Aug.25 - Protests and plaudits over U.S. arch-conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck's message to Israel. Paul Chapman reports.
The presence of controversial right-wing U.S. commentator Glenn Beck in Israel has sparked mixed feelings among Israelis. The broadcaster was appearing at a rally, highlighting fundamentalist Christian backing for the Jewish state. SOUNDBITE: U.S. broadcaster Glenn Beck (saying): "In Israel there is more courage in one small square mile than in all of Europe. In Israel there is more courage in one soldier than in the combined and cold hearts of every bureaucrat at the United Nations." The rally on the fringes of one of Jerusalem's most volatile holy sites drew a small protest. American Jewish critics, Israeli left-wing activists and Arab lawmakers fear his message could fuel Israeli-Palestinian tensions. SOUNDBITE: Yariv Oppenheimer, Secretary General of the Peace Now organisation, saying (English): "I think he tried to use the tension in this city for his career and we have enough fanatics here. We don't need any more. We need friends who come from abroad to support the idea of two states, of sharing Jerusalem a capital for two states, for the Palestinians and the Israelis, and not people who come here just to provoke." Beck is critical of Obama's policies towards Israel, including proposed land swaps as part of any peace deal. Parts of Jerusalem would be crucial to such a deal. Some, including members of Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, have welcomed fundamentalist Christian support for Israel. SOUNDBITE: Danny Danon, Israeli member of Likud Party and Parliament member, saying (English) "We are standing here today, Jews and Christians alike, saying very clearly Jews have the full right to live in the land of Israel, to pray in Jerusalem." Some Christian fundamentalists believe the gathering of Jewish people in the biblical Land of Israel is a pre-requisite to the second coming of Jesus. Paul Chapman, Reuters