Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Culture

Can we laugh at Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ‘Jewish lasers?’

I have a theory. Sometime in 2018, Marjorie Taylor Greene, recovering from periodontal surgery and still coming down from anesthesia, was flipping through channels and got very confused.

First she landed on Norman Jewison’s “Fiddler on the Roof,” got bored with the character of the old butcher, and found her way to “Star Wars.” Somewhere in between, she saw news coverage of the California Camp Fire, determined there were Rothschild-funded lasers in space causing the deadly blaze and decided to post that belief to Facebook.

Antisemitism’s a hell of a drug.

Now, for my own part, this is just conjecture. Just like how Greene insisted she was taking a swing at the most smeared Jewish family in world history “in speculation because there are too many coincidences to ignore.”

After Media Matters unearthed Greene’s post Thursday, and a number of other outlets reported on her harassment of Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg and her insistence that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged, Jewish Twitter was unsure of what to make of this, perhaps her most insane claim yet.

Many found the premise funny — awful tropes notwithstanding — because, I mean, Jewish space lasers seem like something Mel Brooks promised us in the teaser for “History of the World Part II.”

This isn’t on the frightening level of her “Great Replacement” video, after all. And how often do Jews stumble across an assertion so absurd that they can have fun with it without fearing someone will find it plausible?

There’s no harm in memeifying something no reasonable person could possibly believe. Is there?

You see where I’m going with this.

The laser theory resembles the original definition of a big lie, first described as a distortion of truth so outrageous no one could believe someone would be audacious enough to make it up.

All it’s missing to meet our current standards for the term is a sustained campaign by those in power and a precise political aim. But Greene’s rise proves there are holes in the barrier between fringe, nutty beliefs and policymakers.

It’s one thing for Greene the private citizen to put a lie like this out into the world, it’s quite another when she is a U.S. representative. And to dismiss these pre-office musings as not applicable now is to miss the power of the online lobby that elevated her to Congress to begin with. It’s a cohort that, like their champion, buys into Trump’s big election lie, believes the elite subsist on baby blood, is obsessed with Jewish control and questions whether jet fuel can melt steel beams.

Conspiracy theories, both bizarrely novel and steeped in centuries of prejudice, now have a voice in government. We need only look to the life of the man who coined the term “big lie” to see the dangers of that arrangement.

But that’s why I think poking fun at these conspiracy theories — or challenging them with facts — is actually imperative.

Jew lasers and notions like it can and should be laughed out of town, before they make their way to the Capitol.

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture reporter. He can be reached at [email protected]

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.