Earlier Wednesday Beck visited Israel's "Gush Etzion," or, Etzion Bloc – an area that was occupied by Jordan between 1949 and 1967. Because the Bloc is situated in what is considered a strategic location between Jerusalem and Hebron, it was heavily contested during Israel's War of Independence and was the target of a violent massacre in May, 1948 before being ultimately destroyed. Gush Etzion was rebuilt following the Six Day War and is now home to approximately 55,000.
To understand the significance of the area, Gush Etzion is considered by Israelis to be an everlasting memorial to the soldiers who fell defending the Gush from Arab armed forces in the Kfar Etzion Massacre, which occurred on the eve of the declaration of Israel's independence.
The first Prime Minister of Israel David Ben Gurion reportedly said of Gush Etzion:
“I can think of no battle in the annals of the Israel Defense Forces which was more magnificent, more tragic or more heroic than the struggle for Gush Etzion…If there exists a Jewish Jerusalem, our foremost thanks go to the defenders of Gush Etzion."
During his visit to the Gush, Beck visited the "loan oak tree," which, to Israelis, is a tribute to Gush Etzion's history and the courage of those fallen.
Beck was guided by MK Tzipi Hotovely, local authority head Shaul Goldstein and Yesha Council head Danny Dayan. Israel National News reports that the three hoped to convey another side of the story rarely if ever portrayed in the media -- that of Jewish Israelis' peaceful coexistence with Arab Israelis.
During the outing, Beck paid a visit to local grocery store giant, Rami Levy, who employees many these Arab Israelis. Levy said that while his employees were initially treated as "traitors" by the Palestinians, eventually what "sets the rules" is the "actual situation" on the ground and "the truth."
Beck, in the meantime, delivered words of comfort and encouragement to one Jewish Israeli shopper when he noted that "too many” Israelis are "doubting themselves."
In his message to Israelis, Beck added:
“You're either a good state or a bad state. What are you doing here? Stand up. Square your shoulders. We have a right to exist; we have a right to be here. And we're good...”
Later on one Israeli woman told Beck how "touched" she was by his "love for Israel and love for Jews."
Beck went on to explain the significance in visiting the region is to glean a "deeper understanding of Israel." Beck believes the problems facing Israelis cannot be solved by governments, but by individuals being "neighbors" and being "good to each other."
Please watch this touching video of Glenn speaking with Israelis at Gush Etzion: