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Rabbis Want Glenn Beck, Roger Ailes to Stop Fox News' Holocaust Comparisons

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A coalition of some 400 rabbis has published an open letter to Fox News Channel owner Rupert Murdoch, calling on the media mogul to discipline Roger Ailes, president of Fox News, and Glenn Beck, the cable channel's incendiary and popular host, for exploiting the Holocaust in their comments.

In particular they were upset over Beck's attacks on liberal magnate George Soros and Jewish leaders.

"We share a belief that the Holocaust, of course, can and should be discussed appropriately in the media," the rabbis write in the letter, which appears Thursday as an advertisement in The Wall Street Journal -- also owned by Murdoch. "But that is not what we have seen at Fox News."

A spokesman for the group that organized the letter initiative, Jewish Funds for Justice, said the ad cost $100,000. Earlier this month the group organized a letter-writing campaign asking Murdoch to remove Beck from the air. Soros has in the past donated to Jewish Funds for Justice.

In a comment to Reuters, a Fox News executive dismissed the coalition of rabbis as "a George Soros-backed left-wing political organization that has been trying to engage Glenn Beck primarily for publicity purposes."

Using the Holocaust and the Nazi label against one's opponents seems to have become a staple of political discourse in recent years, and that has discomfited many Jews -- who note that the analogies are wildly out of proportion to the historical facts, and that they dishonor the 6 million Jews exterminated by the Nazi campaign of genocide.

But Fox, and Glenn Beck in particular, have made Holocaust-era language a touchstone in programming.

In their letter, the rabbis note that Beck has made "literally hundreds of on-air references to the Holocaust and Nazis when characterizing people with whom he disagrees"; he compares American leaders he does not like to Nazis; and has said putting the "common good" first leads to "death camps."

But the rabbis said that the letter was sparked by Beck's three-part program in November about billionaire philanthropist Soros, who is Jewish and grew up in Nazi-occupied Hungary and is a favorite target of conservative pundits.

"And George Soros used to go around with this anti-Semite and deliver papers to the Jews and confiscate their property and then ship them off," Beck said on one of the programs. "And George Soros was part of it. He would help confiscate the stuff. It was frightening. Here's a Jewish boy helping send Jews to the death camps."

(Soros has said that he hid with a Christian family to escape the Nazis, and that he was present when his so-called godfather inventoried property confiscated from Jews who had been deported.)

Also last November, after National Public Radio fired Juan Williams (who is also a Fox commentator) for his admission of bias against Muslims, Ailes reacted by telling The Daily Beast that NPR executives "are, of course, Nazis. They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism."

He later apologized to the Anti-Defamation League but not to NPR. Ailes had also defended Beck's frequent use of Nazi references to describe his political opponents and chalked up any opposition to "left-wing rabbis who basically don't think that anybody can ever use the word 'Holocaust' on the air."

The rabbis signing the letter include the heads of the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements as well as prominent Orthodox rabbis.

"In the charged political climate in the current civic debate, much is tolerated, and much is ignored or dismissed," their letter says. "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."

Thursday is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, an observance established by the United Nations in 2005.

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anniec18ma

Glenn Beck is one man tht has informed the people of what has happened in the past
and who was responsible for it. The Holocost, George Sorros, will be long remembered for the loss of human lives. Glenn Beck 's staff has researched all that is spoken about on his program. We have been enriched by his revealing of the facts and it's impact on human beings. He is outspoken not to be unkind but to
remind the people of how little human lives are not valued by those that made this
happen. George Sorros is a man of great strength and many connections in order to 'have Glenn Beck removed from the air. George Sorros your image that you want
people to believe about you is one things, however, the opinions that you have expressed don't match . The words spoken by you show what you are about. You want a New World Order which you support not for the people's good because of the
wealth that would be yours. People need to be done away with according to your
belief, after all, they only want money in order to survive and that would take what you want for your own survival. Glenn Beck will reveal more about what is really happening and how it will effect us all. God Bless Glenn Beck.
anniec18ma

February 12 2011 at 6:29 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
joeyalphabet62

It's time for any group anywhere of any type to be done responding to Beck's idiotic rants.

Beck's never going to change; he loves vilifying, he loves conspiracy, he loves character assassination. He loves intellectual rape.

Let him rant on. And let's all the rest of us - the reasonable people who think for themselves and see through his circus nonsense - go on past him and let him fade into the past where he belongs.

January 29 2011 at 1:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ajcook111

FOX NEWS give Glenn Beck a platform to spread misinformation and vitriol. His anti semitic and anti minority rants should not be tolerated by FOX NEWS or any other TV or radio station.

January 28 2011 at 1:54 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
trb2244

There are two levels of Nazis referred to in public discourse: The criminals who carried out the "final solution" under Hitler and Himmler were in fact a separate group from the German armed forces, diplomatic corps, and German civilians who were party members during WWII. The latter groups were well known for their prissy, over-controlling, account-for-every-penny-and-grain-of-sand mentality, as well as their slavish regard for regulations and bureaucracy. American commentators have long used the latter groups for comparison and contrast: remember both "Stalag 17" and "Hogan's Heroes"? How about "The Great Escape"?(actually based on Paul Brickhill's books: he was a downed RAF officer, as I recall.)

My point, however, is that not every reference to a "Nazi" is a reference to the Holocaust. We have "smoking nazis", Seinfeld's "Soup Nazi", "feminazis" and a host of other such refernces. I confess I've never seen Glenn Beck on t.v. but I think this group of rabbis ought to be very careful in their criticism, lest their own acts do what they accuse the right of doing: that is, cheapen the memory of what truly was a ferocious, almost inconcievable reign of terror.

January 28 2011 at 12:54 PM Report abuse -9 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to trb2244's comment
Patty

Soros was born jewish but is an admitted....atheist. All these rabbis are left wing - Soros is an admitted collaborator during WWII and says he is not sorry about it either...but it was fun. That cannot be more explicit. Soros sent representative to Beck personally to shut him up, helped to dry up sponsors on Beck's program...and now is trying this. He doesn't want his tactics exposed to the public...I read about Soros...he is no friend to anyone other than himself and is evil in my opinion.

January 28 2011 at 8:31 AM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Patty's comment
Charlie

Patty, I'm wondering when you interviewed these rabbis in order to determine that they are "left wing." What do you know about their positions on small government? On economics? Tell me, which of these rabbis have you actual knowledge of their positions on economic issues?

January 28 2011 at 9:35 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Charlie

"An admitted collaborator" with whom?

January 28 2011 at 9:36 AM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply
howwil

It has been said that if fascism ever comes to America, it will be in the guise of anti-fascism. When Glenn Beck and the other talking heads (left wing ones too, if you like) come off their perches and engage in public debate with those with whom they disagree, and when they do it on a regular basis with a moderator present to prevent foul language and accusations, then I will believe that Fox News is serious about the free exchange of ideas. As it is, I cannot see Fox being a serious news organization. Glenn Beck never has to answer his critics the way a politician might, or the way someone in a courtroom would.

January 28 2011 at 6:18 AM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to howwil's comment
ettu

The Leftists know they cannot successfully rebut what Glenn Beck says. They are either not smart enough, or their lies would be transparent, therefore, they will not challenge.

January 28 2011 at 9:15 AM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
danapark71

I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat. I think there is no difference between the two. Both are Socialist parties its just a matter of how fast you get there. I think the holocaust was terrible event in history but lets not forget the massacres that go on daily in Africa and as some one else mentioed the Serbs and Albanians and the Turks and Armenians. There have been several cases of horrific genocide throughout history but for some reason I guess its worse to kill Jews than any other group. Perhaps because Soros is a rich Jew who has much say in the media that makes it worse to kill Jews than hutsis and tutsis and Serbs and Albanians etc. Soros is a Zionist and has little regard for anyone who is not a Jew. It's troubling and infuriating and he should be lambasted not Fox news who are a bunch of neocons passing themselves off as right wingers. I am a right winger and rarely agree with the neocon BS that is spewed on Fox. They need people like Alex Jones and a few like him to get at the real truth.

January 28 2011 at 6:10 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
boundinglory

the very justified motto: "Never Again" is not simply a catch phrase, but a guiding reminder to be always vigilant . . . the holocaust didn't just happen out of pure air, it happened because political climate formed sociology that allowed, enabled and even encouraged it to happen . . . so to be vigilant that it never happen again, comparissons and analolgies will now always be made to make people think and be a ware as to where a politic is or may be heading down the road in time. to silence a free voice which believes (correctly or incorrectly0 that it is trying to accomplish that awareness would be chilling . . it would give such possibly disasrous polictics and policies a free ride/free reign which just possibly might bring about the very thing we cry "Never Again" about. let speech be free and honest and direct . . . if it offends, maybe that feeling of being offended is misdirected and the speaker rather than at those he /they speak about. i do agree: Never Again! not anywhere . . . and never here.

January 28 2011 at 6:08 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to boundinglory's comment
ettu

I rarely, if ever, see the Jewish community stand up in force to decry the genocide that takes place around the world. They want us to continue to believe that the Holocaust was the most vicious attack on one ethnic group to ever occur on this globe. It was horrific, but it continues to happen. "Never again" does not seem to apply to all groups.

January 28 2011 at 9:17 AM Report abuse -13 rate up rate down Reply
cfriverdog

@ettu Your comment reflects lack of research. For one thing, of whom do you speak when you use the term "The Jewish community" In the U.S. there are many different Jewish communities sharing very different sets of values, beliefs, origins and concerns. Groups like The Jewish Funds for Justice have a mission to support social justice projects in underserved U.S. communities of all ethnicities and religions. Many Jews and Jewish organizations have been active in anti-genocide campaigns in the Sudan and elsewhere. Some Jews act via secular, ecumenical, multicultural organizations like Amnesty International or other NGOs. Once you fall into the trap of generalizing about "The Jewish community" as a monolithic entity, then you have to do the same for "The Left-Handed community" or, as in the famous parable, "The Bicycle Riders"

January 31 2011 at 7:00 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
GREENS

You leftist are all the same. It's always about feelings and emotions, never any logic. Where was the uproar when Rep. Cohen was going on about nazis and the holocaust? There wasn't any except on Fox. Where were the rabbis when Cohen was calling republicans nazis? It's always the fair thing to do, to bash the Right. They're the haters and the left just want justice and peace. Maybe they're right. I do hate, the liberals and the left, because all they do is piss and moan about everything.

January 28 2011 at 4:07 AM Report abuse -11 rate up rate down Reply
calf4ever

I loved it when people talk about something they don't know anything about. You just "hear" things and join in. I bet most of these people have Never listened or watched Glenn Beck. You might watch the "clips" on Media Matters and that's it.
Sad ... watch a week of the show and then come back and make real comments. I at least tried to listen to Air America and try to watch MSNBC to make my Own choices not just listen to the hype and join in.

January 28 2011 at 2:56 AM Report abuse -9 rate up rate down Reply

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