The Israeli left is none too happy about the fact that broadcaster Glenn Beck is planning a huge rally for Jerusalem in August. But it seems that it’s not only the left that has become concerned about the marriage of convenience between the controversial American conservative and Israelis — it’s also some on the Israeli right.
Moshe Feiglin is the leader of the Manhigut Yehudit (“Jewish Leadership”) faction within the ruling Likud party, which tries to move Likud further to the right. He’s a force to be reckoned with — in the leadership race ahead of the last general election, Benjamin Netanyahu, now Prime Minister then party leader, fought hard to stop him from posing a challenge. “The problem is that the most loyal Jewish public is giving him its support without thoroughly checking his message,” Feiglin argued in a recent op-ed. “They are unwittingly abetting a very gentle and heartwarming type of modern crusade.”
Feiglin’s objection is that Beck, who visited Jerusalem earlier this month, does not just praise and support Israel based on its importance to Jews, but he is also stressing the importance to Christians (Beck is a Mormon). For Feiglin, emphasizing its significance to Christians is akin to undermining its Jewishness. “As long as Glenn Beck and his friends support Israel from the outside, understanding that your nation is your nation and my nation is my nation; that your god is your god and my G-d is my G-d, all is well and good and it is important to cooperate with them,” he wrote. “But when it turns out that the agenda is actually replacement theology; a theology that aims to bring waves of Christian aliyah here and to use the Jewish renaissance in Israel as a springboard to a Christian renaissance – I cannot lend it the legitimacy of Manhigut Yehudit.”
In a recent visit here Beck declared to Israelis: “I am with you.” Feiglin is convinced he meant something more sinister. “Apparently, the real meaning of his words is ‘I am replacing you,’” he wrote.