Is it really necessary after all these years to spell out exactly what a malignant joke Geraldo Rivera is? If his history of shenanigans somehow escaped your radar, a quick glance at his Wikipedia entry is all one needs to see why Geraldo is one of those people who have helped turn US television news from what it used to be into the pathetic, dumbed-down, quasi-form-of-entertainment, nonsense and outright voyeurism that it is today. It’s no coincidence that this self-styled “liberal” is none the less mostly employed by Fox “News.”
In keeping with his long standing tradition of mediocrity – in a recent appearance on “Fox & Friends,” Geraldo launched another stupid rant about religious figures who express opinions on political matters:
“I must say, it gives me the absolute creeps anytime I hear a religious person being so blatantly political,” Geraldo said. “Why is it that these people get income tax exemptions?” … He then continued, “If I hear one more rabbi talking about Israel, excuse me: shut up!”
Geraldo, who was raised mostly Jewish and even had a Bar Mitzvah, must have not been paying too much attention during his lessons. Israel is of central importance in Judaism. Nary a Jewish prayer exists that does not mention Israel and Jerusalem. Programs like Taglit-Birthright Israel posit Israel as being of unique importance in any conception of Jewish identity. Even Reform Judaism, a movement that once christened Berlin as the “new Jerusalem,” requires all prospective Rabbis to spend a year in Israel and to develop a modicum of Hebrew literacy prior to receiving ordination. I’d view with great suspicion any Rabbi who didn’t talk about Israel.