It was almost inevitable that Glenn Beck would bring up the Holocaust when talking about his planned rally in Israel this summer, and it seems that Tuesday was the day.
“This August,” Beck said on his Fox News show, “this journey to Israel for me is personal. It’s not about celebrity or teaching anybody a lesson or sending a message to any earthly power. It is about sending a message to our maker and letting him hear our message, as individuals. That this time, I will stand and I will be counted. I will not cower as people have in the past. I will not stand by and watch a whole race of people be called vermin.”
“Because I’ve read history,” he continued. “I know how it ended last time and I know how it started. First they came for the Jews, and I said nothing. Let me declare to the entire world, and ask who’s with me. This time I will stand. This time I will say something. This time I will be a force for good.”
“First they came for the Jews, and I said nothing” is a reference to a statement attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller, who was commenting on how German intellectuals responded to the rise of Nazism before World War II (the quote actually starts: “First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.” The Jews are the third refrain). Beck is fond of using this quote on his show when discussing imminent threats to America.
This time, however, he was defending his planned rally in Jerusalem on August 20, called “Restoring Courage,” from some of the criticism it’s gotten. “You don’t dismiss the warning signs,” he said. “You wake up anybody who has eyes to see and ears to hear and a mouth willing to speak, wake them up, stand together.”
“We’ve been trained to not make waves,” he continued. “Don’t offend, don’t say anything politically incorrect for fear of an uncomfortable disagreement. Meanwhile, we’re dismissing people who say they want to kill an entire race of people. When you deny that, that is fertile ground to be taken advantage of and the rebels, the rebellion, the revolutionaries, they will, they will take advantage. “