Glenn Beck to play host to ‘right-wing lunatic fringe’ Group 18 while in South Africa
One of the most controversial figures on US television and radio, Beck is being hosted by Group 18, an Israel advocacy group that “sees a broad and growing campaign to delegitimise the state of Israel and threaten its very right to exist”, according to its website.
His address, to be held at the Gardens Synagogue in Cape Town on August 25, is titled “The Courage to Stand With Israel”.
But the local Jewish community is far from unanimous in its enthusiasm about Beck. In a letter to Group 18 from the South African Union of Progressive Judaism, chair Steven Lurie said Beck’s planned appearance would bring “a voice of intolerance and virtual hate speech to South Africa, where these attitudes are totally unacceptable”.
“We have no doubt that he will sow discord among the community and raise tensions, not only between Reform and Orthodox but also between liberals and the more conservative and right-wing in our community. If you listen to his talk on Israel on YouTube, he will also raise tensions among the Muslim community.”
Nathan Geffen, co-organiser of the South African human rights delegation to Israel in 2008, described Group 18 as “a right-wing lunatic fringe group in the Jewish community … Many people in the community are very upset about this.”