Sunday, April 20, 2014

Criticism of Glenn Beck's Libya Coverage

Written on March 24th, 2011
Edited in April 2014

   On March 24th, 2011, Glenn Beck did a show about Libya, Israel, and oil. 

   For those who would rather not watch the videos, the main thrust of the episode was:

   1. Cass Sunstein (who holds a position which, for the sake of brevity, can be dubbed the "Regulation Czar") wants to limit American oil drilling in order to make the U.S. more dependent on Middle Eastern oil sources, helping justify intervention in Libya.

   2. George Soros, the nation of Turkey, and Cass Sunstein's wife (Obama foreign policy adviser and genocide scholar Samantha Power) want to compel the United Nations to invade Israel in order to stop its genocide against the Palestinians.

   The following is my criticism of the ideas presented in that episode.
   I disagree with Beck's claim that Egypt’s Mubarak is “pro-Israel”; I think Mubarak is only pro-Israel to the extent to which America paid him to pretend that the Egyptian people don’t desire that the State of Israel disappear. Beck also failed to mention that Mubarak’s Egypt and Netanyahu’s Israel have colluded to cut the Gaza Strip off from the rest of the world. Beck appears to have no interest in expressing concern for the welfare of the Gazan people, and does not seem to want to take the time to point out that not all Muslim peoples share the same political or religious ideology.

   Even though Beck admits that George Soros doesn’t actually like Qadhafi, I think Beck is trying to make connections between Islamosocialism and Western democratic socialism where they don’t necessarily exist. He has been repeating for at least several weeks that they are uniting against Israel and capitalism, and to undermine stability.

   First off, socialism and opposition to Israel do not always go hand-in-hand. In fact, I’ve shown that - in my piece "A Jewish and Democratic State" ( - Zionism itself, the establishment of the State of Israel, and the subsequent half-century of Israeli policy, were profoundly influenced by the socialism of Theodor Herzl and David ben-Gurion, as well as by Leninism, Trotskyism, and, to a lesser extent, Stalinism. This is not to ignore, however, the role which capitalism played in Israel’s development; for example, Jabotinsky, Weizmann, and Netanyahu are examples of Zionist figures whom have not completely opposed right-wing economics.

   But I would be shocked if any American Democrat turned out to be an anti-Zionist, rather than simply, at worst, a harsh critic of Israeli policy. I would also be surprised if any Democrat, even one who describes himself as a socialist, actually technically qualified as a Marxist or even as a person who completely opposes free-market capitalism.

   I feel like Beck is trying to characterize all Muslims as socialist, anti-Israel, and pro-Caliphate. I’m not claiming that Beck explicitly said that, but I feel like he is trying to imply it.

   First of all, not all Middle Eastern regimes oppose capitalism; Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the U.A.E. come to mind. Second, not all Muslims are anti-Israel, such as the Muslims who are members of the Israeli parliament. Third, not all Muslims are pro-Caliphate; Qadhafi is a Muslim (albeit not a traditional Muslim by any stretch of the imagination), and as far as I know, he has never expressed interest in bringing about a Caliphate. Qadhafi claims that supporters of al-Qaeda and bin Laden are among his opponents, and they would be more likely to want to bring about a Caliphate than would Qadhafi, whom has expressed interest in being the leader of an African Union.

   I resent that Beck called a group of Palestinians who murdered an Israeli family “terrorists”. They did not blow themselves up in a crowded public Israeli area, nor did they launch missiles towards Israelis. Thus, they are murderers, not “terrorists”. I also resent Beck’s characterization that Samantha Power (whose last name he didn’t even get right once) desires that the U.N. protect Palestinians “against Israel”, rather than “from Israel”. Beck also failed to mention that Cass Sunstein himself is Jewish.

   Beck rejected the idea that Israel’s policy against the Palestinians has been one of ethnic cleansing which could lead to a holocaust, but throughout the history of Israel, the rate of Arab-to-Jew deaths has been about 2 1/2 - to - 1. In the most recent major conflict, the strike on Gaza in early 2009, the ratio was at least 100-to-1. Furthermore, there is rampant housing discrimination against Muslims in Jerusalem, the West Bank has become an archipelago of communities isolated from one another and from natural resources, and the Gaza Strip has been repeatedly referred to as a concentration camp by scholars worldwide.

   If what has been slowly happening in Israel throughout the last 65 years can be rightfully labeled “ethnic cleansing”, this “atrocity” is currently nowhere near as deadly as it has been at any time throughout the last two years. I don’t think Turkey has enough international clout to get the U.N. to invade Israel, and I don’t think an America, whether run by Democrats or Republicans, would ever consent to, or participate in, a U.N. “invasion” of Israel in order to stop this “genocide”.

   Additionally, Beck said that Turkey has been arming Gaza, which I wouldn't doubt is true, but he did not mention the role which Turkey has played in negotiating a limited truce between Gazans and Israelis. Admittedly, that happened just today, but I would be surprised if Beck mentions it in his shows next week, because it doesn’t support his argument.

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