I was recently exchanging views with an Israeli over the word anti-Semitism and I contended that the word anti-Semitism is a misnomer because, based on the root word “Semitism,” it would have to apply to all Semites, not just Jews. But my opponent said that this is a very old word dating back to 1879 when it was coined in Germany by Wilhelm Marr, who started the tradition of Jew hating in that country. My interlocutor maintained that any word that is used in a certain sense for that long could no longer be changed (even thought it was coined by a Nazi?), since it was well entrenched in everyone’s mind, that books and articles had been written containing the word “anti-Semitism” in the currently accepted sense and so on.
He was right in a way because the word is certainly well established in its meaning of “anti-Jewish.” However, there are a lot of words in the English language that have several meanings because people realized the need to update the vocabulary and have added more-precise meanings to them. The meaning of “anti-Jewish” could co-exist alongside the more precise meaning of “antagonism toward all Semites, “ which would be true to the etymology of the word.
If anti-Semitism means specifically anti-Jewish sentiment, based on the contention that a misnomer should never be rectified because it is widely accepted and no longer a misnomer, then what about the American Indians? Why do we now say Native American and not Indian? For centuries, we had a name, ie, American Indian, that was perfectly unambiguous due to its common and widespread usage in the meaning that everyone clearly understood, but after all that time, we changed it to avoid offending the people to whom the name referred. It was a ridiculously politically correct change but semantics is politics in the US.
If we pursue this line of logic to its end, then we should not be using the word anti-Semitic to refer only to anti-Jewish sentiment because we thereby create confusion, suggesting that there is no such thing as anti-Arab sentiment when in fact I daresay this phenomenon is more prominent in the Israel-dominated Gaza strip and Jerusalem than anywhere else in the world, and if the usage of the word were true to its root “Semitism,” then the Israeli government would be one of the most anti-Semitic (in the unambiguous sense) in the world, although the US has also practiced the most grievous form of anti-Semitism of all, having slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Arabs with aerial bombs in the last 2 decades (though some put the number in the millions considering the effects of sanctions). Yet we are told that this grievous harm to Arabs is not a form of anti-Semitism, even though the Arabs – like the Jews – are properly called Semites, which no one denies. The refusal to open the meaning of “anti-Semitism” to include the rest of the Semites is purely political, and it is an affront to all Arabs, who also have a perfectly legitimate claim to victimhood as a result of senseless wars.
The fact is, whenever language is influenced for political reasons, we wind up with a winner and a loser, with one of two groups being harmed or slighted and the other benefitting at its expense.
To deny that abuse of Arabs is anti-Semitic is to deny that Arabs are Semites. But if they are not Semites, then what are they?
Further, if a person is anti-Arab and ant-Jewish at the same time, what is he if not anti-Semite?
Clearly, the reason Israelis and Zionists insist that we adhere to an artificial and rigid rule that effectively denies the Semitic character of Arabs is purely political and is a denial of the Arabs’ right to be properly denoted as Semites, with the Israelis and Zionists arrogating the stem “Semitic” exclusively to themselves, just as they arrogate part of the Golan Heights to themselves when in fact the Golan Heights are 100% Syrian.
Of course, anyone who dares to point out this abuse of the Arabs by denial of their identity as Semites is cynically called anti-Semitic, which is the height of absurdity. A defender of Arab rights is, by dint of mathematics, less anti-Semitic (in the sense clearly denoted by the root of the word) than a defender of Israeli apartheid. Yet by malicious manipulation of language, this person who uses language in a scrupulously correct manner is, absurdly, condemned as anti-Semitic.
So are the Jews to blame for this misappropriation of language?
No, not really. The biggest offenders are the US Evangelicals who blindly subscribe to the ideology of Zionism and blindly defend everything the Israeli government decrees, and support the Likud Party and all the heinous rules imposed on America, for example, by AIPAC (including, of course, the proposed clearly unconstitutional anti-BDS law forbidding participation in any boycott of products made illegally in Palestine), believing steadfastly that each Israeli politician is led by the spirit of the Almighty and never could do anything wrong. Their belief is motivated by the fear that if they should fail to properly adore Israel, they would be the recipients of the curse enshrined in Genesis, where God is speaking to Abram, but Evangelicals generally believe He means Israel:
Genesis 12:3 King James Version (KJV)
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
The blind acceptance of modern secular Israel as the reborn Israel prophesied in Ezekiel 37 has shaped foreign policy in Washington and has made America a slave to Israel and to all the pronouncements of Zionists for decades. Indirectly, this blindness of the American people has led to eternal wars and continues to do so today.
Yet Ezekiel 37 is not foretelling the Israel of today. Verse 24 of that chapter says that the resurrected Israel will have David as its king and will be obedient to God’s decrees.
A poll shows that 65% of Israelis describe themselves as “irreligious.”
US Evangelicals will only kick to habit of worshipping Israel first and Jesus last when the US economy has fallen so far that everyone can see that the people who impose Israel worship on the entire US government and even foist it on the rest of the world are not being blessed as foretold in Genesis for a nation that no longer exists.
And that fall is just around the corner.