Fresh off his final broadcast at Fox News and ahead of his Restoring Courage rally in Jerusalem, conservative commentator Glenn Beck paid a visit to the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem today, expressing his staunch support for Israel, warning of rising anti-semitism, and declaring that the "Israeli-Palestinian conflict, at the ruling class, is about the destruction of Israel and the end of the western way of life." The address to a packed Knesset committee, which was organized by Danny Danon, a member of Israel's right-wing Likud party, featured several memorable moments:
- Goatee: The post-Fox News Beck, as you can see from the picture above, is now sporting a goatee.
- Inventing Beck: In introducing Beck as a friend of Israel, Danon declared, "If we had no Glenn Beck today ... we should have invented Glenn Beck."
- No Tie: Beck began his speech by apologizing for not wearing a tie, explaining that he left it in Poland and was worried about his appearance until he bumped into an Israeli politician wearing short sleeves. "I thought I could wear a bathing suit here--this is a great country," Beck explained. The tie discussion begins just under a minute into this clip (Danon's line on inventing Glenn Beck is 20 seconds in):
- Biblical References: In expressing solidarity with the Israeli people, Beck drew from the Book of Ruth, informing his audience, "Where you go, I will go. Where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people are my people. Your God is my God. Where you die, I will die. And there shall I be buried." The dramatic performance begins 15 seconds in:
- Adoring Fans: Ami Kaufman at 972 Magazine says the atmosphere at Beck's speech reminded him of a "rock concert," with lawmakers sympathetic to Beck's message showering Beck several rounds of applause and one nationalist politician even proclaiming, "I think Glenn Beck should take my seat in the Knesset." The AP caught this banner outside the Knesset thanking Beck and declaring in Hebrew that Israel's left-wing "is afraid and rightfully so." According to Time, an ultra-orthodox businessman hired a crane to hang the sign.