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Posted at 12:06 PM ET, 02/ 4/2011

Traveling to Israel

By Jennifer Rubin

Later today I'll be traveling to Israel to attend the 11th annual Herzliya Conference. With the region experiencing great upheaval and Israel facing a variety of domestic and international challenges, this is a particularly opportune time to hear from Israelis and listen to Israeli officials and policy experts from around the world. I'll be blogging and tweeting (@JRBlogger), mostly on the Middle East but also on events at home.

In the interest of full disclosure: I am traveling with a group of journalists from other publications. The Emergency Committee for Israel, an American pro-Israel group that has been quite critical of the Obama administration's Israel policy, will be paying for our airline and travel. In 2010, ECI's PAC ran ads critical of a number of liberal incumbents whom ECI considered unsupportive of a robust U.S.-Israel relationship. The views and observations I express will be, as always, purely my own.

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 4, 2011; 12:06 PM ET
Categories:  Israel  
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Next: Friday question


Good luck and have a safe trip!

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 4, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Ditto what john said.

Posted by: SCMike1 | February 4, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what deal was made to allow the Rubin nastiness into the Washington Post. This column should be labeled as an advertisement because it is certainly not written by either a person of wide knowledge or a journalist. Rubin demeans your newspaper as Glenn Beck demeans FOX. The only good news is soon Rubin's diatribes will disappear as the cost of the US-Israeli game begins to be so high that the American people finally notice. History reminds us over and over again that supporting injustice eventually backfires. Americans will care that the US is hated throughout the Middle East by pro-democracy forces because of its blind support for Israeli violence and greed.

Posted by: jj1123 | February 4, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

The Emergency Committee for Israel is one more of hundreds of lobbying outfits funded by Jewish groups to browbeat and terrorize the media and Congress into supporting Israel's illegal occupation, torture, terrorism and land theft. That committee was established by Bill Kristol and other Neocon draft dodging nutcases who will take America into war against everyone in support of Jennifer Rubin's version of imperial Israel. Rubin will come back with new but just as insane, ideas on how American soldiers and taxpayers are obligated to protect Israel.

Posted by: Lazarus40 | February 4, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Political Tool Without a MIND! Only Israel Matters for US Policy is Treasonous! Country First as Long as Israel says Okay! American Exceptionalism Always Know That Israel is Really the Ideal Exceptionalism!

Posted by: carolerae48 | February 4, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

jj1123 -

I think the WaPo was looking for someone to cover the conservative portion of the blogosphere and used its unfortunate experience with the previous hire to good effect. When I read that JR was moving from Commentary’s Contentions blog to these new digs, my first reaction was “Wow, inspired selection!”

Her strength lies in portraying the conservative take on the conventional wisdom with pizzazz and good humor. For example her entries today on Republicans giving up on health-care repeal and the need for liberals to pay more attention to the constitution are important because they don’t just echo what’s being discussed in right-wing circles, but castigate in a quite pleasant tone unserious notions that too many serious left-wingers would adopt without further thought. She clears the air with the much needed exclamation “Come on, are you really serious?”.

I don’t know why you’re concerned about what you refer to as the “US-Israeli game,” but as a conservative I understand the importance of solidarity among free peoples, especially when one of them is in a rather tough neighborhood filled with crazies. If the US is hated by pro-democracy forces in the Middle East, it might be because we haven’t lifted a finger or our voices to help them as some protestors found out in Iran early last summer. As a gentile atheist raised as a Roman Catholic, I don’t understand this administration’s maltreatment of Israeli government representatives, or even Britain’s for that matter, and I’m of Bohemian / German / Irish descent, no empire-lovin’ in my background. No wonder the first couple didn’t get an invite to the royal wedding, but I digress.

One tip: in future diatribes, try omitting “greed” and just complain about “Israeli violence.” Trust me, folks will get the point without drawing the logical conclusion.

Posted by: SCMike1 | February 4, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

It's weird how casual Jennifer is about saying her trip is fully underwritten by a hard-core Zionist group, and that the views she'll spew will be "her own." As if there's any daylight between Rubin and the neo-cons of the Emergency Committee for Israel.

And this is how badly the WaPo's journalistic ethics has decayed from the glory days of breaking the Watergate story. They allow a lobbying agency to pay for one of their reporters to take an overseas trip and simply because she makes "full disclosure" we're supposed to believe that resolves the conflict.

It's obviously not the first time the WaPo has been busted for being too tight with lobbyists.

Posted by: ConscientiousObjector1 | February 4, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Well said, SCMike1. And speaking of Great Britain, this headline in "The Telegraph" is incredible:

WikiLeaks cables: US agrees to tell Russia Britain's nuclear secrets

Have a safe journey, Jen.

Posted by: DocC1 | February 4, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

DocC1 – That headline beats my previous favorite from earlier this year when The One announced:

“We don’t have a stronger friend and stronger ally than Nicolas Sarkozy, and the French people.”

Soccer blue, what the Falklands was he thinking? If the man does not realize who our friends are, he cannot know who our enemies are.

But I guess we knew that…

Posted by: SCMike1 | February 4, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Ditto what John said, and I hope you get a good performance review.

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 4, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

We love the Rubin sandwich at our household. And tell Jonah we were only kidding about that receptacle for his large mind; he'll understand about those crazed cat people. But I stand by the cult movies Eye of the Cat with Roz Russell and Michael Sarrazin, and The House That Screamed with Lili Palmer.

Posted by: aardunza | February 4, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Rubin, have a good and safe trip, and please ask Noah Pollak to write again.
I know his work for ECI is critical, but I do miss his eloquent and incisive voice, without peer.

Posted by: K2K2 | February 5, 2011 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Wow! Jen, you are pro-Isreal.

Who Knew?

Posted by: meta-materialist | February 5, 2011 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Since she believes that "nearly all wisdom can be found in Godfather movies and the Torah" she is going to the right place. The corruption of Israeli politicians and their Mossad "hitmen" matchs the Godfather movies. As for the Torah, Former Chief Rabbi Yosef, leader of Shaa Party claims that non-Jews were created,like donkeys, to serve the Jews. Two other Rabbis wrote the popular book, "Torat Hamelech", which
is a justifation for killing non-Jews and even their babies pre-emptively because non-Jews arn't compassinate. These views
are based in the Torah and other religious texts.Other Rabbis call for the annhilation of all Arabs, using Palestinian
children as human shields, don' rent or sell property to non-Jews etc. I guess it doesn't bother WaPo about the bias it shows by who is funding her trip. No objectivity there. Of course on her trip she probably won't talk to a Palestinian.

Posted by: treetopsfarm | February 5, 2011 7:07 AM | Report abuse

@treetopsfarm -

Kindly reveal the location of the treetop you live in some I'll know what area to avoid. Thanks

Posted by: alexandria6351 | February 5, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

So now you want provide full disclosure?
How honest of you now Jennifer Rubin.

And I always thought your irrational support of anything Israel did, regardless of how brutal, was the result of a lack of patriotism for the US and a loose screw. But it turns out you are a "Israel firster" and that is why you write so many irrational things.

Have a great time and check out the housing options b/c you need a new homeland you can be loyal to.

Posted by: FoundingMother | February 5, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Well, of course. With the region (Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, Algeria, Syria, etc.) in flux, what better time to head to Israel and hear their fears/paranoia (sorry, their sober analysis and reasoned point of view)? Let me go out on a limb and guess which topics Jen will "independently" decide to focus on: the ever-growing-and-increasingly-worrisome Hamas-Hezbollah-Muslim Brotherhood linkage? the Iranian threat (no doubt they are only days away from getting the bomb, according to the latest infallible Israeli intelligence assessment)? the growth of radical Islam (AKA how Israel is a villa in the jungle, a beacon of light in the darkness, standard-bearer of democracy in a region of primitives, etc.) and why Israel absolutely, positively, cannot under any circumstances enter into peace negotiations now because of regional "instability" and the lack of any partners for peace? Perhaps she'll mention the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanction) movement and how it's just another way for those dastardly terror-lovin' anti-Semites to delegitimize Israel? Wait, did I mention Iran? Don't forget, 1938 is just around the corner....

Will Jen mention the rising tide of racism, fascism, and anti-democratic sentiments in Israeli society? Will she write about the growing nonviolent protest movement against land confiscation and the illegal routing of the Wall? Will she mention that there has been a peace proposal on the table since 2002 waiting for a response? How about the increasingly extremist settler movement? Probably not; after all, why would the "only democracy in the Middle East" be concerned with such trifling matters?

I also have to wonder; doesn't WaPo have ethics guidelines about their writers going off on all-expenses-paid propaganda junkets and then passing off columns as "independent?"

Posted by: pronomad95 | February 5, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Have a safe trip and a good time!

Posted by: Beniyyar | February 5, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Rubin: can you let us know which journalists are covering the concurrent sessions on global economics and peak oil since I sort of assume you will be more interested in foreign policy sessions, or recovering from General Jim Jones keynote address:)

Quite a conference schedule - Israel's version of Davos without the glitz.

Posted by: K2K2 | February 5, 2011 10:16 PM | Report abuse

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