15:45: Welcome to the live blog of the Glenn Beck Restoring Courage: Courage to Stand. We will be bringing you minute by minute coverage of the 'renegade' commentator's final event in his supportarama roadshow in Israel. The evening's glittering guests tonight apparently include Israeli singer Dudu Fisher, MK Danny Danon and Angelina Jolie's dad.
- U.S. Jews Warn Israel Not to Get Too Cozy With Glenn Beck
- Not Jewish Enough for Glenn Beck – nor Israeli Enough
- With Friends Like Glenn Beck...
- Left and Right Join Forces Against Glenn Beck's Western Wall Rally
With half an hour to go, the sun is shining and the faithful are gathering in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Overheard in the warm-up act: Israel has the right to protect its God-given land. Glad we've got that cleared up.
16:52: MK Danny Danon has just graced the press pen with his presence: I support democracies everywhere, in Cairo and in Libya and Iran. I hope that one day we will see more democracies in the Middle East, but unfortunately I don't see that happening soon.
16:53: Seven minutes to go, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin is back. Presumably to thank the mainly Christian crowd again for loving us despite our "otherness".
16:59: A rendition of what sounds like Careless Whisper arranged by Kenny G. Is this the play-on music for the man himself?
17:00: No, it's just the Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir.
17:04: And now, please be standing for the Israeli national anthem, Hatikva.
17:06: And now, please be standing for the mayor of Jerusalem, Mayor Nir Barkat.
17:08: Overheard: Danny Danon talking to an international news organization: We are very proud to have such committed friends coming from all around the world to support Israel unconditionally. Ah.
Barkat: "Our present is also our past here today in Jerusalem." Not when it comes to rent prices it isn't.
17:15: Barkat: "Jerusalem is our destiny, and we will not derail from our vision... building united, undivided Jerusalem, there is room in Jerusalem for everyone... for Christians, Muslims and Jews alike." I'm not sure he ran his speech by the event organizers.
Barkat: "Tell people what you saw, tell people what you felt." In other words: TESTIFY!
My name is Nir Barkat. You've been a great audience. Try the chicken.
17:20: And now a musical interlude. Apparently, Jerusalem is where man first walked the earth. "We always come back to God, and we always come back to Jerusalem."
17:23: Heeeeeeeere's Glenn. It took a minute from the cheap seats at the back to realise that the narrator of the history of the world currently underway, to acoustic guitar/church bells/Hollywood trailer muzak, is the man himself.
He's lost the bum-fluff beard.
There are people here from Pakistan and Qatar? Cool.
17:33: Applause, music.
17:37: And now Matt Staber from something something to present the Restoring Courage awards. No James Franco and Catwoman?
17:42: The first award is given to the Fogel family. This would be funny if it weren't so terrible.
17:47: The next award goes to Maxim, the Jewish-Arab restaurant in Haifa devastated by a suicide bombing in 2003.
17:48: The final award goes to supermarket magnate Rami Levy for his charity.
17:51: We've done a quick rough headcount. There are many empty seats. Glenn is still talking. "What one generation tolerates, the next generation tolerates. The grand councils of earth condemn Israel, while across the border Syria is slaughtering their own people. So-called diplomats are afraid, they're cowards. They only condemn Israel because it's convenient, not because they actually believe it."
17:55: "I stand here to tell you this today, fear is the pathway to surrender. To overcome fear we just need one thing: Courage. Truth and courage." Er, that's two things.
17:57: Glenn is in full throttle here. "The plotters plot and the schemers scheme. Sadly even the Israelis I have met, some of the most courageous people on earth are beginning to believe the lies and doubt themselves. The only message I have for Israel and Israelis is this: my friends, do not lose hope. You must not lose confidence in yourselves. You must draw comfort from the knowledge that you were led to this place from God.... God is not a stranger to the children of Abraham."
17:58: "Israel is here because the God of Abraham keeps his covenants." What about Ben-Gurion, Truman and Balfour?
18:01: Glenn's beginning to open up about his past life as a non-believer. I think this is the bit where he cries.
18:03: Woah. In 1999, he listened to Osama bin Laden, and knew that he would attack New York again. He also knew the housing crash was coming. But it doesn't take a prophet to see these things. For a minute I thought that was where he was going.
18:04: And he also knew that there would be more terror attacks on Israel, and last week, he was proved right. Lucky for him.
18:07: Not everyone is quite as gung-ho as the faithful inside the arena. There's also a demonstration outside, by people who really aren't feeling the love. There aren't many, but they have a better view of Glenn than most of the people hanging off his every word. They might not be able to hear him, but we can hear them.
18:10: More Glenn. "Rights and responsibilities go hand in hand, nowhere in the Torah, in the Christian scriptures do you see the two words 'human rights' together." Can someone fact check that please?
18:12: He got his first standing ovation.
18:13: Who will protect your children? An educational bureaucrat or you? Did a committee stop the Holocaust or Jim Crow? Nope, people did.
"They said, not in my name. They didn't wait for society to catch up to God's laws, and in the end they were the victors." Seriously, who writes this stuff?
18:15: A quick mention of swastikas on display everywhere, and mock bomb belts in Cairo, and then this: "We will win! While their conviction is rooted in hate, our conviction is rooted in love and love wins in the end."
18:20: And so on and so on: "Who will stand with Israel, who will stand the Jewish people? Condemn me, target me. I will stand with the Jewish people and when they come to round us up again, I will say: take me first." Will he rend his shirt and bare his breast too?
18:22: Tears... "we can't outsource love, we can't outsource truth... we must roll up our sleeves... we will renew ourselves and our planet... we will be the first to regain what many have lost - faith."
18:22: His voice drops to an emotional growl. He's clearly been practising. In Caesarea, he praised a speaker for his endurance. "I wouldn't have lasted 30 seconds," he said on Sunday. Well, he's been at it for an hour now and still going strong.
"I will wait for a leader no more." And now something which I think could be Hebrew.
18:25: Tonight, he's off to South Africa to see what apartheid actually looked like, because the accusations of apartheid against Israel are so outrageous. Then he's going to South America. To ask people to stand by Israel. And on Sunday he's off to Texas. Quick plug for his new company, whose name I didn't quite catch.
It will not be easy for him and it will not be easy for us.
18:28: Again with the Hebrew. It sounds like he's saying She-rah, but I highly doubt it.
And with a last "I fear not!" Elvis has left the building to a standing ovation and the theme tune to The Princess Bride.
18:40: Wait! There's a closing prayer. "We pray for the peace of Jerusalem... we have abused our positions and show no love for others. We are here to say, Israel, the Holy Land, you are not alone...
Today is a new day, we will not. May God bless Israel, may God bless the Palestinian people, may God bless the United States of America. Amen."
That's all. The faithful are filing out to strains of the "Sabbath Prayer" song from Fiddler on the Roof. This is not a joke.
Thanks for reading. You can hear more from Glenn on his website, TV channel, radio show and newsletter, or buy his coffee table book of his trip to Israel, already in the shops. And if you're in South Africa or South America this week, you can also see him live.
One last thing: Herman Cain is shaking hands with people as they leave the arena. Thank you for flying Air Beck.