Antisemitism not Anti-Semitism

By Ted Belman

I had long been troubled by the current use of the spelling “anti-semitism” in place of antisemitism.

I had grown up familiar with the latter. Yesterday I read a reference to the fact that Daniel Pipes used the latter spelling advisedly which was my preference. So I googled it and came up with an article on Zionism on the Web.

Antisemitism or Anti-Semitism?

Jews may suffer from Antisemitism, but the chances of facing Anti-Semitism are zero to none. Outside of Microsoft Word’s spell check (definitely 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 written 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 publicaly acceptable by distancing it from the words Jew and Hate and putting scientific shine on it. CONTINUE

March 24, 2007 | 2 Comments »

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2 Comments / 2 Comments

  1. Semitic is more than a word to describe a language group, it also describes the peoples (not the language) who’ve descended from Noah’s son Shem (Shem-itic, Semitic), as opposed to Noah’s sons Ham or Japheth.

    Adam -> Seth -> (gap of time) -> Noah -> SHEM -> (gap of time) -> Eber -> Abraham -> Isaac (by Abe’s wife Sara)

    (BUT here there’s the big Arab split, Ishmael (by Hagar) and others (by Keturah)), but back to the covenant line, Isaac…

    Isaac -> Jacob (renamed Israel) -> 12 sons (source for the phrase 12 Tribes of Israel, one son of which was Levi, ancestor of Moses), but to stay in the Messianic line…

    Judah -> (long gap of time) -> David (gap of time) -> Messiah

  2. I was pleased to see this post today. About 8 years ago I took a Jewish lit class with Edward Alexander. One of the things I remember is his emphasis on the correct way to spell this word: antisemitism not the hyphenated one. I don’t remember seeing this approached anywhere else until now. I appreciate so, so much that this topic was addressed and thank you for the link to the article. I care both about words and the wretched, wicked viewpoints of those who are antisemites. Israel’s enemies are winning the war of ideas and words over them, not because they’re right but because Israel and her friends and supporters around the world are letting them. “Palestine” is one of THE biggest victories in the war of words. Pro-Israel supporters use that word. Yes, I read Caroline Glick’s article “Welcome to Palestine” and I understand and agree completely, but as of now there is no offical, declared, sovereign state of “Palestine” and until there is I refuse to legitimize them. I’m not ready to put on my mourning clothes.

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