JERUSALEM — By all accounts, Glenn Beck's visit to Israel this week couldn't have gone better.
Making the second of what he calls "solidarity" trips to Israel this year, the conservative pundit and former Fox News personality came to the parliament, or Knesset, in a widely watched public appearance ahead of a "Restore Courage" rally he has scheduled for Aug. 24 in Jerusalem.
More than a dozen Israeli news outlets filled the packed room Monday morning to hear politicians laud Beck as "one of Israel's greatest friends," in the words of Likud lawmaker Danny Danon, who had invited Beck.
Beck's words were met with warm applause that grew to a crescendo when he announced that the "Israeli-Palestinian conflict … is about the destruction of Israel and the end of the Western way of life. Period."
Beck — who recently ended his popular but often controversial Fox News show and is launching his own multimedia production company — said that thousands of people would attend his rally and show that they "stand with Israel, on all things."
He spent much of his speech deriding the mainstream news media as having an anti-Israeli bias and telling Israeli lawmakers that they should seek "friendly" media outlets and bloggers to spread their message. "There are millions of people (who support Israel) that you don't see, because the media doesn't want to tell their story," Beck said.
Lawmakers thanked Beck for his unwavering support, which they said came from his deep-rooted Christian values.
Beck also visited the settlement of Ma'ale Zeitim, where well-known millionaire Irving Moskowitz held a reception in his honor. Moskowitz, a Florida-based businessman, has long provided financial backing to groups that are looking to expand Israel's settlements.