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Ditch the term ‘anti-Semite’ and replace it with ‘Jew hater’

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Mark Furman, Johannesburg

Most people don’t even know what a Semite is, so we’d do well to stop using the term, ‘anti-Semitism’. It is a meaningless yet dangerous term.

A Semite could be a Jew or Arab from the Middle East. As for the prefix ‘anti’, this suggests that the alternative is ‘pro’ – for example, anti-smoking versus pro smoking.

Pro versus anti suggests two different approaches to something that’s debatable. And the people supporting either stance are entitled to their opinion.

So, anti-Semitism suggests that there is an acceptable justification for anti-Semites, who hold an opposing view to those who are pro Semites.

The hatred shown to Jews and Israel is on the rise again and has become socially acceptable and more visible and blatant. I believe it is largely due to the use of the term, anti-Semite.

This, at a time where the world is so sensitive to other minority groups. If you are anti any other minority group, you’re labelled as homophobic or racist or sexist, etc. The problem lies with you.

But if you are anti-Jews or anti-Israel, it is acceptable.

Compare this with people who are anti-Muslim: they are Islamophobic. There is no acceptable opposing point of view as a phobia is an anxiety disorder with an extreme or irrational fear of something. It implies that the problem is with you, not the subject of your phobia.

Germans have used a similar approach to conveniently disassociate themselves from the Holocaust. Muslims are using the same strategy to deny responsibility for the acts of the Islamists.

It is time to ban the word anti-Semite and start calling it what it really is. Jew hating; Jew haters. And this term must be applied to anyone or any group that is anti-Israel. Why anti-Israel? Because Israel hating is just a veiled attempt by some to disguise their Jew hating.

Challenge these Jew haters. Name and shame them. Prosecute them. Silence them. And for those Jews who believe that this might create more anti-Semitism, who cares? People don’t need reasons to hate Jews, and never have. Don’t think that this is merely semantics. Jew hating and Israel hating affects us all and we should be concerned.

Be proud of our wonderful religion, food, customs, traditions and people, and of our miracle country, Israel.

Am Yisroel Chai.

 

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