The Jerusalem Post has printed a bold op-ed by a distinguished Middle East analysis that may cause Beck critics to grit their teeth as they read it.
Barry Rubin is a long record in the region. He is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center. He posts frequently as a columnist for PajamasMedia, and serves as editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal.
Rubin's analysis of Beck's views was published in the Jerusalem Post -- but best updated version online is on his own site RubinReports.
Here's how Rubin set's up his analysis:
Having studied the Middle East professionally for 35 years and with a PhD in Middle East history, let me make it perfectly clear: Glenn Beck, who is holding several rallies in Israel this week, has a better grasp of Middle East politics than most Western experts, not to mention Western leaders.
Certainly, Beck makes silly mistakes on factual matters and details. Yet what’s important is that he comprehends the big picture. I don’t say this based on a superficial view or on his support for Israel. As part of the GLORIA Center’s project on understanding current American politics and debates I have monitored virtually every television and radio show Beck has done over the last two years. When people voice absurd and slanderous stereotypes about Beck, it turns out they haven’t actually listened to what he’s been saying.
Why has Beck gotten things right that so many others have missed or distorted? There are five key reasons: Common sense; courage; knowing the difference between right and wrong, willingness to learn, and readiness to admit when one has been wrong. These are virtues often lacking among those with more elegant reputations and impressive diplomas.
What has he gotten right?
Rubin then outlines ten key points. You can read the entire post here.
Any criticism one can make of Beck regarding Middle East issues rather pales in comparison to all of the above points on which he is quite correct. But then, as Jews, and Israelis most of all, should know, to be falsely reviled and have one’s image smeared is not proof of being wrong or evil.