From what I can gather from Glenn Beck’s announcement of his August rally in Jerusalem (via Andrew), he is implying that a two-state solution is the work of “the force of darkness” (because such a solution “cuts off Jerusalem, the Old City, to the rest of the world”), he thinks “most people” don’t know who Dietrich Bonhoeffer is, and he seems to believe that his August rally has something in common with Bonhoeffer’s opposition to the Nazi regime. To take the last two points first, Beck has outdone himself here in his declarations of self-importance. Bonhoeffer is probably one of the best-known German theologians of the last century, and his anti-Nazi opposition activities are among the few things that most Americans do know about Christianity in modern Europe. People don’t need Glenn Beck to tell them about Dietrich Bonhoeffer. For his part, Beck is not a Bonhoeffer, and his attempted appropriation of Bonhoeffer is one of the more ludicrous things he has tried to do. What is Beck standing for here? He appears to be standing for the continued mistreatment of an entire nation and the occupation of their land. Somehow I doubt that Bonhoeffer would recognize this as something worth defending.
Joanna Brooks comments on Beck’s end-times fanaticism:
Actually, Mormons may diverge from Hagee on some details of the last days (Mormon theology is usually characterized as premillenialist) but we do read the Book of Revelation. And in Mormon end-times scenarios, we don’t call them “witnesses”: they are described as apostles, or even prophets. Invading armies of Gentiles bent on the destruction of Israel will kill the two apostles, and their murdered bodies will lie dead in the streets of Jerusalem for three days without a decent burial. And then the Mount of Olives will split open. And then Jesus will return. That’s how Beck’s guru, the LDS ultra-conservative Cleon Skousen described it in 1972.
Is Beck making himself out to be a prophet? It wouldn’t be the first time that he danced with prophetic rhetoric. By now, though, we should all know that Beck is less interested in plying his own virtues than in plugging into the fears of his followers. After burning through conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory over the last few years, Beck is looking to wreak havoc in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by exploiting the most powerful fear-generating narrative of them all: the apocalypse.
Joshua Keating wrote elsewhere:
Having support for Israel, as a U.S. political issue, associated with Beck’s brand, can only be a bad thing for the future of the relationship.
It is certainly not good for a healthy U.S.-Israel relationship. Beck’s CUFI allies have been closely identified with Republican “pro-Israel” figures, and John McCain and Joe Lieberman have frequently associated themselves with John Hagee. In other words, support for Israel has been closely connected with people very much like Beck for many years. Hagee has remained relatively unknown, so the embarrassment has been limited. Perhaps Beck’s fame will force some “pro-Israel” Americans to reckon with the tactical alliance they have made with the likes of CUFI.