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Jewish group gives Passover cheer for Beck's exit

(RNS) A Jewish organization is celebrating Passover two weeks early, proclaiming freedom from Glenn Beck's television show.

Jewish Funds for Justice, a social advocacy nonprofit, has taken credit for the polarizing personality's pending exit from Fox News.

The group waged a yearlong campaign of petitions and newspaper ads complaining to Fox owner Rupert Murdoch about Beck's use of Nazi language and imagery, attacks on Holocaust survivor and philanthropist George Soros, and comparison of Reform rabbis to radical Muslims.

In addition to Jewish Funds for Justice, a number of other groups, particularly liberal-leaning ones, protested Beck's show, which has seen a months-long decline in viewership and sponsors.

Some Jews, by contrast, laud Beck's vocal support for Israel.

The conservative commentator still has a weekly radio show that airs on more than 400 stations, reaching millions of listeners across the country. His "Glenn Beck Live" tour includes stops in Cleveland and Chicago this month. In July, he will be the keynote speaker at the 2011 Christians United for Israel summit in Washington, D.C.

Nevertheless, Jewish Funds for Justice has proclaimed victory in a statement that uses the grateful Passover chant Dayenu! -- "It would have been enough!"-- to celebrate the anti-Beck campaign's fruitful end.

"If the Jewish community and our allies cried out in one voice when Beck compared Reform Judaism to radical Islam, Dayenu!" the group said in a statement. "If thousands of our supporters invested in and sustained us to do this work, Dayenu!"

The statement concludes, "This Passover, let us celebrate the expanded freedom in our public discourse."

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