TAKE ACTION: Tell The Washington Post To Retract Jen Rubin’s Charge That ThinkProgress Is ‘Anti-Semitic’

Jennifer Rubin

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin this week in two separate posts smeared CAP and its bloggers as “anti-Semitic” and “anti-Israel.” In her first post highlighting a recent Politico piece — which was originally titled “Liberal think tank harbors Israel haters” but subsequently changed to “Uncovering the anti-Israel enablers” — Rubin, without offering any evidence, said our “views are not merely anti-Israel, they are anti-Semitic” and that our writing is “fiction for Israel haters.” Rubin posted a follow-up story the next day, noting Progressive Policy Institute senior fellow Josh Block’s role in it and added, again without offering any evidence, that CAP bloggers promote “out-and-out anti-Semitic hate speech”:

Block is a self-identified Democratic activist whose pro-Israel credentials are well known. He’s actively worked for years to elect scores of Democrats. Of course he wants the anti-Israel left to be exposed. Of course he wants pro-Israel Democrats on record as distancing themselves from the CAP-housed bloggers who peddle in anti-Israel attacks and out-and-out anti-Semitic hate speech.

Again, Rubin offered no proof of these charges. But she promoted Block’s claim that “the European Union’s accepted definition of anti-Semitic hate speech applies to much of the CAP bloggers’ rhetoric, such as holding Israel to a dual standard while demonizing the Jewish state.” The “accepted definition” she links to is an undated EU Military Committee “working definition of antisemitism,” but Rubin presented no direct quotes from any ThinkProgress posts that meet any of the criteria the EU document listed.

We categorically reject these accusations. We don’t endorse the term “Israel firsters” or demonize the Jewish state on ThinkProgress. We are not anti-Semitic and this blog regularly promotes a strong relationship with Israel. Further, there is no anti-Semitic or anti-Israel “hate speech” written anywhere on this blog. We would never condone such language or beliefs, and in fact, we have made efforts to fight individuals who do engage in anti-Semitic discourse. For example, earlier this year, we reported that Jewish groups were “deeply concerned” that former Alaska governor Sarah Palin had used the anti-Semitic term “blood libel” to describe criticism by her detractors.

Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton criticized Rubin last month for promoting a “brand of incendiary rhetoric [that] has gained too much purchase on the landscape of American politics.” Pexton added that the rhetoric Rubin promotes “pollutes our discourse and erodes the soil on which reasonable solutions and compromises can be built, whether at home or in the Middle East.”

The Washington Post should issue a correction to Rubin’s post. Please email, or tweet, politely asking that the Post correct Rubin’s article.