last updated: November 14, 2012
- Emergency Committee for Israel: Founding Board Member
- The Weekly Standard: Contributor/Blogger
Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.
Rachel Abrams, a writer and blogger associated with the militarist “pro-Israel” group the Emergency Committee for Israel, is a member of a well-established neoconservative family. Her spouse, Elliott Abrams is a veteran of both the Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush administrations who was convicted (and later pardoned) for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal; her mother, Midge Decter, is on the board of the Center for Security Policy and was a founding member of the Project for the New American Century and the Reagan-era Committee for the Free World, which she co-directed with Donald Rumsfeld; her step-father, Norman Podhoretz, is a former editor of the neoconservative flagship magazine Commentary and a widely recognized trailblazer of the neoconservative movement (Norman’s son from another marriage, John Podhoretz, is currently editor of Commentary); and her sister, Ruthie Blum Leibowitz, is a columnist for the conservative Jerusalem Post.
Abrams serves on the board of the Emergency Committee for Israel, a neoconservative advocacy group established in mid-2010 in part to counter the Mideast policies of President Barack Obama. Other board members include William Kristol, editor and founder of the Weekly Standard and cofounder of the Foreign Policy Initiative; and Gary Bauer, a well-know Christian Zionist who leads the lobby groups American Values and Keep Israel Safe and serves on the executive board of John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel. Noah Pollack, a contributor to Commentary and former assistant editor at the Jerusalem-based Shalem Center, has served as the group’s executive director.
Notorious for her vindictive and inflated rhetoric, Rubin debuted her blog “Bad Rachel” in February 2010. Mostly tongue-in-cheek commentary and parodies of liberal officials, her commentary fervently defends the state of Israel and often angrily criticizes anyone who disagrees with her views.
For instance, in October 2011, after the release of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been captured by Hamas in 2006, Abrams wrote on her blog: “Celebrate, Israel, with all the joyous gratitude that fills your heart. … Then round up his captors, the slaughtering, death-worshiping, innocent-butchering, child-sacrificing savages who dip their hands in blood and use women—those who aren’t strapping bombs to their own devils’ spawn and sending them out to meet their seventy-two virgins by taking the lives of the school-bus-riding, heart-drawing, Transformer-doodling, homework-losing children of Others—and their offspring—those who haven’t already been pimped out by their mothers to the murder god—as shields, hiding behind their burkas and cradles like the unmanned animals they are, and throw them not into your prisons, where they can bide until they’re traded by the thousands for another child of Israel, but into the sea, to float there, food for sharks, stargazers, and whatever other oceanic carnivores God has put there for the purpose.”
This tirade prompted popular conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan to nominate Abrams for a “Malkin Award,” which his blog awards “for shrill, hyperbolic, divisive and intemperate right-wing rhetoric.” (Sullivan cited Right Web’s profile of Abrams in characterizing her as a “neocon doyenne.”)
In another revealing blog entry, Abrams described how she and her husband got lost while driving back from an Israel settlement in the occupied West Bank. “We are lost on an unfamiliar road in a part of Jerusalem neither one of us recognizes,” she wrote. “Uphill to our left is what looks like a techy office area; downhill to our right is the Zionist Racist Apartheid Wall. As we pass along at warp speed I say out loud to Mr. Leadfoot, the only person within earshot, ‘F*** you, Arabs!’ Then rant on in my head so as not to further irritate an already irritated driver who hates getting lost and almost never does so: ‘This partition was their choice. They could have had their state sixty-three years ago, if only they’d accepted the original partition instead of going to war against the Jews. Blah, blah, blah.’ I’d be pacing back and forth if not for being trapped in a car.”
After President Obama won re-election in November 2012, defeating Mitt Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Abrams was predictably bitter, writing: “We Jews have frequently enjoyed risking our own future in elections … and we’ve successfully done so once again.”
Observers have noted Abrams’s tendency to place the term “Palestinians” in quotes, as if to question whether the Palestinians exist as a people and thus call into question their claim to Palestinian lands. Additionally, as Daniel Luban of the Inter Press Service has noted, Abrams “constantlyadopts the argot of the Israeli settler movement by referring to the West Bank as ‘Judea and Samaria.’”
According to Luban, Abrams frequently mixes apparent homophobic sentiments with her “pro-Israel” views. Luban highlights Abrams’ critique of an article by Peter Beinart in the New York Review of Books in which she parodies his voice: “While most of her Beinart ‘parody’ is devoted to accusations that he is insufficiently devoted to the state of Israel, a large chunk of it is spent on rather bizarre and gratuitous insinuations that Beinart is gay. Thus she has fake-Beinart complaining, about a focus group of Jewish students, that “an insufficient number were gay and too many were broads,” and espousing his support for ‘open debate that of course excludes those who would advance anti-feminist or anti-gay or pro-Israel argument.’ (It’s striking that she equates ‘pro-Israel’ with ‘anti-feminist’ and ‘anti-gay’ arguments.) Then she has fake-Beinart condemning Orthodox Jews for homophobia before defensively reasserting his own heterosexuality: ‘they condemn gays, though I want to reassert that I have children,” a trope that she repeats throughout the piece.’”
Luban, who discovered a number of similar examples in Abrams’s writings, notes that her apparently anti-gay tendencies are closely in line with those of her parents. “Abrams is a real piece of work, and seems pathologically incapable of hiding her obsession with (and distaste for) homosexuality. Perhaps it’s not surprising given her parents: Midge Decter was the author of the notoriously homophobic 1980 Commentary article ‘'The Boys on the Beach,’ while Norman Podhoretz’s particular brand of wounded, insecure, obviously-compensating hypermasculinity will be familiar to readers of essays like ‘My Negro Problem — And Ours.’”
Abrams has been harshly critical of the Obama administration’s policies toward Israel. After the March 2009 meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, she wrote, “What happened at yesterday's meeting between Bibi Netanyahu and Barack Obama was no more than a return to the U.S. policy of pressing Israel to endanger herself for the sake of whichever ‘strategic interest’ happens to be paramount at the moment—today it is our diplomatic opening to Iran that may be imperiled by a lack of progress on the establishment of a Palestinian state—and, of course, that ever-desirable, always-elusive siren, ‘peace.’”
Six months later she lambasted Obama’s speech on the eve of the Jewish New Year in September of 2009: “The day after the Goldstone report maligns the Jewish State—which so cherishes human life it forces its soldiers to do everything humanly possible to avoid shedding the blood of the women and children behind whose skirts and baby carriages the enemy hides—by comparing it with Hamas—which uses the bodies of the innocent as shields—the president of the United States joins the jackals, suggesting the Israelis have something to learn in the way of tolerance and empathy from him. Really, he has no shame.”
In another post, Abrams disparaged the Obama administration’s foreign policy and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, writing, “The Obamic foreign policy, such as it is, seems to be being formulated and conducted as much (maybe more?) from the West Wing as from Foggy Bottom, and by people even less familiar with the issues than she, who’ve done almost nothing in their lives but run political campaigns—and that’s in Chicago, where a little cold hard cash and some cold stiff bodies voting at graveyard polling stations can get anyone elected—and who are still in essence running a campaign today, though they call it a presidency.”
Abrams has also singled out the Obama administration’s policies on Iran. As the deadline for negotiations approached at the end of 2009, Abrams compared the U.S. government’s policies to those of pre-Nazi Europe, writing, “The jettisoning of human rights, the accusation against predecessors, the willful blindness to reality, the active undermining of pro-democracy activist groups, all constitute a dangerous slouch toward the obscene cowardice that blighted Europe in the face of the Nazis. … Knowing we're with them, really with them, even if only in spirit, could save them, as every survivor of Soviet domination will attest; and in telling them so we could rediscover the moral center in our great fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Abrams has long been a critic of Democratic Party politicians, whom she derides as the “educated, left-leaning, affluent professional class.” In 1994, in the midst of the Whitewater affair, she wrote in the conservative Washington Times,“I know something about Bill and Hillary Clinton right now. I know how their stomachs churn, how their anxiety mounts, how their worry over their defenseless child increases. I know their inability to sleep at night and their reluctance to rise in the morning. I know every new incursion of doubt, every heartbreak over bailing friends, every sting and bite the press gives, every jaw-clenching look at front-page photographs of Robert Fiske Jr., the special prosecutor. I know all this, and the thought of it makes me happy.”
Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.
Please click the following link to bookmark this page:
If the link doesn't appear don't worry, your browser doesn't support this function.
Try pressing 'ctrl + d' on a PC or 'cmd + d' if your using a Mac.
Rachel Abrams Résumé
- Emergency Committee for Israel: Board member
- Weekly Standard: Contributor
- Commentary Magazine: Former contributor
Right Web is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
The Right Web Mission
Right Web tracks militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy.
 Eli Clifton, “Former Bush Administration Official Heads Up Latest Astroturf Group Pushing For Attack On Iran,” Inter Press Service, LobeLog.com, July 11, 2010, http://www.lobelog.com/former-bush-administration-official-heads-up-latest-astroturf-group-pushing-for-attack-on-iran/.
 Rachel Abrams, "Gilad !!!!!!!!!!," Bad Rachel blog, October 18, 2011, http://badrachel.blogspot.com/2011/10/gilad.html?spref=tw.
 Andrew Sullivan, "Malkin Award Nominee," The Dish, The Daily Beast, 18 October 2011, http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/10/malkin-award-nominee-4.html.
 Rachel Abrams, "Headache among the Believers," Bad Rachel blog, July 1, 2011, http://badrachel.blogspot.com/2011/07/headache-among-believers.html.
 Rachel Abrams, “On That 70 Percent of the Jewish Vote ,” Bad Rachel, November 7, 2012, http://badrachel.blogspot.ch/2012/11/on-that-70-percent-of-jewish-vote.html.
 Matt Duss, “‘Prissy Schoolmarm’s Lips,’” The Wonk Room, November 2, 2009, http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2009/11/02/prissy-schoolmarms-lips/.
 Rachel Abrams, “On the Middle East, It’s Déjà Vu,” The Weekly Standard Blog, March 19, 2009, http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/05/on_the_middle_east_its_deja_vu.asp
 Rachel Abrams, “Shameful,” The Weekly Standard Blog, September 17, 2009, http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/09/shameful.asp.
 Rachel Abrams, “We Are On the Wrong Side,” The Weekly Standard Blog, December 31, 2009, http://www.blackcatrum.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/12/we_are_on_the_wrong_side.asp.
 Rachel Abrams, “When a special prosecutor comes into your life,” The Washington Time, March 10, 1994, p. A21.