Antisemitism and conspiracy theories. Also, how to protect wildlife by protecting people.

First, we talk with Mike Rothschild about his book: Jewish Space Lasers: The Rothschilds and 200 Years of Conspiracy Theories. It’s about the persistence of rightwing antisemitism and its link to conspiracy theories.

Then, scientist Adam Hart tells us about how people become prey for wild animals and why conservation to preserve wildlife needs to take human needs into account to succeed. His book is The Deadly Balance: Predators and People in A Crowded World.

Key words: Mike Rothschild, Adam Hart, antisemitism, conspiracy theories, wildlife conservation, podcast, book recommendations, author interview, book show, writer’s voice, Francesca Rheannon

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Read transcripts at the Writer’s Voice Substack

The Real Antisemitism

Rightwing antisemitism is on the rise. This is a real phenomenon, not to be confused with claims by the pro-Zionist lobby that anyone who criticizes Israeli policy toward Palestinians is an antisemite.

In fact, some of the most fervent supporters of the current Israeli government are also promoters of rightwing antisemitic conspiracy theories — like the notion that Jews are a “globalist” cabal that controls the world’s money supply or that Jews are promoting immigration to “replace” the white race.

Target: The Rothschilds

Many antisemitic conspiracy theories center around one family, the Rothschilds. Over the years, they have been blamed for everything from the sinking of the Titanic, to causing the Great Depression, and even creating the COVID-19 pandemic.

How did the Rothschilds become a lightning rod for the conspiracy theories of the last two centuries, and why do these theories persist so widely today?

My guest Mike Rothschild — no relation — explores these questions in his new book
Jewish Space Lasers. In it, he sorts out myth from reality to find the truth about these conspiracy theories and their spreaders.

About the Author

Mike Rothschild is a journalist and author of two books, Jewish Space Lasers and The Storm Is Upon Us: How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of Everything. He’s an expert on the intersections between internet culture and politics through the lens of conspiracy theories.

Read an excerpt from Jewish Space Lasers

Predators And People

This past October, a couple camping in Banff National Park in Canada was attacked and killed by a grizzly bear. But in general, attacks by bears and other wildlife in North America are pretty rare.

That’s not so true, however, in places like India or Kenya, where poor villages situated near wildlife areas can be threatened by attacks from such animals as tigers and lions. The consequences for both people and wildlife can be dire.

Protecting Wildlife and People

How to reach a balance between the needs of humans and wildlife in order to protect both is the subject of Adam Hart’s book. The Deadly Balance: Predators and People in A Crowded World.

He says wildlife conservation depends on making sure that humans have a stake in it, especially those who live in or near wildlife habitats.

About the Author

Adam Hart is Professor of Science Communication at the University of Gloucestershire. A biologist, broadcaster and author, he works on a range of topics including African ecology and conservation, insects and citizen science.

Read An Excerpt from The Deadly Balance

Next Week on Writer’s Voice

We talk with Sy Montgomery of the The Soul of An Octopus fame, along with illustrator Matt Patterson, about their acclaimed new book, Of Time And Turtles: Mending the World, Shell by Shattered Shell. Don’t miss it!