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Beck rally could spark violence in Jerusalem

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Beck rally could spark violence in Jerusalem

Arab activists criticize decision to hold event close to tense area

  • Glenn Beck speaks about Israel on his Fox News show on May 16.
    israelteam 2011 screengrabGlenn Beck speaks about Israel on his Fox News show on May 16.

Broadcaster Glenn Beck could become mired in more controversy. Beck's Restoring Courage rally at the Southern Wall excavations site next Wednesday could spark a conflagration of violence in Jerusalem, Arab Knesset members and activists warned.

The Jerusalem mass rally will be the central event of the American broadcaster’s three-night attempt to demonstrate to Israel and the world that the Jewish state does not stand alone, the Jerusalem Post reported.

“There are enough racists in Israel without importing them from the U.S.,” Hadash MK Muhammad Barakei said.

“The lessons from Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount apparently haven’t been learned," Barakei said, referring to the Israeli politicians visit to one of Islam's holiest sites that sparked the Second Intifada. He added the sensitive location of the rally was intended to spark controversy ahead of the U.N. statehood vote on the Palestinian state in September.

Arab activists in east Jerusalem criticized Beck’s decision to hold the rally so close to a tense area.

“There is a message [in the location] — especially to come to the City of David, that’s close to Al-Aksa and other Muslim holy sites and the Western Wall — it says a lot,” said Murad Shafa, a member of the Popular Committee of Al-Bustan, one of the neighborhoods in Silwan. “I don’t know him, but I know one thing: this area belongs to all the religions.”

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, Beck advised his critics to watch the event before casting judgment.

“[Israeli control over] Jerusalem is the best thing that has happened in many people’s lives among Arabs I’ve met, even though they won’t say it on camera,” Beck said. “They are protected, safe and able to live without violence."

“It’s hard when people are trying to kill you to protect their rights. Jerusalem is an example of coexistence working. You can’t deny truth,” Beck said.

This week Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., and Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., announced they will not be attending Glenn Beck's upcoming Jerusalem rally. Cantor, the top Jewish Republican will be traveling back from Israel on Wednesday, exactly when Beck's rally is scheduled taking place, the New York Jewish Week reported.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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