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Opinion & Reviews

False accusations of anti-Semitism against Sen. Rubio set dangerous precedent

Some critics of Sen. Rubio took to Twitter to suggest his criticism of “upscale liberals who control the media” necessarily means he was attacking Jewish-Americans. We believe that is a dishonest and unfair correlation, and Sen. Rubio deserves an apology.

January 13, 2022 8:14pm

Updated: January 14, 2022 1:43am

Sen. Marco Rubio has been falsely accused of anti-Semitism because he criticized the media, a correlation that irrationally suggests Jewish-Americans control the media. We believe Sen. Rubio’s record on combatting anti-Semitism speaks for itself, and that the false accusations against him are dangerous. Sen. Rubio never suggested the media was run by Jews—his critics did, and by doing so they revived a decades-old myth that should have been left to die. 

Here’s a recap of how the false accusations got started:

Sen. Rubio’s original comments came on Jan. 6 at 4:35 p.m. as a response to the media frenzy over the anniversary of the U.S. Capitol breach. He tweeted, “The upscale liberals who control the media and Democrat party believe the Jan 6th was another Pearl Harbor or 9/11 And the rest of America, including many Democrats, think they are nuts.”

Whether you agree or disagree with Sen. Rubio’s criticism that upscale liberals control media, such criticism was nothing new. Many Republicans have expressed frustration with the mainstream media for the past decade—or two—or maybe even three or four. 

Remember Alexander Vindman, the U.S. Army Lt. Col. Who was Director of European Affairs for the National Security Council, the witness who testified in Oct. 2019 about the purported ‘Trump-Ukraine’ scandal? It was LTC Vindman’s testimony before Congress that partially led to the (failed) impeachment charges of Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress against former President Donald Trump.

LTC Vindman’s wife, Rachel, is politically active and even appeared in a commercial for the anti-Trump Lincoln Project supporting President Joe Biden’s campaign in 2020.

On Jan. 7 at 10:00 a.m. Mrs. Vindman tweeted, “Upscale Liberals = Jews Come on, lil’ Marco, fly that race flag high! I hear your people are into that these days. Be LOUD and PROUD in your racism, @marcorubio.”

Two hours later at 12:08 p.m. Fred Guttenberg, the surviving father of one of the students killed in the 2017 Parkland based Marjorie Stoneman Douglas shooting massacre joined in, tweeting, “@marcorubio, when you say, “upscale liberals who control media” who do you mean” Don’t hide behind your anti-Semitism Marco. As for 9/11 my brother died because of it. The main difference is January 6th was a terror attack by Americans, invited by people like you.”

The following morning at 9:58 a.m. a Boston man identifying himself with the Twitter handle CappyinBoston03 tweeted, “You realize Marco is talking about Jews below right? He’s literally spreading Antisemitic tropes. A US Senator.”

Sen. Rubio’s Chief of Staff, Mike Needham fired back on Jan. 12 at 8:05 p.m., saying, “Your fake outrage is boring.”

One thing about Mr. Needham our readers may find interesting is that he’s Jewish. Would Sen. Rubio really hire a Jewish Chief of Staff as his most high-powered staffer to rely upon and trust if he was truly anti-Semitic? We don’t buy that.

We agree with Mr. Needham that the aforementioned false accusations are “fake outrage.” We live in a time when serious accusations such as anti-Semitism and racism are weaponized by the Left to intimidate, minimize and silence any person with a political view contrary to their own. Such accusations are serious and minimize the actual anti-Semitism that Jews around the world have endured whether it was in Germany, Russia, the Middle East—even Latin America—or right here in the U.S.

Suggesting that the news in the United States is controlled by Jewish-Americans, even when making a faux accusation of anti-Semitism is in itself perpetuating a hurtful and false myth that was invented decades ago by real anti-Semites who wanted to turn the American public against Jewish-Americans.

We believe Sen. Rubio’s record in condemning anti-Semitism speaks for itself. If the senator’s false accusers need a reminder, they should carefully read the Senate Resolution he co-sponsored on May. 25, 2021 in which he joined 11 other Republican senators in condemning “acts of violence against Jewish people in the United States and around the world,” referring to anti-Semitism as “poisonous rhetoric” that “is condemnable and has no place in society.”

We agree with Sen. Rubio that anti-Semitism has no place in society. This includes using Judaism to make false accusations for political gain. Those who levied this false accusation against Sen. Rubio should apologize to him, and the Jewish community, and retract their irresponsible statements.