On Thursday, the Tikvah Fund will be hosting the video personality Dave Rubin at the Freedom of Speech Conference in Jerusalem.
The website explains that the conference is intended to explore the “burning questions about Freedom of Speech in Western Society and Israel.”
“freedom of speech is the basis of every liberal democratic society. It is a precondition for academic freedom, the freedom of the press, and open civil discourse. In America, the freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. In Israel, it does not appear in the text of any Basic Laws. Is freedom of speech respected in Israeli society and its cultural centers? What should be the limits, if any, on freedom of speech?”
Rubin was born Jewish and has a deep and personal; connection to Israel. His parents met in the 1970s while working on separate kibbutzim. Following their lead, Rubin first visited the country in 1997, learning for a semester at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Ten years later, he came to Israel to attend his sister’s wedding in Jaffa. He has visited at least four times since then.
Rubin, who is openly gay, is known for having crossed over from being a liberal Democrat to being what he calls “a classical liberal”. Part of this change was due to the failure of the Democratic party to condemn Muslim attacks and other forms of antisemitism, even from within their own ranks. Rubin became frustrated by what he describes as the progressive Left no longer upholding liberal values such as freedom of speech, limited government overreach in people’s lives and only judging individuals by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.
His YouTube channel titled “The Rubin Report” has almost two million subscribers.
Rubin’s visit to Israel coincides with visits by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, both strong advocates of Israel. McCarthy praised Israel in a tweet:
“The United States and Israel share a special relationship: we are the only two countries in history that were conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that we are all equal. I know the best days for Israel—and our unbreakable bond—are ahead of us”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib who has a history of antisemitism and anti-Zionism, responded to McCarthy’s tweet:
“Speaker McCarthy wants to rewrite history but the apartheid state of Israel was born out of violence and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. 75 years later, the Nakba continues to this day.”
Nakba is the Arabic word meaning ‘catastrophe’. It is used to refer to the failure of the combined armies of five Arab nations to annihilate the newly re-established Jewish nation. Tlaib, born in Detroit, is the daughter of Israeli Arabs who immigrated to the US.
Dave Rubin responded to Tlaib’s tweet:
“I’ve been in Israel for past week. There is extraordinary coexistence between Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze and more. Heading to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, today for a free speech conference. Will send some pics from the old city later, you crusty vile wench.”