Antisemitism, Anti-Semitism and plain old Jew hate

antisemitism, racism and hatred of Jews

Antisemitism Reference Center

Antisemitism, Anti-Semitism and plain old Jew hate

Anti-semitism or Antisemitism? It's all just hatred of Jews, Jew hate, the oldest hate in the world. Learn how to recognise it and how to tell when someone had gone too far.

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Antisemitism, and new Antisemitism

Antisemitism or Anti-Semitism?

Jews may suffer from Antisemitism, but the changes of facing Anti-Semitism are zero to none. Outside of Microsoft Word's spell check (definitly not antisemitic!)... there's no such thing. The word you want is antisemitism. One word. It has (particularly since Word started making this mistake) often been writen as anti-Semitism instead of the correct one word, non hyphenated antisemitism. The problem with Anti-Semitism is that it's not actually against Semitism. Never has been. Semitic is the name of a language group including Hebrew and Arabic. Antisemitism is however not against people who speak these languages, it is specifically against Jews. The word was created to confuse, and to allow Antisemitism to be publically acceptable by distancing it from the words Jew and Hate and putting scientific shine on it.

Wikipedia says

Anti-Semitism (alternatively spelled antisemitism) is hostility toward or prejudice against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group, which can range from individual hatred to institutionalized, violent persecution. The highly explicit ideology of Adolf Hitler's Nazism was the most extreme example of this phenomenon, leading to a genocide of the European Jewry.

Wikipedia comments on the origin of Antisemitism

German political agitator Wilhelm Marr coined the related German word Antisemitismus in his book "The Way to Victory of Germanicism over Judaism" in 1879. Marr used the phrase to mean Jew-hatred or Judenhass, and he used the new word antisemitism to make hatred of the Jews seem rational and sanctioned by scientific knowledge.

Professor Yehuda Bauer an expert on Antisemitism explained
The term "antisemitism" is, as many of us realize, the wrong term for what we try to describe and analyze. It was coined, paradoxically, by an antisemite, Wilhelm Marr, in 1879, because he needed a new word for Jew-hatred. The old one, Judenhass, was identified as a Christian, basically theological, appellation, and Marr was anti Christian, because Christianity was, and in this he was quite correct, a Jewish invention. The new term sounded scientific, did not mention Jews, but everyone knew who and what was meant; it described a newly developed phenomenon, of a nationalistic and racial biological approach. Antisemitism, especially in its hyphenated spelling, is inane nonsense, because there is no Semitism that you can be anti to. There are semitic languages, and you can hardly be against semitic languages.

For propoganda purposes some Arab and Muslim groups have tried to claim antisemitism applies to them to. This is done for two reasons, the first is to establish a foundation defintion of antisemitism which naturally excludes themselves at perpetrators. They then claim they can't possibly be antisemitic because they're Arab. Having confounded any anti-racists, they then continue with their antisemitism and antisemitic hate activities. The second is perhaps worse, the claim has been stretched as far as saying that Antisemitism is not really about Jews. As such the Holocaust makes no sense as it was supposedly all abotu antisemitism, ergo, the Holocaust did not happen they say. This is all ofcourse rather dangerous racism, not "just antisemitism". Azmi Bishara, an Arab Israeli Member of the Knesset (the Israeli Parliment) wrote:

Basically, the concept of "anti-Semitism" occurred in a specific context hostile to Jews. It is meaningless to ignore the idiom's context and say that racism against Arabs is a form of anti-Semitism because they are Semitic people.

Leaving all this to one side, a person who exhibits antisemitic behavior may be of any ancestry, including a Jew or an Arab. Three examples of antisemitism are Johannes Pfefferkorn (German Christian theologian who was born Jewish and converted), Karl Marx (German philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary - born into a Jewish family, his father converted them to Christianity so he could keep practising Law) and Bobby Fischer (considered by many to be the greatest chess player in history, better known today for his anti-Americanism, anti-imperialism, and anti-Semitism - Fischer was also born Jewish). They all had Jewish ancestry, but the evidence clearly shows them to be anti-Semites. Fischer went so far as Holocaust denial, antisemitism by any strecth of the imagination.

Antisemitism is the world's oldest hate. It's not JUST the Holocaust. Before that there was the Massacres at York, the Spanish Inquisition, expulsion from most places on earth, antisemitic policy of the church, etc. These are all examples of antisemitism. As I read some where, in Rome, Black people could become citizens and had equal right to other citizens. Jews could not become citizens. Roman antisemitism? What do you think? While the Holocaust was the ultimate example not only of antisemitism but also in general of hate based purely on race, hatred of Jews dates back well before "racial science" was founded, and well before the term Antisemitism was coined to make this hate politely called antisemitism look acceptable.

Antisemitism is just racism. No more no less. It's unfortunatly that the very term antisemitism was coined to make it sound socially acceptable, but it is even more unfortunate that its acceptance is seems again to be growing.

Related articles

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Under attack in a virtual world

By Andre Oboler, PresenTense Magazine, Febuary 2010.

Report from the Working Group on Online Antisemitism

By Andre Oboler and David Matas (Eds), The Global Forum to COmbat Antisemitism, December 2009, Jerusalem.

Facebook, Holocaust Denial, and Anti-Semitism 2.0

By Andre Oboler, The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 15 September 2009. This is the detailed report (published online in August 2009).

'Facebook doesn't bar hateful content against Jews'

By Elan Miller, Jerusalem Post, 27 August 2009

Holocaust Denial: Yes Facebook, it is Hate Speech

By Andre Oboler, Z-Word Blog, 27 August 2009.

Facebook gives hatred a hand

By Andre Oboler, Comment is Free at the Guardian, 13 July 2009

Facebook refuses to ban all Holocaust-denial groups

By Chantal Abitbol, The Australian Jewish News, 15 May 2009, pg 8

Antisemitism and the rise of a new world order? Obama’s inauguration

By Clemens Heni, Zionism On The Web, Febuary 7, 2009

Iran, Holocaust denial and PressTV

By Andre Oboler, Zionism On The Web Special Report, December 4 2008

Expert Warns on Internet antisemitism

By Sharon Berger, The Australian Jewish News, October 31 2008, pg 4

10 Questions for Dr Andre Oboler

The Australian Jewish News, October 31 2008, Life pg 16

Facebook and Google Earth: Anti-Semitism in Web 2.0

By Christoph Gunkel and translated into English by Ricarda Krenn. Originaly Published in German as Christoph Gunkel, Facebook und Google Earth: Antisemitismus im Web 2.0, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), Germany, 14 October 2008.

Goldsmiths, Gaza and the Warsaw Ghetto

By Jonathan Hoffman, Open Letter, Nov 13th 2008

"But I am a Zionist!"

By Clemens Heni, Zionism On The Web, Nov 3rd 2008

Good news in the fight against online hate

By Andre Oboler, Zionism On The Web, Sept 11, 2008. Original Draft (in English) of "Hatred and Antisemitism Online", Agencia Judia Noticias

Hatred and Antisemitism Online

By Andre Oboler, Agencia Judia Noticias (Jewish News Agency - Argentina), Sept 4 2008

Online Antisemitism 2.0, Social Antisemitism on the Social Web

By Dr Andre Oboler, The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, March / April 2008

Anti-Semitism 2.0 Going Largely Unchallenged

By Tamar Snyder, The New York Jewish Week, Febuary 20 2008

A false prospectus on campus

By Dr Andre Oboler, The Guardian, Comment is Free, February 15 2008

Facebook antisemitism: Facing the Facebook Dilemma

By Dr Andre Oboler, Jerusalem Post, 6th February 2008

Abusing the Holocaust

By Prof Gerald Steinberg, NGO-Monitor

UK's NUS accepts EU Definition of Antisemitism

By Andre Oboler, A ZOTW Special

European Union Definition of Antisemitism

This is the definition used throughout Europe by law enforcement

Antisemitism or anti-semitism?

By Andre Oboler, a ZOTW Special

Where Europe Fails

By Prof Gerald Steinberg, Jerusalem Post, 9 May 2007

Hitler's Legacy: Islamic Antisemitism in the Middle East

By Dr Matthias Küntzel, a German political scientist and author

The New Antisemitism

By Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Read comments or add your own on the New Antisemitism forum.

What's New In Anti-Semitism?

By Azmi Bishara (Arab-Israeli MK), Dar Al-Hayat, November 20, 2003

The U.N. discovers the cause of anti-Semitism: Jews

By ANNE BAYEFSKY, Opinion Journal, November 18, 2004

Aren't Arabs Semites too?

Analysis of the propoganda that Arabs are semites too and hence can't be antisemitic

Language as a Tool against Jews and Israel

By Prof. Georges-Elia Sarfati, a French linguistics expert

Muslim antisemitism and anti-Zionism explained

By Dr Denis M. MacEoin, an expert in Islamic studies

Top articles in the Antisemitism Forum Archive

You can visit our full collection for more articles on Zionism, Israel and Palestine

External article links

Arabs and antisemitism

The Wikipedia article on Arabs and antisemitism


A Zionism Israel Information Center article on antisemitism and the Jews

External sites about antisemitism

The Coordination Forumfor Countering Antisemitism

The Anti-Defamation League

JAFI resources on Antisemitism

Middle East Antisemitism

International Center for the Study of Antisemitism At the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Key references

The following may help you identify antisemitism and other types of racism

EU definition of antisemitism

Used by law enforcement throughout Europe

Behind much criticism of Israel is a thinly veiled hatred of Jews

Emanuele Ottolenghi, in The Guardian on Saturday November 29, 2003

A New Antisemitism

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, June 2002

Blurring the line

Fair critisism or antisemitism? By Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (the ADL), in Haaretz on April 4, 2004

Antisemitism in 3-D

Differentiating legitimate criticism of Israel from the so-called new anti-Semitism. By Natan Sharansky in Jerusalem Post, on February 23, 2004


What is Anti-Zionism?

Disagreeing with the policies of the Israeli government is in and of itself neither Antisemitic nor Anti-Zionist.

Even outside of this Anti-Zionism is not always Antisemitism, but many of those who claim to be anti-Zionist are in fact in fact peddling re-badged Antisemitism.

Our reference center can help you understand Anti-Zionism

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