American Jewish groups are calling on Congress to hold Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) accountable for promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
The freshman House Republican has come under fire in recent days for her past remarks on social media, including an absurd 2018 Facebook post in which she speculated that a prominent Jewish family was involved in starting a devastating California wildfire via a laser beamed from space.
Denouncements of Greene’s rhetoric and actions are emerging from across the political spectrum ― from left-leaning Jewish advocacy groups as well as Jewish members of Greene’s own party.
The Republican Jewish Coalition said it was “offended and appalled” by the congresswoman’s comments and actions. The RJC said it had opposed Greene when she was campaigning because of her offensive language, her promotion of conspiracy theories and her refusal to admit she made a mistake in posing with a white supremacist leader. The group reiterated its position on Friday.
“She is far outside the mainstream of the Republican Party, and the RJC is working closely with the House Republican leadership regarding next steps in this matter,” the coalition wrote of Greene.
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, an umbrella group of national Jewish organizations, accused Greene of routinely trafficking in conspiracy theories that are often anti-Semitic. The conference’s leaders issued a statement Friday calling for Congress to hold Greene accountable.
“It is unacceptable for Members of Congress to spread baseless hate against the Jewish people,” the conference leaders wrote. “There must be a swift and commensurate response from Congressional leadership making clear that this conduct cannot and will not be allowed to debase our politics.”
The Conference of Presidents represents 50 prominent American Jewish groups, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the American Jewish Congress and the Anti-Defamation League, as well as organizations representing the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform branches of Judaism.
Asked to respond specifically to the allegations from the Conference of Presidents and the Republican Jewish Coalition, Greene’s spokesperson told HuffPost, “The Congresswoman will not participate in this Democrat mob cancel campaign.”
The spokesperson’s comments echoed Greene on Twitter, where she claimed a “radical, left-wing Democrat mob and the Fake News media” are attacking her.
“Every attack. Every lie. Every smear strengthens my base of support at home and across the country because people know the truth and are fed up with the lies,” she wrote in a statement on Twitter Jan. 29.
Several media organizations have recently unearthed social media posts that Greene created or “liked” that betray a penchant for promoting conspiracy theories. She has reportedly liked a Facebook comment calling for violence against prominent Democrats and suggested that the 2018 mass shooting at a Florida high school was a staged, “false flag” operation.
Greene’s deleted Facebook post from 2018 about California’s Camp Fire, a blaze that killed 85 people and destroyed nearly 14,000 homes, was unearthed by the liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America on Thursday.
In her post, Greene speculated that Rothschilds Inc., an investment firm tied to the Rothschild banking family, was somehow involved in starting the fires. This family has been the target of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories for decades, with theorists claiming that the family has been manipulating currency, influencing world events and trying to create a “new world order.”
The freshman congresswoman was also a supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which suggests former President Donald Trump is fighting a ring of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who secretly control the world. QAnon followers believe this global cabal includes top Democrats and celebrities who operate a child sex-trafficking ring. Some supporters also believe they kill and eat their victims.
Greene has sought since last summer to distance herself from her past support for QAnon. Her spokesperson told The New York Times last week that she rejects the conspiracy theory.
Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the advocacy arm of the Union for Reform Judaism, America’s largest Jewish denominational movement, said it doesn’t matter if Greene made her statements before her election ― all “people of good will” should still repudiate her views.
“The public must know that Rep. Greene and her views do not represent her party and have no place in the public square,” Pesner wrote.
Several aspects of QAnon’s theories mirror longstanding anti-Semitic tropes, according to Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. QAnon’s conspiracy theory has roots in the centuries-old anti-Semitic trope of blood libel, the false allegation that Jews murder Christian children for ritualistic purposes, Greenblatt told HuffPost. QAnon’s “deep-seated hatred” for the Jewish billionaire and philanthropist George Soros and its ongoing obsession with a “global elite of bankers” also have anti-Semitic undertones, he said.
The Anti-Defamation League has been calling on House GOP leaders to exclude Greene from congressional leadership positions. She currently has seats on the education and budget committees of the House of Representatives.
In case Republican leadership fails to act, the ADL has also asked Democrats to limit Greene’s involvement.
This would “ensure our nation’s students and workforce are well served and not guided by dangerous QAnon beliefs,” Greenblatt told HuffPost.
On Monday, House Democrats said they would introduce a resolution to strip Greene of her committee assignments.
T’ruah, a progressive Jewish clergy group, has called for expelling Greene and other QAnon supporters from Congress. T’ruah is also urging members of Congress, particularly Republicans who have “tacitly” welcomed conspiracy theorists into their ranks, to explicitly denounce these theories as both anti-Semitic and antidemocratic.
“Jewish history, unfortunately, offers us too many examples of inflammatory language and conspiracy theories ultimately turning into violence,” T’ruah’s executive director, Rabbi Jill Jacobs, said in a statement. “We must cut off support for conspiracy theories before they lead to even more violence than we have already seen.”
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