Anti-Semitic, its meaning and a history of its misuse

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The words anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic suffer from obfuscation (lies), misdirection and at its very heart, an absence of a rational definition.

The current row about Anti-Semitism, and what most people think it means, is flawed and dishonest. It is made far worse by sensationalist journalism. Truth and a rational debate is almost impossible to find and to quote almost all the media, “We are all very upset and angry about all those nasty people who are anti-Semitic, particularly those in the Labour party.”

It’s a trick says Shulamit Aloni – former Israeli cabinet minister (Click on picture to go to source)

The current issue of anti-Semitism is confused and is being manipulated by some very clever people. In the main, those people are career politicians & journalists. The Israeli government misuse it too, see below and in photo opposite.

The BBC is failing to inform us, as it should do, because whilst journalists are talking about anti-Semitism, none preface their statements with an explanation of what they understand it to be. What is very clear, the BBC says, is that anti-Semitism is very bad! But nobody is actually dealing with it honestly.

What follows is the result of my listening to Jewish voices, Israeli voices, Zionist voices, Corbynite voices, Momentum voices, Palestinian voices, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Wikipedia and my own “still small voice”.

We all think it means, but without actually saying it, “anti Jew”; as opposed to anti-Judaism or anti-Israel or anti-Israeli government.

However, even anti-Jew is completely inaccurate, as we shall see later, even though the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance  (IHRA ) re-defined the word “anti-Semitic” in 2016. The IHRA felt it necessary to explain that “… criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.”

Shulamit Aloni (pictured above) was an Israeli cabinet minister and a minority Jewish voice pointing out the misuse of the word by the Israeli government. She makes it quite clear that the word was used by the Israeli government to deflect criticism from itself. Please click on her picture to see more detail of her statement.

The UK government was one of the first governments to adopt the fallacious IHRA definition. History and truth is corrupted yet again. The IHRA definition is deeply flawed in that it conflates any criticism of Israel to be be anti-Semitic.

The simple fact is that the word anti-Semitic did not exist before the late 19th century and was then *2 as now, used by journalists and politicians as a euphemism for “Anti Jew”.

However, the very use of the word outside the study of ancient languages is deeply flawed and intentionally misleading.

Why? Because many Arab Muslims, certainly those living in the prison camp called Palestine, and many other peoples originating from the Middle East, are also Semites, and yet they are not seen as the targets of the word anti-Semitism.

Semitic refers to a language group, which includes, in small part, Hebrew amongst five or six others, but does not infer race or religion. (See *1 below)

Furthermore, the International snowflake generation of political worthies agreed with the IHRA definition of the word in 2016 so that nobody had to say “Anti-Jew”.

The term is a political smoke screen and apparently targets the Jewish religion rather than the Israeli government. Who, by the way, are currently guilty of the flagrant disregard of at least 45 UN resolutions instructing them to stop their land grabs in Palestine.

All 45 of those resolutions continue to be ignored or side stepped by the USA using its veto. The UK is a bit quiet on the issue too.

Israel’s latest murder of 60 or so Palestinian stone throwers has been almost ignored in the UK, the EU & the USA.

Shame on us, shame on them and the so-called impartial, informative BBC!

What then has Jeremy Corbyn actually done to deserve his almost total vilification in the press? Well, he has stood up for Palestine consistently over the past 30 years and has criticised Israel for their inhumane and illegal land grabs in contravention to those United Nations resolutions.

So then, calling him anti-Semitic is just stupid because most Palestinians are Semites too!

But, it is what Corbyn has not done which does deserve criticism. He has not removed or criticised the minority of loony members of Momentum who really are quite nasty, ill informed Twitter trolls. The evidence is out there if you wish to find more detail.

By his inaction, Corbyn reveals himself as a weak leader, a self serving party politician, greedy for votes however gained. (Ed: Gosh? I never heard that before.) My opinion of Corbyn has changed dramatically from when he first appeared on the scene.

What can we learn from this deliberately confusing issue?

  • That an unhealthy fear of criticising religion is curtailing freedom of speech and our ability to think rationally.
  • That religion is, yet again, being used by powerful corporate interest groups to protect politicians who, of current necessity, are financed by them.

*1 I quote the Encyclopaedia Britannica:- “Semite, person speaking one of a group of related languages, presumably derived from a common language, Semitic (see Semitic languages). The term came to include most Arab speaking peoples, Akkadians, Canaanites, some Ethiopians, and Aramaean tribes including Hebrews.

*2 Encyclopaedia Britannica again: “Anti-Semitism, hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious or racial group. The term anti-Semitism was coined in 1879 by the German agitator Wilhelm Marr to designate the anti-Jewish campaigns under way in central Europe at that time. Although the term now has wide currency, it is a misnomer, since it implies a discrimination against all Semites. Arabs and other peoples are also Semites, and yet they are not the targets of anti-Semitism as it is usually understood. The term is especially inappropriate as a label for the anti-Jewish prejudices, statements, or actions of Arabs or other Semites. Nazi anti-Semitism, which culminated in the Holocaust, had a racist dimension in that it targeted Jews because of their supposed biological characteristics—even those who had themselves converted to other religions or whose parents were converts. This variety of anti-Jewish racism dates only to the emergence of so-called “scientific racism” in the 19th century and is different in nature from earlier anti-Jewish prejudices.”

Click here to read more on this from the same Encyclopaedia Britannica article.