Glenn Beck hosts rally in Old City

Former Fox TV personality Glenn Beck capped a contentious visit to Israel Aug. 24 by hosting a rally next to a hotly disputed holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Hundreds of supporters, including Israeli politicians, were on hand to hear Beck on the final leg of his four-day “Restoring Courage” tour. A small group of protesters held banners saying “Glenn Beck, go home.”

Beck’s unabashedly pro-Israel, anti-Muslim rhetoric has endeared him to some on Israel’s far right. But religious figures and left-wing politicians have come together in an unusual alliance appealing to Israelis to shun his embrace.

The Old City rally was held next to the compound known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

Beck made an earlier appearance at the ancient Roman amphitheater in Caesarea. Some 2,000 Christians, mostly Americans, accompanied the conservative commentator to Israel.

Last month, Beck, who is Mormon, was hosted at the Knesset and was applauded when he encouraged lawmakers to “stop playing the game” of mainstream media and “speak the truth” about Israel and its adversaries.

Likud lawmaker Danny Danon called Beck a true friend of Israel. “We are proud of this relationship and not embarrassed by it,” he said. “Anyone who supports Israel in such a brave way must be supported.” — ap