Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin faced intense backlash on Saturday after she suggested in a tweet that the Republican party was somehow responsible for creating the conditions that led to Hamas’ unprovoked attack on Israel.
Rubin appeared to be criticizing Republicans who had suggested that President Joe Biden's foreign policy failures, particularly the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 and the recent deal freeing up $6 billion in Iranian oil money, had ultimately led to the attack on Israel, a close ally of the United States.
In her tweet, Rubin wrote, “How about this: With US House in chaos and US military promotions on hold, Hamas struck. Republicans’ weakness invites terror.” The tweet was met with swift and harsh criticism from both Republicans and Democrats.
Dan McLaughlin responded, “You seriously think this operation was planned in a week and that the principal variables in the decision were Hamas’s fear of Kevin McCarthy & some US generals not getting promoted?” Others chimed in, calling her comment “idiotic” and accusing her of being “off her meds.”
You seriously think this operation was planned in a week and that the principal variables in the decision were Hamas's fear of Kevin McCarthy & some US generals not getting promoted? https://t.co/pzumMeLiIM
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) October 7, 2023
Margot Cleveland added, “Hamas struck because someone didn’t get another gold star?” Real Clear Politics co-founder and president Tom Bevan simply stated, “Somebody’s off the meds.”
Many commenters pointed out that Hamas is a terrorist organization with a long history of attacking Israel, and that their actions are not influenced by the political turmoil in the United States. Some also expressed disbelief that Rubin, a journalist with the Washington Post, would make such an inflammatory and baseless claim.
Others pointed out the absurdity of suggesting that terrorist attacks can be prevented by the political actions of the US. “Hamas was not sitting around waiting for the GOP to do a song and dance to start a blood-lust hatred for the Jews,” one commenter wrote. “And as someone who actually worked with Mossad and Shin Bet, they don’t either,” former CIA and FBI agent Tracy Walder said.
Look, I’m no Republican and the fact that military promotions are on hold is horrific, but Hamas definitely doesn’t care. And as someone who actually worked with Mossad and Shin Bet, they don’t either
— Tracy Walder (@tracy_walder) October 7, 2023
Ben Domenech summed up the sentiment of many, calling Rubin a “heinous traitor to her people.” The backlash against Rubin's tweet reflects the larger divide and tensions within the US over the conflict between Israel and Hamas. It also highlights the dangers of making baseless and politically charged statements during a time of crisis and heightened emotions.
In response to the backlash, Rubin tweeted a follow-up saying, “OK, I’m no expert, but my off-the-cuff tweet should not be taken as anything other than an observation that threats against our security are more likely when we seem weak and in disarray,” which further angered her critics. This incident serves as a reminder to all journalists and public figures to be responsible with their words, especially during times of conflict and crisis.