Beck and Brits at Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend

Last week (19-20 November) the David Horowitz Freedom Center held its 2011 “Restoration Weekend”. Reports from the event contain no surprises: the speakers were as expected, and the rhetoric predictable. The highlight appears to have been an address by Glenn Beck, who warned about the “dark, evil stuff” of the Occupy movement – he was introduced in gushing terms by Horowitz:

Until Glenn Beck came along, ex-radicals like myself were endlessly frustrated by conservatives’ refusal to look at history, refusal to connect the dots, refusal to understand that these are not idealists, but dedicated anti-capitalist, anti-liberty and anti-American crusaders who number in the millions; that they are financed by anti-American billionaires, like George Soros?; and leftwing foundations, billionaire foundations, like the Tides Foundation and the Ford Foundation; and communist unions, like the SEIU; and criminal organizations, like ACORN; and that they are part of an international socialist Left which supports our Islamist enemies in the Middle East and Asia.

The British end was represented by Baroness Cox, Douglas Murray, and James Delingpole – Delingpole attempted a write-up at the Spectator, but after the first couple of paragraphs he descends into a generic rant against against the evils of liberals and moderate conservatives (the latter denounced as “cowardly, loathsome ideological sell-outs”).

Last year’s event included a special award for Pamela Geller, although she doesn’t appear to have been present this time.

Beck followed up his Restoration Weekend gig with a showing at the Zionist Organization of America’s annual dinner, alongside Michele Bachmann, where he received the Dr. Miriam & Sheldon Adelson Defender of Israel Award and was praised in a video message from Netanyahu. The JTA, however, was more circumspect:

As for Beck, who was introduced by billionaire businessman-philanthropist and Netanyahu-backer Sheldon Adelson, he is arguably the most polarizing media figure in Jewish life. Hundreds of liberal rabbis signed a letter in January asking that he be sanctioned for “completely unacceptable” use of the Holocaust and Nazi imagery. He has urged his listeners to quit their church or synagogue if “social justice” is part of its mission. And in a two-part series that accused left-wing financier and Jewish Holocaust survivor George Soros of collaborating with the Nazis, Beck flirted with what some critics saw as anti-Semitic conspiracies of Jewish control of media and finance.

Occasionally Beck has apologized — as he did after he compared Reform rabbis to Islamists — and then gone on to offend again.