Kramer: Today is one year since the passing of Barry Rubin, scholar and friend. I knew him for thirty-five years. I offer an appraisal of his remarkable journey, which began on the anti-Zionist left, and of his prodigious writings on the Middle East.
Today, February 3, marks one year since Barry Rubin, scholar and friend, lost his bout with an aggressive cancer. He was sixty-four. The many tributes published upon his passing celebrated him as a prolific and passionate advocate for his adopted country, Israel, and as a tireless scholar who generated a steady flow of writings and an astonishing array of initiatives: a think tank, several journals, and many conferences. His highly regarded expertise made him the go-to source on the Middle East for journalists, diplomats, and some Israeli public figures.
This was Barry Rubin, the finished product. Had you told me thirty-five years ago, when I first met him, that he would become not only “one of the great intellectual defenders of Israel,” but an Israeli, I would have dismissed you. Nothing would have seemed so improbable…
Martin Kramer was one of the first writers I encountered as started to read about the Middle East after 9/11.