In 2007-08, Jennifer Rubin supported Rudy Giuliani, now one of President Trump’s most ardent defenders, for president. When Mitt Romney announced his bid for the presidency, Rubin denounced him for choosing the Henry Ford Museum as his venue.
Romney selected this location because of his family’s connection to the automobile industry, his own theme of innovation, and his desire to win votes in Michigan where he was born and raised. Noting, however, that Ford was an anti-Semite, Rubin argued that Romney’s selection of this venue was indicative of “a lack of sensitivity to the concerns many Jews have about their place in American society.” She then projected this alleged insensitivity upon Republicans as a whole, and claimed that until Republicans overcome this perception, Jews will continue to vote Democratic.
By 2011-12, however, Rubin was in the tank for Romney. His alleged insensitivity to Jews no longer mattered to Rubin. Thus, she launched unfair attacks on Romney’s rivals.
Now, Rubin is accusing President Trump of anti-Semitism. According to this report, she said on MSNBC:
Nationalism goes hand in hand with anti-Semitism. The entire idea of anti-Semitism is to put Jews outside the definition of us.
That’s what Donald Trump does. That’s his theme. That’s what his party is committed to doing. That comes back in every speech now he gives that comes back in the hysteria over immigration, which is actually at all-time lows.
Rubin’s modus operandi is obvious. If she dislikes a politician or favors his opponent, she will look for an angle from which to attack him as hostile or insensitive to Jews.
In Romney’s case, the attack was ridiculous, as the late Dean Barnett demonstrated. So is her attack on Trump.
The idea of anti-Semitism may be, in part, to put Jews outside the definition of “us,” but that’s not the idea of nationalism. The idea of nationalism, and certainly of Trump’s, is to put the national interest ahead of the interests of foreigners and foreign nations. Obviously, this approach entails no adverse consequences for American Jews.
Rather, it is directed against nations Trump believes take advantage of the U.S. (and Israel is never included in Trump’s lists of such nations); against international bodies that seek to limit U.S. sovereignty; and against people who try to enter the U.S. illegally.
It’s Rubin, not Trump, who seems to put American Jews outside the definition of “us” — of Americans. That, I think, is the logical implication of her MSNBC rant.
Trump has never suggested that he considers American Jews outsiders. The fact that his daughter, an influential member of his inner circle, converted to Judaism and that two of his grandchildren are Jewish should negate any claim that Trump holds such a view.
The best Rubin can do, other than her “outside of us” non-sequitur, is to whine about Trump’s position on illegal immigration. One can agree or disagree with Trump about this matter.
But none of the groups whose immigration or potential immigration Trump rails against contains Jews (in more than de mimimis numbers, anyway). Were any Jews affected by the travel ban? I doubt it. The alleged infirmity of that decree was its impact on some Muslims, a very small percentage of them.
Are there Jews in the caravan headed our way from Honduras? Maybe some reporters, but no one who is seeking to enter the U.S. illegally, I should think.
Advocacy loses credibility when it becomes petty, illogical, and patently one-sided. Rubin’s advocacy fails each of these tests, and has since at 2007.