More than 400 rabbis are calling for News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch to sanction Glenn Beck and are demanding an apology from Roger Ailes over the use and reference to Nazis and Holocaust imagery.
The twist is that their open letter to Murdoch is set to run on Thursday in the News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal, according to the org Jewish Funds for Justice. It also is slated to run in the Jewish publication Forward.
In their open letter, they cite not just Beck’s use of Holocaust and Nazi images, but for Ailes’ statement to The Daily Beast that the complaints over Beck are being made by “left wing rabbis who basically don’t think that anybody can ever use the word ‘Holocaust’ on the air.” Ailes also called NPR brass “Nazis” in the wake of its firing of Juan Williams, but the Fox News chief later apologized to the Anti Defamation League.
“In the charged political climate in the current civic debate, much is tolerated, and much is ignored or dismissed,” the letter reads. “But you diminish the memory and meaning of the Holocaust when you use it to discredit any individual or organization you disagree with. That is what Fox News has done in recent weeks, and it is not only ‘left-wing rabbis’ who think so.”
The org says that their letter was sparked by Beck’s series of segments in the fall on financier and philanthropist George Soros, who is a frequent contributor to liberal causes.
Soros is a survivor of the Holocaust who was a teenager in Nazi-occupied Hungary. Beck said he “used to go around with this anti-Semite and deliver papers to the Jews and confiscate their property and then ship them off. And George Soros was part of it. He would help confiscate the stuff. It was frightening. Here’s a Jewish boy helping send the Jews to the death camps. And I am certainly not saying that George Soros enjoyed that, even had a choice. I mean, he’s 14 years old. He was surviving. So I’m not making a judgment.”
Beck’s comments led to a condemnation by the Anti-Defamation League, whose national director, Abraham H. Foxman, called the remarks “horrific” and “completely inappropriate, offensive and over the top.” But he later softened those remarks, saying that he still believed that Beck was “a strong supporter of Israel and the Jewish people.”
Joel Cheatwood, senior vice president of development for Fox News, said in a statement, “We haven’t seen the ad, but this group is a George Soros backed left-wing political organization that has been trying to engage Glenn Beck primarily for publicity purposes.”
A spokesman for News Corp. said that the company would have no comment. Update: A spokeswoman for the Wall Street Journal also declined comment.