Jennifer Rubin is one of those people one simply doesn’t need to read. Not, or not simply, because she’s never right; but rather because, almost always, she is boringly, predictably wrong — in prose that saps one’s will to live, strung together into simulations of argument that one could lay out in advance like squares for hopscotch.
But every now and then she rouses herself from her mission — the ongoing erosion of what remains of The Washington Post’s reasons to exist — to achieve true grotesquerie.
So it goes in the affair TBogg has already chronicled, in which Rubin retweeted this message of sweetness and light; the link there leads to a blog post that Der Stürmer would have been pleased to publish (Proper names changed, of course, though the message would have stayed the same.)
Nothing to see here, really — Rubin is simply one of many shills for the peculiar notion that to love Israel obligates one to revere every last folly and viciousness of its worst elements. That she would endorse/direct readers to a steaming heap of murderous racism seems merely to be part of her brief as she sees it.
TBogg focuses on the Post’s blithe defense of the whole affair, with its ombudsman trotting the old “it’s just an opinion” fig leaf. (Does the Post require its ombudspeople to undergo chemical sterilization, or do they just recommend it?) For me, I’m going to trot a bit of stuff I don’t usually draw upon, science writer that I am.
That is — atheist though I also am, I’m one of the commitedly Jewish variety, and I’m not going to let Rubin’s “opinion” pass as anything like an acceptable statement from within the tradition. I recall what my rabbi and friend pointed out to me one time when we were discussing the Palestinian-Israeli struggle. He opened the Tanakh, found Isiah, chapter 19, and he read out these verses:
19:24 In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: 19:25 Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.
In the context of our conversation, the exegisis is, I think, pretty damn obvious. That Rabbi — Ben-Zion Gold, for those of you who may have encountered him — survived the Holocaust, the only member of his family to do so. He knows from hatred, and the way verbal violence — the rhetoric that describes the subhuman, vicious other — leads to physical destruction, murder in the land.
Rubin’s Ombudsman, and her editors at the Post, may give her a pass. They shouldn’t. This stuff kills, or at least makes such disasters that much more likely.
But whatever (lack of) consequences Rubin may face in her professional setting, it seems to me that if she is going to purport to speak for anything remotely resembling Jews or Judaism, she has a lot of ‘splainin, or rather learning to do that I strongly doubt will ever take place. And as for the Post … I channel my inner Brad Delong: Why, oh why can’t we have a better press corps.
Image: Leonardo da Vinci, Study of five grotesque heads, c. 1494
Um, that’s “apostasy”.
@Amir Khalid: Well yeah. I knew that.
F**king dictionaries. How do they work?
Missing a comma, I think. First line, after ‘simply’.
I’m not usually a grammar Nazi, but I had to read that sentence three times to figure out what was going on.
“Opinions” are okay as long as they’re right wing.
Dave Weigel got fired from the same paper for joking that Drudge should die in a fire. He was forced to apologize and then he was fired.
I’m open to the possibility I’m just an idiot, though.
@Disgruntled Lurker: Think it’s what I meant. Try it this way: Not — or not simply because she blah blah blah.
Could go either way though. I’ll change it just to be accommodating.
Brad DeLong may be one of the wisest econobloggers in the world, but I wouldn’t know because the design of his blog is shit. Utterly unreadable on a small(er) screen. Hire a web designer to spruce things up, prof!
And Isaiah was one bad ass prophet.
No he is not the smartest and yes the site sucks.
Uh-oh. Another Nazi thread (and I’m not talking grammar here). This will not end well.
The lovely thing is that Rubin was quoting Mrs. Elliot Abrams, whose husband worked for Reagan and Bush and who is currently serving on the Council of Foreign Affairs. You’d think there would be some backlash for her saying something so vile, but you would be wrong.
At least we can LOL at TBogg’s “kosher Manson family” re the Abrams/Podhoretz clan.
Could you imagine what would have happened to someone at the WaPo if they retweeted the same thing, but substituted Israeli’s should meet this fate? They wouldn’t even give them time to clean out their desk. CNN would be running it 24/7.
Bless you and Rabbi Gold both. I was so repulsed by her vile blatherings that I couldn’t read it all the way to the end. On top of that, it was incredibly poorly written.
I read the offending material a bit ago and wondered at the time just who had been reincarnated as Rubin.
Some of that stuff is really old, a thousand years or more. It resulted in death when it first erupted and has remained lethal ever since.
And yes, Der Sturmer would have loved it.
Perhaps her editors think that that sort of unpleasantness couldn’t happen here, in a civilized country. Perhaps. Maybe that’s one of their rationales for letting their columnists crap all over the WaPo. I’m guessing it’s mostly laziness coupled with not really having a clue what edittenin’s all about.
As for her? Well, I think you’ve hit all the cogent points already.
(ETA: I see you’ve earned the floating ad for “Christian Studies Online” in the sidebar. Good work!)
Jennifer Rubin is merely one public expression of America loving Israel more than is good for either America or Israel. It’s as irrational as the half-century feud with the small and harmless nation of Cuba, but much more dangerous given the tensions at play in the Middle East.
I don’t know which is the greater factor, post-Cold War foreign policy inertia or the grip of Christian end-times beliefs (which is not about any love for Israel or Jews, from what I know). It might be both, or then again it might be the anti-Muslim animus which drove Pamela Geller to say something almost identical in her own blog. Or even some combination of all three.
Villago Delenda Est
I pointed out in a thread over the last few days that this screed was something that, with a few noun changes, would have been right up Streicher’s alley.
I’m glad to see that the similarities have been noted by others.
That bitch should have her brain washed out with Drano.
Well in defense of Jennifer, hers was a retweet and if you promote genocide in a retweet it’s okay ..
Rubin is a piece of work and I don’t mean art work.
Pexton, The Washingpost ombudsmen did a nice job pointing out that Rubin did damage to the Post image but you have to read a lot of shit to get there.
I think you were going for
Vile doesn’t even begin to cover it. I simply have to hope that it took concentrated mental effort to attain that level of callous blithe inhumanity because to think it easy is too despairing. So I’m left with the upside that there are people ready to climb those heights and there are people ready to excuse them. Oh Goody. Because those women simply had to be breathing canned oxygen at those levels of viciousness.
Villago Delenda Est
Thank G*d that they’re not halal, at least…
Israel went insane a couple decades ago, driven crazy by fear and hatred, We’re following in its footsteps…
Israel is neither an innocent, pure angel of a nation nor is it the source of all worldly evils and the Whore of Babylon from the Book of Revelation. Nope, it’s just another nation state, out to pursue its on semi-enlightened self interest, sometimes hypocritically and violently. IOW it’s just like 95% of all other nations.
I also have learned from this thread that Samara Morgan is quite the pie enthusiast.
Sorry, should have said I learned about Samara Morgan and her pie love from the LAST Israel thread.
The Nuremburg tribunals never did really establish a clear line of responsibility for re-tweeting.
WTF are you talking about?
ETA: I see you corrected yourself. Still:
Leonardo could make even the grotesque seem beautiful. Thanks for the cartoon, Tom.
On the other hand, I don’t know if even he could deal with today’s conservatives. Probably, though. He’d be drawing moral grotesquery.
@El Cid: They were just retweeting orders.
@Reality Check: The difference is , not many nation states have a 400 pound gorillas backing them up , enabling them to act like entitled pricks that answer to no one.
@Reality Check: That’s what you get when you copy and paste random troll posts. Dude, have some fucking professional pride. Christ! The fucking slacking makes me sick.
From the WaPo Ombudsman:
This from the employers of Marc Thiessen.
North Korea, Burma, Iran, Zimbabwe, Sudan, and that’s just who China backs. Far worse than Israel.
When my Blog was actually read by more than a couple people it never generated more than a few comments per page of articles – whenever I addressed Palestine/Israel it provoked a fire storm of comments with a lot of them pretty far past just rude. I pretty much gave up on the topic since all it provoked was stupidity. (not on the part of known commenters – hit and runners)
I do however find it hilarious that we’re supposed to get outraged about Israelis killing innocent Arabs, but a lot of the same people (though not all) getting their outrage on don’t make a peep when Arabs kill other Arabs.
What indeed is the purpose of a tribe, of a people if not to somehow internalize and learn from the shared experience of the past. How sad and pathetic if the only lesson, the most profound deep and universal truth gained by the tribe from what was certainly one of the most barbaric atrocities ever committed is that there are bad people in the world.
The realization expressed by the author of this post, is one of those profound truths that were hard-won by the horrible experience of the holocaust. That the true evil is not bad guys with more weapons who don’t like you. It is not your quarrelsome neighbors who want your stuff. The real monster is this all too common component of human nature. This desire to find an opponent a weaker group to engage in a campaign of de-humanization against. To somehow convince ourselves that an entire group of people are less than human. This tendency, this capability lies dormant within all of us. Everyone. All it takes are the right conditions to bring it out. Economic stress. Fear. Bad leaders. This is the true lesson of the holocaust. And to fail to understand it. To fail to even try to understand it, is to dishonor the dead.
WTF does China have to do with US uncritical support of the Israeli theocracy – any damn thing?
I see folks making weird false equivalences to defend Israel. Seems weird in a thread about an American using racist language and supporting violence against Palestinians. Some folks seem to protest too much, as it were.
I wouldn’t bother, but you’re in the business of writing…
We know what those stars are. Nobody here put in an ‘in’. We all put in a ‘uc’. You know we’re going to read fucking. In fact, you want us to read fucking.
Here, read what another person in the business of writing says about it.
Or, listen to this guy.
If you’re in the profession of expressing meaning through words, don’t shy away from the words that express the meaning you want, and don’t hide behind asterisks. At least not here. We skull-fuck kittens here, after all.
Maybe if you read the point I was responding to, you could find out. But that would take a little something called READING and learning about CONTEXT. It’s much easier to shout BOOGA BOOGA ISRAEL BAAAAD, USA BAAAAAAD, isn’t it? And anyone who thinks Israel is a “theocracy” either doesn’t know the meaning of the word or is astoundingly ignorant of Israel’s system of government.
Hilariously, far from being theocratic, Zionism started out as a very soc1alist, secular and left-wing experiment, which is why I don’t get the love on some parts of the right for it. Orthodox Jews used to regard the whole Zionist project as borderline blasphemy until very recently.
The defense is that the Post needs “balance”. What is she balancing? The idea is that she is a “conservative”, except she rarely ever writes anything about anything other than the evils of Muslims and the victimization of Israel. When she hates on Obama it’s almost always in the context of some bullshit about Muslims and Israel. She has exactly one bumper sticker on car and it reads “Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is the eternal and undivided capital of Israel”.
No one at the Post has much to say about Palestinians anyway, but if “balance” is the idea they would need to hire a Palestinian ex-pat who would right nothing except pro-Palestinian pieces punctuated by Blood Libel pieces about Jews and their evil. I don’t think Fred Hiatt is going to do that (and it illustrates how silly “balance” is anyway).
I’m sure there are more than a few Palestinians that would beg to differ.
Rubin may be “technically correct,” but she’s full of shit and she knows It. That’s the kind of bullshit excuse you come up with when you’ve been busted as either an intellectual flyweight or a monster and are looking for n out. In Rubin’s case, she’s both.
I think that’s only Hassidim, and they still do.
You’re right that Israel is just another country. I get tired of the it’s the awesomest country versus it’s a Nazi country debate, which is where discussions invariably head.
Semi-off-topic, but I recently noticed we don’t tell people to die in a fire anymore. Did I miss a memo?
@Poopyman: It might be one of those things like white shoes. You know, Memorial Day to Labor Day only.
@Poopyman: It’s not mandatory skull-fucking is it? What it I just don’t want to that day? Or if I’m just not into that particular kitty cranium? And, if I w*nt t* @dd *sterics to w*rds, ! d*mn [email protected] w!ll, s0 ThErE. neener neener.
ETA: Well, FYWP objects to random spats. Have to memorize the html code. Back in a sec.
ETA: S* let’s t*st.
Get out on ALL media to not support a EURO bail-out with US funding!
@scav: Well, there’s HTML, and then there’s HTML that FYWP understands. Not much of a subset, I’m-a thinkin’.
I’d rather be a Palestinian in the West Bank than a North Korean in North Korea, let alone Israel proper! You?
No, even mainstream Orthodox Jews weren’t crazy about Zionism until post-1967.
@freddie: cant afford it.
That is a hell of a bar to cross to wind up as the number one U.S. foreign policy beneficiary in the world. They are two totally different sorts of problem regimes, but I think of Israel and N. Korea as analogous in that they are supposed to be client regimes and all they do is act out in incredibly bad ways, cost their patrons money, and force them into ridiculous stances on the international stage (Chinese nationalists make defenses of N. Korea that are identical to the American nationalist defense of Israel, special pleading, the enemy of my enemy, etc..).
Sorry, but the number one US foreign policy beneficiary in the world is Western Europe, followed by Japan.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@OccupyDougJ: That’s a;,ost always where these threads end up. But Speedy makes an important point:
That’s the downside to the whole thing. And to point it out is often taken as a sign of anti-semitic hostility.
Hell I’d put Taiwan and South Korea ahead of Israel, too. Especially Taiwan. Israel would still exist without US support, Taiwan? Not so much.
with all the low hurdles and moving goalposts here tonight it’s a regular troll Olympics..
First, Western Europe is not a “country.” Second, well–Japan’s not second either. Unless by foreign aid you mean, we buy a lot of their crap.
@handy: To be fair, in RC’s mind, both Uruguay and Gambia are imaginary and Ruritania won the World Cup.
Gin & Tonic
Since the WaPo is being ridiculed, here’s an actual headline they have on-line, which came up in my Google News feed:
“Ohio votes to repeal collecting bargaining on ‘Issue 2’ ballot measure”
Yes, no shit, sherlock, Western Europe is not a country. I’m shocked I tell you! Absolutely shocked!
Look numbmuts, nobody said anything about “country“, we are talking about the number one “foreign policy beneficiary”.
@RealityCheck you know as much about the Palestinians as Louie Gohmert – maybe you are him, judging from your willful obtuseness and Texass charm.
Lest the apologia whitewash continue, let’s hear from some people who know the what from the what:
@Reality Check: I’m trying to unpack what you are trying to say and failing. I’m guessing this is some species of the conservative complaint that the U.S. doesn’t spend too *much* on defense, or if we do it’s because of the free riding Euroweenies who would be overrun by X(X oddly enough can’t be any country that *also* isn’t spending anything approaching the U.S. or even Western European levels on defense). Also Taiwan *pays* for what they get. They are customers, not welfare cases.
My guess is that you have no idea what costs what, you just *know* things that you don’t know. Like trying to tell Doug about Orthodox anti-zionists in 1967. Guess what, they don’t make any other sort of religious Jew in Israel. If you are religious, you are Orthodox, especially 1948-1967. They don’t have Reform or Conservative Jews there.
That’s nice. You want to say that’s worse than what an average North Korean experiences? You sure?
You’re saying all Jews in Israel are Orthodox Jews? That there are no secular Jews living in Israel? LOL!
@Reality Check: On the whole, I’d rather be in Philadelphia…as long as you weren’t.
I’m out of this thread. You guys just want to beat up a strawman. Look, I think Israel should get the 1967 borders with minor adjustments for security, the settlements should be disbanded, and a Palestinian state set up. You’re arguing with the wrong person. I’m just not going to say Israel is the Whore of Babylon or worse than North Korea or whatever.
Oh, you have shitty logic skills, shocked!
Let’s try again:
*If* you are religious, [then]you are Orthodox.
See how the if/then variable works?
@Reality Check: Bye!
Well, hell, by that reasoning the moon was our number one foreign policy beneficiary in the late 60s and early 70s. If not that at least in our top ten.
Tim in SF
Tom, why would you not feature a painting from the American Grotesque period for this post?
@DougJ: Not Chasidism; wrong term. Zionism and the Zionist state are not accepted by many of the Ultra-Orthodox (Charedi; virtually all Chasidim are Charedi, not all Charedi are Chasidim). Not all Orthodox are Zionist either.
Israel is a thoroughly secular state. And whoever says they’re worse than North Korea is being dumb.
The problem isn’t that Israel is a theocracy. It’s problem is that its coalition politics often leave important ministries in the hands of religious groups and the leeching welfare-queen settlers and charedim have outsized influence.
It’s not theocracy that’s the problem at all. It’s a religiously inspired nationalistic vision of the land that’s the problem.
But don’t give me this Palestinians are angels crap. People are people everywhere.
@Ed Marshall: Maybe that’s logically valid but it untrue, so unsound.
I’m a religious Jew, but I’m not Orthodox. And I’m not the exception that proves the rule. But I’m an American.
In Israel they do have Reform and Conservative Jews. Have you heard of the Women of the Wall? It’s not a major thing, but it’s growing.
And many who attend Orthodox synagogues aren’t really Orthodox, or, at the very least the kind you’re talking about.
That’s like saying all they have in Palestine are radical Islamist Muslims. That’s equally not true.
@Ed Marshall: @handy: So, you got him on that point. But does that really change anything?
Yes we spend too much on defense and are too warlike and we shouldn’t support Israel’s activities in Palestine.
The point of this article is not about Israel or Jews or Palestinians or Muslims. It’s about a psychopathic political element in our country and Israel that somehow get a huge microphone.
I assume you are not an Israeli? I wasn’t even going to get into this, but American Reform Jews (or even Conservative Jews) many times think that their style of Judaism is what is practiced in Israel. As far as the Rabbinical courts are concerned, you may as well be a Christian if you aren’t Orthodox.
I guess we would disagree about that, it’s Jennifer Rubin. She’s ideologically identical to the asshole in Norway obsessed with Muslims who murdered all the children. She is psychopathic in an extremely focused way on a very certain group of people, and it scares the hell out of me.
It should really scare the hell out of Jews. The hoopleheads she riles up with this will have no problem dialing back the history book and reviving the original gangster doctrine of blaming Semitic people for the worlds ills.
then what is the recognition of a “Jewish” state all about?
Actually i know the answer to that.
If Israel can become a “jewish” state they can expell the 1.5 million non-jews that live there and take their land. That is why the Palestinians refuse to recognize a “Jewish” state.
She is a white “judeochristian” nativist like Anders Breivik.
She and Pam Geller are exemplars of the counter-jihaadi movement…idiots that think they can out-jihaadi the jihaadis they purport to despise as subhuman monsters.
Because that works, becoming the enemy to defeat the enemy.
Once you become your enemy, they have won.
@Ed Marshall: i didn’t really understand the movement conservative term “judeochristian nation” until i read Johan Galtung, who won a Nobel for his Peace and Conflict doctrine..
(His daughter was on Utoya, but she lived.)
America has taken up the mantle of the “chosen” people from the jews.
That is why we are joined at the hip, like it or not.