Barakeh: Glenn Beck rally could spark violence

Far-right Glenn Beck’s Restoring Courage rally at the Southern Wall excavations site next Wednesday could spark a conflagration of violence in Jerusalem, Hadash chairman and activists warned Wednesday.

The Jerusalem mass rally will be the central event of the American broadcaster’s three-night attempt to “demonstrate to Israel and the world that the Jewish state does not stand alone”.  “There are enough racists in Israel without importing them from the US,” Hadash chairman MK Muhammad Barakeh said.

“The lessons from Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount apparently haven’t been learned. This event isn’t for building coexistence, but to spark fires in a sensitive location ahead of the United Nations vote on a Palestinian state in September. There is a danger that the event will lead to people being harmed, and the police should have prevented it,” Barakeh added.

According to MK Dov Khenin (Hadash), Beck “is a bizarre, conservative, neo-fascist comedian who is motivated by a hatred of the Left and Arabs.” Hadash accused MK Danny Danon (Likud), who is involved in Beck’s event, of “dancing to Beck’s flute-playing and rejoicing to every outrageous word against Arabs and Muslim.”

“There is a message [in the location] – especially to come to the City of David, that’s close to Al-Aksa and other Muslim holy sites and the Western Wall – it says a lot,” said to journalists Mura’d Shafa, a member of the Palestinian Popular Committee of Al-Bustan, one of the neighborhoods in Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem. “I don’t know him, but I know one thing: this area belongs to all the religions.”

Glenn Beck, an American far right-wing talk-show host currently visiting Israel, compared the Israeli protesters demanding social justice to communists in his show this week. The conservative pundit, who left Fox News in June of this year, scoffed at the protesters’ list of demands, comparing many of their calls for increased social benefits to those of the former Soviet Union. When he heard that the protest leaders were calling for higher taxation for the Israeli bourgeoisie, Beck laughed derisively, saying “ah, hate the rich.”

Beck then went on to suggest that the housing crisis could be solved by simply building up “empty land” in the Palestinian West Bank. The right-wing commentator emphasized that the area, biblically referred to as “Judea and Samaria”, is “Judea – like Jews”. The commentator said that “Judea and Samaria” is the contested territory’s real name, not the occupied West Bank.

Beck continued to poke holes in the “extreme left” protesters’ demands calling for decreased privatization of health care, free education and an increase in minimum wage.