Glenn Beck fuels tension in Israel By Jamshid Ghazi Askar, Deseret News
Glenn Beck stirred up controversy Wednesday with his pro-Jewish comments during the final event of his "Restoring Courage" tour of Israel.
"Conservative Christian commentator Glenn Beck capped a contentious visit to Israel Wednesday by hosting a rally next to a hotly disputed holy site in Jerusalem's Old City," the Associated Press reported. "But religious figures and left-wing politicians have come together in an unusual alliance appealing to Israelis to shun his embrace. Religious Jews are worried he is here to spread the Christian gospel, while dovish Israelis reject Beck's support for West Bank Jewish settlements and his criticism of peace efforts."
Earlier Wednesday, The Daily Beast published a piece that gives context to Beck's trek to Israel.
"For the last year or so," The Daily Beast reported, "Beck has been transforming himself from a political commentator to an unlikely religious leader, a Mormon who has mastered the style and idiom of evangelical Christianity. 'Restoring Courage' marks the completion of his evolution into a messianic preacher. It's a multiday Israeli extravaganza set to culminate Wednesday evening with a rally beside the southern wall of Jerusalem's Temple Mount, all devoted to showing solidarity with the most hawkish elements in Israeli society."
The Deseret News published an op-ed article Monday by Mark Paredes, a former U.S. diplomat to Israel, which analyzes the significance of Beck's trip.
"Israel is not just a pawn on Beck's eschatological chessboard," Paredes wrote. "While the Mormons I know are not nearly as obsessed with end-times theology as many other Christians, Beck clearly believes that he has been called on a divine mission to enlighten the world before the end comes."