What follows is the Wall Street Journal full-page ad of an open letter from the Jewish Funds for Justice and signed by 400 rabbis calling on Fox News to sanction commentator Glenn Beck for his “over-the-top” attacks on George Soros. Kudos to Simon Greer and Mik Moore of Jewish Funds for Justice on this initiative.
George Soros, who as a child in Hungary survived the Holocaust by living with a non-Jewish family “used to go around with this anti-Semite and deliver papers to the Jews and confiscate their property and then ship them off. And George Soros was part of it. He would help confiscate the stuff. It was frightening. Here’s a Jewish boy helping send the Jews to the death camps.”
November 11, 2010
There are some “left-wing rabbis who basically don’t think that anyone can use the word ‘Holocaust’ on the air.”
November 16, 2010
“[NPR] are, of course, Nazis. They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left-wing of Nazism.”
November 17, 2010
Rabbis to Rupert Murdoch: ‘Sanction Glenn Beck’
An open letter on the occasion of UN Holocaust Remembrance Day
January 27, 2011 – Dear Mr. Murdoch, We are rabbis of diverse political views. As part of our work, we are devoted to preserving the memory of the Shoah, and to passing its lessons on to our future generations and to all humankind. All of us have vigorously defended the Holocaust’s legacy. We have worked to encourage the responsible invocation of its symbols as a powerful lesson for the future.
We were therefore deeply offended by Roger Ailes’ recent statement attributing the outrage over Glenn Beck’s use of Holocaust and Nazi images to “left-wing rabbis who basically don’t think that anybody can ever use the word ‘Holocaust’ on the air.”
In the charged political climate in the current civic debate, much is tolerated, and much is ignored or dismissed. But you diminish the memory and meaning of the Holocaust when you use it to discredit any individual or organization you disagree with. That is what Fox News has done in recent weeks, and it is not only “left-wing rabbis” who think so.
Abe Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, a child survivor of the Holocaust, described Beck’s attack on George Soros as “not only offensive, but horrific, over-the-top, and out-of-line.” Commentary Magazine said that “Beck’s denunciation of him [Soros] is marred by ignorance and offensive innuendo.” Elan Steinberg, vice president of The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, called Mr. Beck’s accusations “monstrous.” Rev. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, called them “beyond repugnant.” And Deborah Lipstadt, professor of Holocaust Studies at Emory University, says Beck is using traditional anti-Semitic imagery.
“I haven’t heard anything like this on television or radio — and I’ve been following this kind of stuff,” Lipstadt said. “I’ve been in the sewers of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial more often than I’ve wanted.”
We share a belief that the Holocaust, of course, can and should be discussed appropriately in the media. But that is not what we have seen at Fox News. It is not appropriate to accuse a 14-year-old Jew hiding with a Christian family in Nazi-occupied Hungary of sending his people to death camps. It is not appropriate to call executives of another news agency “Nazis.” And it is not appropriate to make literally hundreds of on-air references to the Holocaust and Nazis when characterizing people with whom you disagree.
It is because this issue has a profound impact on each of us, our families and our communities that we are calling on Fox News to meet the standard it has set for itself: “to exercise the ultimate sensitivity when referencing the Holocaust.” We respectfully request that Glenn Beck be sanctioned by Fox News for his completely unacceptable attacks on a survivor of the Holocaust and that Roger Ailes apologize for his dismissive remarks about rabbis’ sensitivity to how the Holocaust is used on the air.
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
Vice President, American Jewish University, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies
Rabbi Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus
President, Central Conference of American Rabbis
Rabbi Dan Ehrenkrantz
President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
Rabbi Daniel Nevins
Dean, Jewish Theological Seminary Rabbinical School
Rabbi Yael Ridberg
President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Rabbi Steven Wernick
Executive Vice President, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie
President, Union for Reform Judaism
All organizations are listed for informational purposes only.
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