Popular and controversial American TV commentator Glenn Beck addressed a gathering of Israeli lawmakers on Monday and won overwhelming praise from nearly everyone present.
Speaking at a meeting of the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee at the invitation of committee chairman MK Danny Danon (Likud), Bech lavished love and praise on the Jewish state.
But, Beck warned that many of Israel's leaders, like his own in America, are either afraid or uninterested in telling the truth.
"We have created a system of politicians who are afraid to tell the truth. Instead they're telling people what they think they want to hear," said Beck, recalling that he mistakenly viewed Israel as a hostile, war-torn nation before actually visiting himself.
Beck made a surprise visit to Jerusalem in May to help Israel celebrate its 63rd Independence Day. He returned to the US with a newfound zeal for Israel's plight and its biblical mandate. But taking that kind of stand for Israel has come at a price.
"I got my first death threat, because I came back and said the truth – the conflict is about the destruction of Israel and the end to the Western way of life," Beck told his new friends in the Knesset.
In the face of such hostility, of such determination to not only discredit, but to bring about Israel's demise, Beck said it is easy to get discouraged or scared.
"What do we do? Tell the truth. Live our lives with honor, and integrity, and have courage," Beck encouraged the Israelis.
On August 24 will host a "Restoring Courage" rally in Jerusalem. He said thousands are expected to attend, including 70 prominent world politicans and four US presidential candidates. Beck said he hopes the event will help the Israelis to see that they are not alone, even if the mainstream media tries to make it out as if they are.
"There are millions of people [who support Israel] that you don't see, because the media doesn't want to tell their story," said Beck.
A string of lawmakers present at the meeting spoke after Beck and thanked their American guest for his unwavering Bible-based support of the Jewish state.
"It isn't a coincidence that you're a religious person [and support Israel]," said Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely, summing up the feelings of her colleagues. "This conflict isn't territorial. If it was, it would have been solved a long time ago."
Hotovely continued: "This is a religious battle led by Islam. We can't ignore this basic truth. It's important that we stand behind a historical truth: We're not just here because of Zionism, but because of the Bible."
Beck reportedly expressed positive surprise to his assistant over how much God and the Bible factor into politics and political debate in Israel.
But not everyone was 100 percent pleased with Beck.
MK Arieh Eldad (National Union) felt Beck wasn't right-wing enough in his political assessements. In particular, Eldad was displeased that Beck said in a later interview with Israel Channel 10 News that he is not necessarily opposed to a Palestinians state.
"I'm not against a Palestinian state. I'm not here for a political solution," Beck said in the interview. "There's something bigger than politics here."
Eldad retorted: "Israel belongs to the Jews. We need to end the occupation - the Muslim occupation of Israel that began 1,300 years ago."
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