Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican congresswoman from Georgia, has been the object of widespread ridicule and scorn since it emerged that, in 2018, she theorised on social media that the Rothschild family was responsible for starting the deadly California wildfires, by using space lasers. Such Rothschilds conspiracies of course represent a centuries-old antisemitic trope.
Green has in fact long been a proponent of even the craziest conspiracy theories, many of which place Jews at the center of the conspiracy.
Amplifying the antisemitism of the far-right, Greene, in 2019, replied to a tweet with memes accusing George Soros of being part of a secret totalitarian world government. One picture showed Soros as a vampire controlling “every single Democrat politician.” In her reply, Greene called Soros “the Nazi himself trying to continue what was not finished.”
In 2018, she liked a tweet claiming that the Mossad was behind the assassination of JFK:
The NY Times’ Michelle Goldberg noted, in a piece on Greene’s lunacy, that, that same year, she shared a notorious white nationalist video in which a Holocaust denier claimed that “Zionist supremacists” are scheming to promote immigration and miscegenation. The left-wing media monitouring group Media Matters reviewed the film shared by the congresswoman:
About nine minutes in [to the video], it quotes former BNP [British National Party] leader Nick Griffin saying that an “unholy alliance of leftists, capitalists and Zionist supremacists have schemed to promote immigration and miscegenation”.
It’s telling that Griffin, a hardcore racist and Holocaust denier, knew to use “Zionist supremacists” as code for “Jewish supremacists”.
But, it’s even more revealing that the Guardian, in their recent official editorial on B’Tselem’s report accusing Israel of apartheid, didn’t feel the need to use such a code word.
As we posted about previously, though their coverage from the beginning uncritically quoted B’Tselem’s charge that Israel was guilty of “Jewish supremacism”, and published an op-ed by the NGO’s director which used that term, this editorial used that term in the media outlet’s own editorial voice, in claiming the Nation State Law “constitutionally enshrines Jewish supremacy” in Israel.
As CST wrote, in response to our request for a comment about the Guardian’s (and B’Tselem’s) use of the term, it “has a long-standing antisemitic usage”.
Specifically, anti-Semites often use the term to suggest Jews believe themselves to be racially or ethnically superior to non-Jews – and therefore must dominate them, and, as we demonsrated previously, the idea of “Jewish supremacism” is often associated with neo-Nazi David Duke. Duke wrote a book using that very term in the title, and published a “Ph.D.” dissertation titled “Zionism as a Form of Ethnic Supremacism”.
The use of the term by the Guardian is pernicious in the context of the current amplified debate about the impact and threat posed by white supremacy, a universally despised ideology which the term “Jewish supremacy” necessarily evokes.
Whilst white supremacist American oppress and commit violence against people of color, in the minds of some of Israel’s far-left critics, Israelis (imagined as ‘white’) behave in much the same way toward its own minorities (perceived as) ‘of color’.
Those reducing the Israeli-Palestinian issue to one of racial/ethnic supremacy not only display a profound level of ignorance about the root causes of the conflict, whilst completely denying Palestinian agency and obscuring their society’s own endemic (anti-Jewish) racism, but impute racism to Israel’s very essence, and by extension, to the overwhelming majority of Jews throughout the world.
Given the centrality of Zionism to Jewish life, the use of “Jewish supremacy” in that context has the impact of toxifying Jewish identity itself.
Though there’s nothing politically that unites Marjorie Taylor Green and Guardian editors, we know that extreme ideological opposites can mirror one another in several ways: the tendency to find simple explanations for complex problems; vilifying opponents as not just wrong but evil; and by taking their cue from the loudest voices who proclaim that they know how to bring on utopia.
Though the Guardian would never conjure an idea as risible as Rothschild-controlled laser beams from outer space, their overlap with the far-right concerning which particular nation is uniquely guilty of the crime of supremacism reminds us that, when it comes to Israel, racists and ‘anti-racists’ increasingly reach the same antisemitic conclusions.