Rabbis petition Murdoch to crack down on Fox’s Holocaust references

Hundreds of American rabbis used Holocaust Remembrance Day last month
to push media mogul Rupert Murdoch to "sanction" Glenn Beck and other
Fox News personalities on the use of Nazi and Holocaust references.

"Sanction Glenn Beck" letter on January 27 responds to Beck's
three-part series last November on billionaire philanthropist and
Holocaust survivor George Soros, whom Beck smeared as a "Jewish boy
helping send the Jews to the death camps."

Fox News chief Roger
Ailes has dismissed the critics as "left-wing rabbis who basically don't
think that anybody can ever use the word 'Holocaust' on the air."

Moore, chief strategic officer of Jewish Funds for Justice, said his
nonprofit group organized the response over the past two months,
prompted by "a lot of calls from rabbis expressing their outrage."

The coalition, which also objected to Ailes's use of the term Nazis
in describing the NPR executives who fired Fox News commentator Juan
Williams, wants an apology from Ailes and action taken against Beck.

is not appropriate to accuse a 14-year-old Jew hiding with a Christian
family in Nazi-occupied Hungary of sending his people to death camps,"
stated the letter in reference to Soros; the letter ran in a full-page
ad in the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal.

"It is not
appropriate to call executives of another news agency 'Nazis.' And it is
not appropriate to make literally hundreds of on-air references to the
Holocaust and Nazis when characterizing people with whom you disagree."

Cheatwood, Fox News senior vice president of development, told the
Reuters news agency that the group of rabbis is a "George Soros–backed
left-wing political organization that has been trying to engage Glenn
Beck primarily for publicity purposes."

The rabbis span the
political and religious spectrum, though only a handful represent the
Orthodox Jewish community. Charitable donations from Soros have helped
fund some Jewish Funds for Justice youth programs, Moore said, but Soros
himself was not involved in this response.

"If [Cheatwood] wants
to be that dismissive of 400-plus rabbis, that's his call," Moore said,
adding that "at a time when much of the country, including many public
voices, is doing some soul-searching about the post-Tucson conversation,
it doesn't feel like that's happening at Fox News."

The United
Nations established Jan­uary 27 as International Holocaust Re­mem­brance
Day in 2005, marking the anniversary of the liberation of
Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Jews also mourn the Holocaust on
Yom Hashoah, an observance that falls on May 2 this year.  —RNS

Nicole Neroulias

Nicole Neroulias writes for Religion News Service.

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