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Semitic Languages and Antisemitism

The terms “Semite” and “Antisemitism” are commonly misconstrued, at the expense of Jews, as a means to undermine hatred towards them through semantics.


‘Semite’ refers to someone who speaks an Afro-Asiatic language such as: Amharic, Hebrew, Arabic and various Ethiopian languages (Merriam-Webster, 2020).  There are no “Semitic people” only Semitic languages.


Antisemitism refers and describes the hatred and discrimination against the Jewish people, not any other.


The assertion that one cannot be Antisemitic because they are a ‘Semite’ is usually an attempt to discredit, diminish and erase the antisemitism one faces due to their Jewishness. This is done by utilization of semantics by someone who attempts to reclaim the term as their own, even when they themselves do not experience or pay the price of Antisemitism.


Merriam-Webster. (2020)Semitic Language. Retrieved October 12, 2020, from language

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