Andrew N. Rubin is an untenured assistant professor of English Literature at Georgetown University. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Brown University, his master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Sussex, and his doctorate in English from Columbia University. Rubin is the author of the forthcoming book Archives of Authority: The State, the Text, and the Critic. He is also the co-editor of Adorno: A Critical Reader, and the co-editor of The Edward Said Reader. He is currently writing a manuscript entitled Exiled in America: Representations of Empire in Jose Marti, Theodor Adorno, Thomas Mann, Arnold Schoenberg, and C. L. R James.
Known for his strong anti-Israel views, Rubin is an energetic promoter of the teachings of the late Professor Edward Said. Like Said, Rubin teaches English literature, and – again like Said – Rubin has no credentials at all that could qualify him as an expert on Middle East history and politics. Nevertheless he is most vocal in his condemnations of Israel. Professor Said could at least read Arabic, whereas Rubin cannot; he is best described as an anti-Israel Jewish Marxist.
Most of Rubin's vita consists of sycophantic articles about Said, including "Techniques of Trouble: Edward Said and the Dialectics of Cultural Philology"; "Intellectual Giant -- Edward Said: Criticism and Theory" in the Journal of Palestine Studies; and "Edward W. Said (1935-2003)" in Arab Studies Quarterly (Fall 2004). Rubin also regularly praises Said while on the lecture circuit.
Rubin has defended the curriculum of totalitarian Ba'athist propaganda that was proliferated by Iraqi "universities" back when Saddam Hussein was in control. Rubin's take is this: "Yet despite the tyranny exercised over Iraqi society by Saddam Hussein, the university classroom was (some professors often claim) a relatively autonomous space for learning and instruction, where professors, lecturers and students could be openly critical. They could even criticise the government."
Rubin's writings are featured on the PLO's web pages, and he publishes in the Journal of Palestine Studies, which the Middle East Quarterly describes as a "PLO propaganda organ disguised as an academic journal; for example, it routinely refers to the creation of Israel as an-Nakba (‘catastrophe' in Arabic)." Orbis (Fall 1988, p. 637) describes the Institute of Palestine Studies, publisher of the Journal of Palestine Studies, as "an arm of the Palestine Liberation Organization."
Rubin also turns out anti-Israel and anti-American articles for Egypt's al-Ahram. In one such piece, he impugns Israel for daring to build a security fence designed to prevent Arab terrorists from murdering Jewish civilians. He lists assorted pseudo-statistics about how many Palestinians have been inconvenienced by the wall, but with never a single mention of the reason why Israel was building the wall in the first place: the long history of atrocities conducted against Israeli civilians by the PLO and its affiliates. That piece was reprinted in Counterpunch in July 2005.
In the same piece, Rubin proposes a "peace plan." After repeating Said's statements about how autonomy for Palestinians would amount to "Bantustans," Rubin adds: "Nations could impose a 'Human Rights Tax' on companies contracted to supply goods (bulldozers for example) and services to the Israeli government's efforts to build and reinforce the wall. It may serve as a kind of prelude to what appears to be a growing and globally orchestrated movement to divest from Israel so long as it continues its illegal occupation and refuses to remove the wall in its existing form."
Rubin was one of the American academics to rally to support Columbia's professor Joseph Massad when the latter was under investigation for his open anti-Semitism and classroom misbehavior. In November 2004 Rubin published an open letter denouncing Congressman Anthony Weiner when the latter criticized Massad and supported the need to investigate him. Rubin wrote there:
"I have known Professor Joseph Massad for ten years personally and have read many of his incisive books, essays, and articles that have widely expanded our knowledge of the historical sources and effects of Zionism in this world, and I find your [Weiner’s] charges of anti-Semitism against him dishonest, defamatory, and even barbaric in its conflation of the criticism of various forms and practices of various Zionist ideologies with the hatred of and the discrimination against Jews.... You will, I assure you, find nothing anti-Jewish about his work, rather a strong-minded and razor-sharp analysis and criticism of the emergence and practice of different forms of Zionist ideologies and Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank and Gaza; its attempt to militarily, politically and physically destroy a population of human beings living since 1948 as refugees and exiles – and under military occupation for over 35 years."
This profile is adapted from the article "Andrew Said's Georgetown Toady," written by Steven Plaut and published by FrontPageMagazine.com on July 15, 2005.