Notre Dame Cathedral by the Forward

5 More Surreal, Scary Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories — After Notre Dame Fire

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Conspiracy theorists were quick to blame Jews and Muslims for the shocking fire that enveloped the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday, despite French police finding it to be an accident. It’s a pretty common stream of events: The two cultures have somehow managed to be linked to a slew of tragedies and events. The anti-Semitic blood libel conspiracy theory has yet to lose steam, and even in the wake of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, rumors swirled about where the money from the Muslim crowd funding campaign was actually going.

These are ridiculous and harmful, but others are just plain wacky. Take these five anti-Semitic conspiracy theories for example:

“The Rothschilds control the weather.”

Trayon White, Sr., a Democrat who serves on the D.C. Council, posted a video of a snowy day on his Facebook page last year. He began musing about climate change — and how it’s the doing of the European banking dynasty, which has Jewish roots.

“Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation,” he said. “And D.C. keep talking about, ‘We a resilient city.’ And that’s a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.”

We provided proof that the claim is impossible.

Jews are lizards who control world governments.”

There’s a theme believing Jews are taking over the world. David Icke, a British conspiracy theorist, wrote a book called, “And the Truth Shall Set You Free,” which is full of anti-Semitic allegations. He writes that a Jewish-influenced cabal is planning world domination, blames Jews for committing hate crimes against their own communities and supports teaching Holocaust denial in schools for “balance.” Most odd, though, are his claims that alien lizard people are controlling our politics.

Israel Animal conspiracy theories

Yes, that’s right, there are strange animal-related theories wafting somewhere. Last year we dove into five.

Shark: After a German tourist in the South Sinai resort of Sharm El-Sheikh was attacked by a shark, Egyptian national TV started a rumor that the sharks were at Israel’s mercy.

Birds: Birds have been accused of being spies.

Dolphins: Some were led to believe that there was an Israeli-made robot dolphin off the coast of Gaza, equipped to spy.

Lizards: Iran’s ex-military chief accused Israel of sending the reptiles to take notes on their nuclear program.

Rats: You guessed it — rodents, too, apparently have the capability of spying.

“Aphrodisiac gum was dumped on Gaza.”

In 2009, Haaretz reported that a Hamas official was adamant that Israel sent chewing gum infused with an aphrodisiac to “corrupt the young.” At the time, a soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces called the accusation “absurd.”

“Jews are taking over the world.” Again.

In 2017, President Trump tweeted an article that listed his accomplishments. That website also pushes many conspiracy theories, including that Jews secretly control the world. It also has perpetuated the “far-right” allegation that Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was killed for leaking the DNC’s emails. He was fatally shot in what police believe was a robbery gone wrong.

Alyssa Fisher is a writer at the Forward. Email her at, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher


More Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories, After Notre Dame

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5 More Surreal, Scary Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories — After Notre Dame Fire

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