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Can someone define anti-semetism for me?(8 posts)

Can someone define anti-semetism for me?Duane Gran
Aug 14, 2003 7:18 AM
I hear the term "anti-semetism" come up fairly often, but I struggle to understand what is meant by the term. I'm confused because the phrase is brought up surrounding obviously racist statements ("Jews own all the banks"), but also with political statements about support for Israel and less benign matters. I think the term is being diluted and I'm curious if there is a well-defined meaning for the term.
Just an overplayed buzzword...TJeanloz
Aug 14, 2003 7:24 AM
The most amusing thing to me is that Arabs are also Semites, hence, it is difficult for me to believe that they could be "anti-Semitic".

In popular phraseology, it has come to mean "anti-Jewish", though that is not necessarily a correct interpretation. Even better is the difference between "anti-Zionist" and "anti-Jewish"...
Well it's been around since '82.Sintesi
Aug 15, 2003 9:54 PM
1882 that is. According to my dictionary(maybe a little earlier - see below). Hardly a buzzword. While it's true Arabs are Semites and their language is semitic in origin the term "anti-semite" as near as I can determine has always refered to Jewish people. Maybe to your mind it is mis-coined (you can use the term anti-jew if you like) but that is the way it's been used for over 100 years. The point I'd like to make is that I don't believe it was ever used to refer to any group of people other than Jews and it doesn't matter what the prefix "anti" and the term "Semite" mean separately because when you put them together it's a very nonambiguous term used the world over. The English language is filled with such things. "Homophobe" comes immediately to mind.

Google to the rescue:

The term "anti-semitism" was coined by German agitator Wilhelm Marr, who founded the League for Anti-Semitism in 1879. Marr advocated pseudoscientific biological and anthropological ideas which held the "Jewish race" inferior to the "Aryan" or "Teutonic" race. He created the term "anti-semitism" to distinguish this secular hatred of the "Jewish race" from earlier religious prejudice against Judaism.
What was this earlier prejudice? Prior to the 19th century, prejudice against Jews was largely founded upon suspicion of their religion and its practices, or of their insularity as a community. The Catholic Church taught that the Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus Christ, and that their rejection of Christianity was an ongoing affront to God. (Indeed, some anti-Jewish doctrines remained in the Catholic catechism and liturgy up through the 1960s.) In Spain and France, the Inquisition tortured or killed openly Jewish men and women who would not convert. Martin Luther and other Protestant leaders fulminated against the Jewish community both as Christ-killers and as conspirators. Many European Christians believed the myth now known as the blood libel -- the idea that Jews drank human blood (or specifically that of unbaptized Christian children) in their religious rituals. Many Christian Europeans also suspected Jews of economic collusion and political conspiracy -- allegations still parroted today by anti-semitic conspiracy theorists. It was this cultural background which formed the environment for later racial anti-semitism.

Since Marr's time, and particularly since the time of the Holocaust, the term "anti-semitism" has come to refer to any form of prejudice against Jews -- whether racial, theological, economic, or otherwise. Some Zionists have attempted to broaden the term to include political opposition to the modern nation of Israel, although this is more accurately anti-Zionism.

In the Western world today, anti-semitism is thankfully rare. It is chiefly represented in so-called "hate groups" -- clubs, churches, and gangs focused on their hatred for racial and religious minorities. Examples include America's Ku Klux Klan and World Church of the Creator; England's National Front; small neo-Nazi gangs throughout Europe; and Scandinavia's White Power organizations and racial nationalist political parties.
There are shifting definitions. The most recent:.OldEdScott
Aug 14, 2003 7:27 AM
Disagreement with the neo-conservative Vision of a Pax Americana in the Middle East.
"troll," nm.SteveS
Aug 14, 2003 8:29 AM
It's great weve defined 'troll' as something we findOldEdScott
Aug 14, 2003 8:38 AM
politically annoying or threatening, isn't it!

Pardon me, I have to go put 'Hitler' in another subject line.
troll nmmohair_chair
Aug 14, 2003 9:46 AM
No. A little bit of history...spankdoggie
Aug 15, 2003 2:16 AM
The Jews had it all at one time, but then they crossed the Babylonians, and went into exile for almost a century, then, they they later crossed the Romans...as a result, they were besieged in the 5th or 6th century BC. Jerusalem was completely destroyed, and over a million jews were killed in Jerusalem at that time.

That is fact.
The Jews killed Jesus too, if you are into history, at all.
Do not become emotional, just state the facts.

Read your Bible.

Oops. Time for someone to delete this post.