Rachel Abrams is wife to Elliott Abrams, the last Bush administration’s deputy national security adviser.
As a daughter to Norman Podhoretz and Midge Decter, she is a scion of neoconservative royalty,
And together with fellow scion, Bill Kristol, she helped found Emergency Committee on Israel, a conservative group that plans to target politicos it deems insufficiently pro-Israel. Its first target is U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), running for Senate in Pennsylvania.
Over at LobeLog, Daniel Luban has uncovered another facet of her public personality: Her focus on and evident distaste for gay activism.
This struck me, if only because the horrific treatment of gays in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia has, if anything, undergirded neoconservative arguments for making human rights a non-negotiable foundation of dealing with these countries.
You wouldn’t expect a neoconservative to necessarily welcome Hillary Rodham Clinton’s focus on such treatment, but nor would you expect her to go out of her way to bash it, as Abrams does here, in Kristol’s Weekly Standard.
Weirder, though, is the anti-gay invective that informs her parody of Peter Beinart’s New York Review of Books piece that set off a ministorm last month.
Beinart argued that what he said was the American Jewish establishment’s unquestioning support for Israel was alienating Jewish youth. Others have cogently countered his arguments as not taking into account how opinions change with age, and for being overly dismissive of the diversity of opinion in the establishment, and of not sufficiently taking into account its fears of Palestinian radicalism.
But these are not the issues that seem to exercise Abrams. Here’s how she parodies Peter’s description of young liberal Jews:
Most of the students, in other words, were liberals, broadly defined, though an insufficient number were gay and too many were broads. They had imbibed some of the defining values of the mindless knee-jerk liberalism their pony-tailed 62-year-old professors threw at them: a belief in open debate that of course excludes those who would advance anti-feminist or anti-gay or pro-Israel argument, a total hostility to the US military and for that matter to all military forces, a commitment to human rights but not in China or Cuba.
And here she is parodying his argument that American Zionism has become too parochial:
Among American Jews today, there are a great many Zionists, especially in the Orthodox world, people deeply devoted to the State of Israel, but I don’t care for them. They condemn gays, though I want to reassert that I have children, and they are not even liberals.
In 700 words, she mentions gays three times, whereas in 7,000 words, Peter doesn’t mention it once (and it would have been jarring if he did.)
What gives with that?