Take action against anti-Semitism
A Jewish space laser! Sounds crazy, no?
But once we get past both the “Fiddler On the Roof” reference and the obvious silliness of such an assertion, this is no laughing matter.
The U.S. Congress is engaged in serious discussions about new member, Marjorie Taylor Greene. Rep. Greene has advanced dangerous conspiracy theories, including the fake “Rothschild laser,” explicitly antisemitic.
In past years, Greene has asserted:
The 2018 California wildfires were ignited by a space laser controlled by a Jewish corporation; “Zionist supremacists” are masterminding Muslim immigration to Europe in order to outbreed white people; shootings in Parkland, Fla., Sandy Hook and Las Vegas were fake; 9/11 was an “inside job”; Muslims don’t belong in government; Democratic office holders should be executed.
And lest anyone think these “loony lies and conspiracy theories” (Sen. Mitch McConnell’s description) are unimportant because they came before Greene was elected to Congress, think again. Last week, she defiantly defended her beliefs, “I will never back down.”
With all due respect to voters in Georgia’s 14th District, Greene does not deserve a position of leadership where she chooses to use her role as a pulpit to spread lies and hatred.
Jews are, by far, not the only targets of hatred, historically and especially today, as America comes to grips with racial inequality history and systemic racism, but anti-Semitism is by far the oldest form of hatred, and often manifests itself in promotion of outlandish conspiracies.
Many of today’s conspiracy theories, promoted to explain the world’s woes by suggesting a super-secret, all-powerful elite group of outsiders is behind them, arose out of biblical and then traditional European anti-Semitism. When in doubt, blame the Jews!
And this problem can be found in the political spectrum’s right and left. While today we are critical of Rep. Greene, we were equally vocal in past criticism of Rep. Ilhan Omar, Minnesota, when she claimed her colleagues supported Israel for financial reasons and warned of “political influence” pushing for “allegiance to a foreign country.” Like the promotion of conspiracy theories, the accusation that Jews have allegiance to a foreign government has long been a vile, anti-Semitic slur used to harass, marginalize and persecute Jewish people for centuries.
Legitimate policy differences and on best actions to move our nation forward are important and welcome aspects of democracy. There are no shortages of disagreements within the Jewish community. But there is no place in our public discourse, particularly from someone with the solemn responsibility to represent the interests of the people, for this or any kind of hatred.
We call on members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, and on all good people of conscience, to take action and to speak out forcefully against the promotion of these conspiratorial lies.
BONNIE DEUTSCH BURDMAN
Community Relations /Government Affairs