They taught him well.

└ Tags: ,

Discussion (41)¬

  1. EskeRahn says:

    Erhm just to set things straight:

    “Antisemitism” is based on a the tag Semite, that are people taking Semitic languages, and is thus BOTH Jews, Arabs and others!
    So if an arab should be antisemitic it would be some sort of selfhatred …

    You MIGHT be looking for terms like “Antiizionist” or the wider “Antijewish”.

    I’m personally clearly Antizionist, similar to Antiapartheid and Antinazi.
    But neither Antijewish, Antiarabic nor Antisemitic

  2. Author says:

    EskeRahn, ‘antisemitism’ means ‘hatred of Jews’ and it always has ever since the 19th century when it was popularised by Jew-hater Willhelm Marr who wanted to give Jew-hatred a sciencey-sounding name.

  3. EskeRahn says:

    well rather
    …‘antisemitism’ is misused for ‘hatred of Jews’…

    But indeed it is a common misuse.

  4. Author says:

    Meaning is determined by usage. “Antisemitism” has meant “hatred of Jews” from the moment it was coined until the present day. I’m curious as to what motivates you to contest this universally accepted meaning. Is it just pedantry?

  5. jb says:

    Words have power. It’s hard to talk about what you can’t name.

  6. jveeds says:

    As Eske says, the term 𝑡𝑒𝑐ℎ𝑛𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 applies to both Jews and Arabic Muslims, but in practice, as others have pointed out, it now is used to specifically indicate Jews. So the more specific term could be used if one wanted to be linguistically accurate — and perhaps should be adopted — but for the time being “anti-semitic” is mostly understood as applying to hatred or disparagement of Jewish people.

  7. EskeRahn says:

    “universally accepted”, well ….

    The problem here is that misuse of terms makes it unclear if people are talking about those that are against the Israeli regime or Jews or anyone from the middle east.
    Antizionist is against a perticular regime
    Antijewish is against followers of a particular religion

    (Similar to Antiislamistic and Antimuslim)

  8. EskeRahn says:

    It is in the interest of the Zionists to be able to label any critique of their regime as “antijewish” or even “Antisemitic”, to be able to put anyone criticising them in the same box an Nazis, and thus dismiss the critique.

    For political extremists or dictators to try to appropriate being the ‘true’ or ‘real’ of the group they belong to, is a quite common political trick. Seen across the globe.

  9. jb says:

    EskeRahn — Has anyone ever used the term “antisemitism” to refer to hatred of Arabs? Has hatred of Semitic people (Jews and Arabs taken together, but not others) ever even been a thing? It’s perfectly legitimate to argue that anti-Zionism is not the same as antisemitism, but the meaning of the term antisemitism seems pretty settled, even if you think some other word ought to be used instead. And you still haven’t explained what you think would be gained by using another word instead.

  10. arbeyu says:

    I’ve come across this “antisemitic means anti Jew and Arab” line before.

    I’ve also lost count of the times I’ve heard people deny their homophobia by trying to argue that they aren’t *afraid* of homosexuals.

    I count both as bullshit arguments made in bad faith – where the aim is to divert the discussion into an etymological bun-fight, rather than addressing the issue at hand.

    Words mean what people use them to mean. My Chambers dictionary – and various online dictionaries I’ve checked – all define antisemitism as “hostility to or prejudice against Jews”. We all know what the word means. Arguing otherwise is disingenuous at best (you can tell I’ve got a dictionary to hand!).

    I’m not insinuating malice on EskeRahn’s part – but, dude, be aware that some ideas are loaded.

  11. paradoctor says:

    I usually lean towards descriptivism (word meaning is defined by use) but here I think there’s virtue in prescriptivism (word meanings are defined by original intent). So I think that ‘antisemitism’ ought to mean ‘against Semites’, which includes Arabs. For the hatred of Jews, instead use ‘anti-Judaism’, or ‘Judaophobia’, in parallel with ‘Islamophobia’. Better yet, ‘Jew-hatred’, the term used before ‘antisemitism’ arose as a euphemism.

    I recommend these to improve clarity of thought. Also because, to repeat, the term ‘antisemitism’ was invented by German 19th-century race theorists as a euphemism. I don’t like euphemisms.

    Also, I don’t think it a stretch to call both Hamas and Netanyahu anti-semites. They hate the other, but also their own.

  12. paradoctor says:

    Can someone here name a notorious case of hypocrisy from before modern Judaism was a thing? Some hypocritical character from Greek or Chinese or Egyptian legend? Odysseus told plenty of stretchers, as did plenty of Greek gods. Ditto with certain Egyptian gods.

  13. paradoctor says:

    Here’s a compromise:

    Hypocrisy was common before Jesus denounced it, but it wasn’t named yet, so nobody could condemn it as such.

    Likewise, genocide was common before the survivors of the Holocaust gave it that name.

    So Jews, a literate people, have the power to attack evils by giving them names.

  14. jb says:

    arbeyu — I have a serious problem with terms like “homophobia” and “transphobia”, and I don’t think it’s bad faith. The thing is, such words were deliberately coined to imply that opposition to the gay agenda was a sign of mental disorder. From Wikipedia:

    Coined by George Weinberg, a psychologist, in the 1960s, the term homophobia is a blend of (1) the word homosexual, itself a mix of neo-classical morphemes, and (2) phobia from the Greek φόβος, phóbos, meaning “fear”, “morbid fear” or “aversion”. Weinberg is credited as the first person to have used the term in speech. The word homophobia first appeared in print in an article written for the May 23, 1969, edition of the American pornographic magazine Screw, in which the word was used to refer to heterosexual men’s fear that others might think they are gay.

    I remember when the word homophobia first started showing up, and it was definitely intended to imply fear and mental illness. OTOH, “antisemitism” doesn’t carry that sort of excess baggage; it says nothing about the antisemite other than that he doesn’t like Jews.

    I have a similar problem with the redefinition of “racism” that insists that only those with power can be racist (and therefore only white people can be racist). This redefinition is so transparently self-serving that the fact that people who use the word that way don’t get laughed off the court is a testament to the power those people hold. Genuinely powerless people could never get away with jerking the language around like that.

  15. M27Holts says:

    My latest contract is deep within HR at the moment. So the “ism” argument is ubiquitus and as far as I can see it, purely arbitrary….I just keep my head down and try to stick to the data models of logical design when the arguments start to go down the rabbi hole…

  16. Mockingbird says:

    Good cartoon this week. Bullshit comments.

  17. Shaughn says:

    @Mockingbird: Hear, hear!

    (I wonder what happened to my avatar)

  18. M27Holts says:

    Oy. MB. Hope you are excluding mine! Mine is cat-shit…OK

  19. Son of Glenner says:

    M27Holts: I like your comment re arguments going down the rabbi hole!

    Deliberate pun or happy accident?

  20. Prfesser says:

    Recall Isaac Asimov’s quote that a theory is *not* something that was “dreamt up after being drunk all night.” Nonetheless that is precisely how it is used today (largely for disinformation purposes, as in “oh, that’s just a theory…”). Today the term must be qualified as “scientific theory”. And even that doesn’t help much when attempting to make a point.

    So….yes, antisemitism can be said to apply to Jews and Arabs equally. But whether we like it or not, the dictionary definition has been squelched by common usage. Today antisemitism is used, and in conversation it will be taken, to mean ‘anti-Jew’ or ‘hatred of Jews’.

  21. M27Holts says:

    Deliberate Pun…I did it on my Owl…

  22. M27Holts says:

    “Theory”…I am sick an tired of arguing with religious no-nowts who completely fail to understand the subleties of genetics and gene-pools that are the engine of evoltution and natural selection working upon those pools. The Genius of Darwin was that he recognised (in theory) that mechanism, even though he knew nothing of the 4 letters and double helix that is fundamental to the way the mechanism works…Evolution is FACT until some experiment proves it wrong…but that I suspect is as likely as proving that the Earth is like the disc-world…

  23. M27Holts says:

    And errata…Know-nowts…

  24. Vanity Unfair says:

    When I was at school, and for a good few years afterwards, a billion was a million million: 10^12. After all, it made sense; a bi-million. The translations of “Twenty thousand leagues under the sea” I read dealt in sea quantities in milliards (10^9) and nobody complained. Added to that, there was very little that needed billions for accounting. Then with rampant inflation and US leadership in micro-electronics their concept of billions gradually gained currency in the UK and until the Eastern side of the Pond capitulated there was always likely to be confusion when the term was used.
    I still think 10^12 when I come across “billion” and have to re-think to 10^9. I know the argument has been lost. I still resent it.
    “Anti-Semitic should not mean solely “anti-Jewish” but it does, despite logic.
    The OED gives the primary meaning of “Semitic” as “1800–
    Designating or belonging to a family of languages of which Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Ethiopic, and ancient Assyrian are members.”and does not have the modern sense until 1881: “Reymond harps upon the same theme. ‘The Semitic character [German dem semitischen Charakter]’, he says, ‘is the antithesis of all ideality; in the commercial as well as in the domestic life of the Jews, the prevailing influence is selfishness.’” as an import from German. It has been around for a long time.
    Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. “Semitic (adj.), sense 2.b,” July 2023,
    I hope this clouds the issue sufficiently.
    I am also getting tired of telling people what a theory is.

  25. Shaughn says:

    I’m with you on that last one, Vanity Unfair.
    It’s been my job to tell and explain students what a theory is and, for worse, what a hypothesis is. The confusion, oh the confusion. So happy pensionado now.

  26. Son of Glenner says:

    A “bus shelter” does not provide buses with shelter, nor does it protect people from being attacked by buses, like “air-raid shelter”. Yet that form of words is used for a structure that protects people from rain, snow etc while waiting for a bus. Similarily, “anti-semitism” specifically means hatred of Jews, regardless of other semitic races and other possible interpretations of the words.


  27. M27Holts says:

    AS In all things, the living language is constantly evolving and speciating so that communication bewtixt areas can become difficult. The word Fanny comes to mind, well my mind anyway, which is like a Welsh railway…One tracked and dirty…

  28. postdoggerel says:

    Religious Truths
    Hindus do not recognize
    A single God on whom to call.
    Buddhists do not recognize
    Any sort of God at all.
    Muslims do not recognize
    The Chosen People as the Jews.
    The Jews do not recognize
    The story Christians call good news.
    Catholics do not recognize
    The reasons Protestants protest.
    Protestants don’t recognize
    The Pope as being specially blessed.
    Atheists don’t recognize
    What all religion’s shouting for.
    And Baptists do not recognize
    Each other at the liquor store.

  29. Son of Glenner says:

    postdoggerel: Brilliant! I think I’ll cut that out and keep it for reference.

  30. postdoggerel says:

    Son of Glenner, I wish I had written it. My stuff is immediately recognizable for the doggerel that it is. One of the anagrams of postdoggerel is let’s grope god. That should do it for now. God has given me notice not to touch her leg.

  31. Son of Glenner says:

    postdoggerel: Whether or not you wrote it, it’s still brilliant! It also reminds me of a song by Tom Lehrer, entitled “National Brotherhood Week”, particularly this verse:

    “Oh the Protestants hate the Catholics
    And the Catholics hate the Protestants
    And the Hindus hate the Muslims
    And everybody hates the Jews”

    Tom Lehrer’s songbook is easy to find online, and should be essential reading for all regulars at the old Cock & Bull pub. Lehrer is of course Jewish himself, but don’t hold that against him!

  32. Vanity Unfair says:

    SoG: if there were any divine justice Tom Lehrer’s songs would now be issued with footnotes to explain what they written about.
    I think the recordings are still available. Mine are on ten inch LPs. I wish they were irrelevant.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Jews are a tribe. Judaism is the religion of many members of that tribe, but not all. There are very many people who are completely Jewish and completely atheist. Myself, for one, a simple man. Einstein was another, a great scientist.

    Zionism is the simple political belief that Jews, the tribe, whether followers or Judaism or not, ought to have a national home and that it ought to be in their original ancestral home, the place where they are indigenous. In the same way that the French have a national home in France.

    (The Soviets tried to create a Jewish national home in Birobidzhan, and it didn’t work because it was artificial. See: . Israel is not artificial. It is where Jews always knew they came from, yearned for, and where they are indigenous.)

    Anti-Zionism is the political belief that Jews ought not have a national home. In the last 2000 years, that has led to do much misery and slaughter that Jews finally decided not to put up with it.
    Here are the bare highlights:

  34. Anonymous says:

    An addition:
    I consider anti-Zionism as hatred of Jews, and I don’t hesitate to call it anti-semitism. Because if Jews don’t have that national home, it is guaranteed that they, as a people, will suffer the same humiliations and violence that they have suffered elsewhere for 2000 years.

    Outside of Israel, Canada, the US, the UK and Australia have been the safest places for Jews. Yet even in those places there have been frequent acts of antisemitic violence and intimidation.

  35. M27Holts says:

    My biggest gripe against Religion , is its stupid proscriptions and prohibitions. It is these , more than anything else that tells you that all.scripture is man-made fairy stories. Once all sapiens live up to their moniker we will surely see much improvement on the complete and utter bullshit spouted by clowns at the pulpit…

  36. hotrats says:

    EskayRahn, labels for religious prejudice have always been a bit hit-and-miss.

    ‘Antisemitism’, like ‘agnosticism’, makes up in tone what it lacks in precision, and was coined specifically to mean hatred of Jews, by someone who hated them. If you think that ‘antisemitic’ should only be used as the antonym of ‘Semitic’, I have to warn you that flammable isn’t the antonym for inflammable.

    Homophobia in modern Greek would literally mean ‘fear of sameness’, but the need for a word expressing an irrational fear of homosexuals eclipsed linguistic quibbles.

    You should reserve your pedantry for the linguistic dishonesty of “Islamophobia”. Given that historically the ancestors of most present-day Muslims converted at the point of a sword, a fear of Islam can hardly be described as irrational.

    We live in an age when denouncing terrorism, FGM, child marriage, stoning, and beheading is seen by some as culturally insensitive, and thus ‘Islamophobic’. The clear implication is that any criticism of Islam is irrational and based on hatred; and by implication, deserving of the reflex hysteria and contempt that characterises the Islamic response to any whisper of criticism of Islam, the character of the Prophet, the perfect truth of the Quran, etc.

  37. Tennisaddict says:

    The problem, as I see it, is that there is a cult of Zionist Israel, to which the majority of Western politicians belong, and like all cults, it’s members believe, or act as if they believe, that the leaders of the cult can do no wrong. In my opinion, the cult of Zionist Israel is as dangerous and despicable as the.MAGA Cult of Donald J, Trump, and the GOP! Benjamin Netanyahu, the current leader of the cult of Zionist Israel is just as anti-democracy as Donald Trump and both are evil, vile and despicable! It boggles my mind that President Biden considers Benjamin Netanyahu to be his friend and that he has been a member of the cult of Zionist Israel for many decades. He obviously has a large mental blind spot. The original tragedy is that the state of Israel was allowed to be formed in response to the actions of Zionist terrorists, and without any guarantees of the rights of the Palestinians that lived within the borders of that state.

  38. Alverant says:

    Just to add my own nickel to the conversation, I hate how “antisemitism” is being redefined to include any criticism of Israel, especially when it’s legitimate. The idea of modifying the definition so it includes all peoples from the region has merit if only to counter other ways people are changing the definition.

  39. M27Holts says:

    Aye. Allowing reprehensible religious mutilation of male children because to ban ot would be “antisemitic” and “islamophobic” to boot…

  40. Shaughn says:

    Happy 2024 , all of you reliphobes! 🙂

  41. M27Holts says:

    Shaughn…I prefer the collective noun…”Brights”…cos we are right but surrounded by bullshit!


NOTE: This comments section is provided as a friendly place for readers of J&M to talk, to exchange jokes and ideas, to engage in profound philosophical discussion, and to ridicule the sincerely held beliefs of millions. As such, comments of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature will not be tolerated.

If you are posting for the first time, or you change your username and/or email, your comment will be held in moderation until approval. When your first comment is approved, subsequent comments will be published automatically.