.”

We share a belief that the Holocaust, of course, can and should be discussed appropriately in the media. But that is not what we have seen at Fox News. It is not appropriate to accuse a 14-year old Jew hiding with a Christian family in Nazi-occupied Hungary of sending his people to death camps. It is not appropriate to call executives of another news agency “Nazis.” And it is not appropriate to make literally hundreds of on-air references to the Holocaust and Nazis when characterizing people with whom you disagree.

It is because this issue has a profound impact on each of us, our families and our communities that we are calling on Fox News to meet the standard it has set for itself: “to exercise the ultimate sensitivity when referencing the Holocaust.”

We respectfully request that Glenn Beck be sanctioned by Fox News for his completely unacceptable attacks on a survivor of the Holocaust and Roger Ailes apologize for his dismissive remarks about rabbis’ sensitivity to how the Holocaust is used on the air.

Related Material on Media Matters:

Jewish Funds For Justice Calls On Murdoch To Fire Beck

Jewish Funds for Justice video calls attention to Beck’s unacceptable rhetoric

Jewish Funds For Justice: 10,000 American Jews Signed Petition Calling On Fox To Fire Beck

Jewish Funds For Justice Campaigns To Keep Beck’s Radio Show Off The Air In NYC Permanently

Jewish Funds for Justice’s Simon Greer: Beck broke his promise to respect the “sensitivity” of the Holocaust

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