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Rabbis protest Fox host's use of Holocaust imagery

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Four hundred rabbis will publish a letter on Thursday calling on Fox News to sanction host Glenn Beck for repeated use of Nazi and Holocaust imagery and for airing attacks on World War Two survivor George Soros.

In an open letter to Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp, which owns Fox, the rabbis also demand an apology from Fox News chief Roger Ailes for characterizing Beck's Jewish critics as nothing more than "left-wing rabbis."

The letter will appear as an advertisement in the News Corp-owned Wall Street Journal on Thursday for which the rabbis spent more than $100,000, a spokesman said.

"We haven't seen the ad," said Joel Cheatwood, Fox News senior vice president of development, "but this group is a George Soros backed left-wing political organization that has been trying to engage Glenn Beck primarily for publicity purposes."

In the letter, the rabbis cited "unacceptable attacks" by Beck against Soros, a billionaire financier who grew up in Nazi-occupied Hungary and is a frequent target of conservative commentators.

"And George Soros used to go around with this anti-Semite and deliver papers to the Jews and confiscate their property and then ship them off," Beck said in November.

"Here's a Jewish boy helping send the Jews to the death camps. And I am certainly not saying that George Soros enjoyed that, even had a choice. I mean, he's 14 years old. He was surviving. So I'm not making a judgment. That's between him and God."

Beck, according to the rabbis, has made "literally hundreds of on-air references to the Holocaust and Nazis when characterizing people with whom he disagrees," compares American leaders he does not like to Nazis and has said putting the "common good" first leads to "death camps."

"In the charged political climate in the current civic debate, much is tolerated, and much is ignored or dismissed," the letter said.

"But you diminish the memory and meaning of the Holocaust when you use it to discredit any individual or organization you disagree with. That is what Fox News has done in recent weeks, and it is not only 'left-wing rabbis' who think so."

(Reporting by Andrew Stern; Editing by John O'Callaghan and Peter Cooney)

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