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 and 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 shooting her shot 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 is a Jewish space laser. Don’t f…k with me, @mtgreenee. pic.twitter.com/Xcl4TEUvBv— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) January 29, 2021
We also use it to toast our bagels, Madge. https://t.co/6UuikEJP5R— Rep. Dean Phillips 🇺🇸 (@RepDeanPhillips) January 29, 2021
This Jewish space laser thing makes no sense to me. Because, as every Jewish mother knows, you could put an eye out with that.— Ruth Marcus (@RuthMarcus) January 29, 2021
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?
government official: says something wildly antisemitic
jews: what up new meme— cassie thomas ;) (@tashakaminsky) January 29, 2021
There’s no harm in memeifying something no reasonable person could possibly believe. Is there?
You see where I’m going with this.
#JewishSpaceLasers may be funny unless you contemplate how many of these conspiracy theories are rooted in anti Semitism and racism and how many elected officials are helping to mainstream them because they frankly don’t care if it ends up getting anyone hurt or killed.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 29, 2021
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 Grisar@Forward.com.
Can we laugh at ‘Jewish lasers?’