From THINK PROGRESS :
In a Washington Post op-ed last month, Simon Greer — the president and CEO of Jewish Funds for Justice, an organization that helps people achieve social and economic security by investing in healthy neighborhoods — bluntly rebuked Glenn Beck for his war against social justice.
“Mr. Beck, you are a con man and America is not buying it,” Greer wrote. “When churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship across this country advocate for social justice, advocate for the common good, advocate for America, they, and we, walk in God’s path.”
Yesterday on his radio station, Beck responded the only way he knows how — with hyperbolic, extreme rhetoric referencing Nazi imagery. Beck said that Greer’s advocacy for the common good and social justice “leads to death camps.” “A Jew, of all people, should know that,” Beck added. “This is exactly the kind of talk that led to the death camps in Germany.”
Just last month, Beck was deploring the use of Nazi comparisons when invoked to describe the anti-immigrant Arizona law. “You’re out of your mind!” Beck said of those drawing such parallels. But as many have noted, throwing out Nazi comparisons is specialty of Beck’s. Mocking Beck’s Nazi obsession, Comedy Central’s Lewis Black commented, “Glenn Beck has Nazi Tourette’s.”
From JEWISH FUNDS FOR JUSTICE:
For several months, Jewish Funds for Justice has been actively engaging those who present scapegoats and demagoguery in response to the problems Americans face. Instead of pointing fingers, we prefer to point to solutions. Here are some examples of how we’ve engaged and responded to those we oppose.
In March, JFSJ President and CEO Simon Greer asked what solutions the Tea Party actually provides. He asked:
The desire of those facing challenges to get involved in civic life is heartening. I’m not concerned by increased engagement in politics or more passionate voices participating in the public conversation. Pam acted in the best tradition of citizenship.
But when Pam joined the Tea Party, her passion, fueled by her son’s financial problems, was abused and misdirected. The Tea Party’s answers will not help her family or strengthen our country. In response to legitimate concerns about our political and economic systems, the Tea Party’s leaders offer only scapegoats and conspiracy theories.
Later that month, JFSJ launched Haik U Glenn Beck, an innovative website that engaged thousands of people in a unique protest: responding with haiku to Beck’s vituperative statements about the role of religion. The project culminated in the world’s first “Twitterstorm”, sending one haiku a minute to Beck over Twitter.
We followed this success in the middle of April with a column from Simon in the Post‘s “On Faith” column titled, “Government is essential to quest for social justice”. From that essay:
Mr. Beck, you are a con man and America is not buying it. I exhort you to stop bottling your ideological agenda and labeling it “theology.” Americans deserve and demand better.
Recently, Mr. Beck responded, in his own inimitable fashion:
BECK: God is truth. And he lights a fire. God changes hearts. God goes directly to your heart. Government goes directly to your wallet.”
Government makes our country function. To put God first is to put humankind first. To put humankind first is to put the common good first.””
This leads to death camps. A Jew, of all people, should know that. This is exactly the kind of talk that led to the death camps in Germany. Put humankind and the common good first.
Our response was simple:
This morning, on his nationally syndicated radio program, Tea Party hero Glenn Beck lambasted me for writing, in a Washington Post op-ed, that “to put God first is to put humankind first, and to put humankind first is to put the common good first.” Beck responded by claiming that putting the common good first “leads to death camps.”
Glenn Beck has a history recklessly invoking Nazi Germany and the Holocaust in order to advance his political agenda. Most Jews in the United States share our belief in the role of the common good in society. With his comments today, Beck is essentially accusing millions of Jews , “ including survivors of the Holocaust and their children and grandchildren,“ of paving the way for fascism.
I submit that Jews have a better idea of what causes fascism than Glenn Beck.
Beck’s reflexive hatred for government is not shared by many Jews, who have seen the powerful role government can play in providing Americans with greater freedom, security, and opportunity. I am proud of the work we do at Jewish Funds for Justice, where our belief that we are all made in the image of the divine compels us to petition private enterprise, charities, and yes, the government, to do their part to ensure our shared divinity.
From the American Jewish Committee:
May 29, 2010 — New York — AJC sharply criticized FOX News commentator Glenn Beck for his verbal assault on Jewish Fund for Justice Director Simon Greer, and urged him to use his program to apologize for invoking Nazi and Holocaust imagery.
“Glenn Beck’s assertion on his radio program that Simon Greer’s advocacy for social justice ‘leads to death camps’ is outrageous and inexcusable,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris.
“We agree with Simon that Beck unconscionably crossed the line by invoking Nazi and Holocaust imagery to advance his political agenda,” said Harris. “Exploiting the most painful and tragic period of the twentieth century diminishes Holocaust victims and survivors, and cheapens the millions of Americans who sacrificed their lives to defend our nation’s cherished values and to defeat Hitler.”