What do Ilhan Abdullahi Omar and Marjorie Taylor Greene have in common?

Marjorie Taylor Greene recently twitted that the fires in California were started by a space laser belonging to Rotschild, Inc. The claim was debunked from practically every corner of American society, yet Marjorie Taylor Greene defiantly announced that she will never apologize "for telling the truth". Never mind that even many of her fellow Republicans asked her to correct herself - she will never apologize because she is convinced she is telling the truth.

Ilhan Abdullahi Omar has repeatedly accused Israel of denying COVID vaccine to Palestinians, and insisted that it is their responsibility. She has also blamed the "Pro-Israel Lobby" (read Jewish community) of impossing foreign policy on the US. She has not reacted kindly to President Biden's reaffirmation of the Federal adoption of the International Alliance definition of Anti Semitism. Omar insisted she has the right to question Israel's right to exist because of its "Apartheid" policies, and resents the anti-BDS policy of the American government (until recently the Trump Administration an now the Biden Administration).

What do these two characters have in common? They both start by defining what is their own truth (independently of whether it is based on facts or not) and then interpret reality calling up facts (or more often factoids) in support of their position. For neither of them reality matters; what matters is the validity of their ideas - and anything that contradicts them is considered wrong by definition.

They are not alone. They both belong to a group of people (I'm sorry to say a growing one) for whom news are important only if they fit their pre-conceptions. During one of the Israeli-Palestinian flares of open warfare, a Palestinian Journalist in Ramallah was delivering the news of how "these cruel Israelis are using their aircraft carriers to deliver death upon Palestinians" (Israel DOES NOT HAVE aircraft carriers). The canard is repeated even today as a fact in some internet sites. We live in a world where facts and knowledge seem to be in the process of becoming optional - to be accepted only when they support our point of view.

It used to be that when a fact contradicted a theory, the theory was revised to accommodate the facts. Today, anybody with a theory can revise the facts to accommodate their theory - and we are told to respect their opinions in the name of Freedom of Speech! And this happens not only in the US Congress but in everyday life. If people are presented with facts that make their expectations look bad, more and more people question the facts rather than their own expectations. They begin from the asumption that they are right, and facts be damned. Of course, a variation is what we could call the "Anti-Einstein manuever" - that is to keep trying the same actions again and again and expecting different results.

Jewish tradition emphasizes self-criticism. We are instructed to observe, objectify and evaluate our own actions in order to be able to correct them when necessary. We are demanded to modify our behavior when our old ways are hurting others. So for me, as a Jew, to accept Ilhan Omar and Marjorie Greene's approach to life and to news, is simply unthinkable. With all due respect to those on the right and on the left who idolize these two women; I will continue to face the facts as they are and correct my theories and my action to accommodate reality, rather than the other way around. Sorry, even in this age of solipsism I still believe that people have the right to their own opinions - but NOT to their own facts.



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