‘Jewish Space Lasers’: Disiplin for Some, But Not for All in the United States Congress

By: Austin Pellizzer

With the ousting of Georgia’s Congresswomen, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene from several US House committees this week following recently surfaced antisemitic and conspiratorial remarks made from social media, one thing is certain. The Democrats are quick to point fingers at others without looking in the mirror first. On Friday, The House voted to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from committees after controversial comments surfaced that she had made and interacted with back in 2018-19 concerning different conspiratorial movements such as the Qanon movement and making antisemitic remarks about ‘Jewish space lasers’ from 2018. With these comments being outrageous and problematic for any person in elected Government to have, I could not help but think if Rep. Greene is to be vilified, why don’t we see these actions also directed at several populist Democratic figureheads who have over and over again espoused dangerous and antisemitic rhetoric all the same? 

Making their first appearance in Congress in the 2018 Midterm Election and again in the 2020 Presidential Election, prominent left-wing Democratic populist figureheads  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib won their respective State races. Their youthful energy, progressive attitudes, and diverse backgrounds made them some of the most popular Democratic figureheads within the last decade. That being said, a more sinister and problematic attitude has been a recurring and very prominent theme since these women have taken office. Antisemitism disguised as anti-zionism. 

One of the most outspoken darlings of such vehement hatred towards the Jewish State is Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. Starting back in 2012, Rep. Omar tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”  Since then, she has been caught time and time again spouting antisemitic tropes. In 2019 she once again came under fire for saying in a speech, “So for me, I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” alluding to the antisemitic trope of Jews having dual-loyalties to different governments. While these comments rightfully stirred up controversy and public uproar, Rep. Omar did have to apologize but surprisingly still holds committee seats on the Education and Labour committee and Committee on Foreign Affairs. However, she is not the only one to have a checkered past riddled with conspiratorial and antisemitic views. 

Another member of the so-called ‘squad’ who has also been in the hot seat for pushing conspiratorial and antisemitic tropes in the Democratic party would be Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Rep. Tlaid, a Palestinian-American has a history of making such claims. Such as in November of 2020, she deleted a tweet that said “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a common slogan anti-Israel opponents use to not just unequivocally call for Israel to cease military or State presents in the West Bank or Gaza, but rather to eliminate the Jewish nation. While in another instance and more recently, she commented on President Biden’s pick of Tony Blinken as the new US Secretary of State as saying, ‘So long as he doesn’t suppress my First Amendment right to speak out against Netanyahu’s racist and inhumane policies. The Palestinian people deserve equality and justice.’ due to the fact Secretary of State Blinken is Jewish and is the son of Holocaust survivors. These examples highlight a few of the many examples of the antisemitic and hateful rhetoric that has virtually done unpunished by her Democratic colleagues.

While the comments made and shared by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene are troubling and  unacceptable, it is quite interesting to see how the Democratic Party which prides itself on being the party of ‘unity’, ‘healing’,  and ‘progressivism’ seems to show time and time again willful blindness and a lack of discipline when it comes to addressing conspiracy theories and antisemitism within its own ranks.

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