Meaning of Anti-Semitism

What is Antisemitism:

antisemitism is the hostile prejudice that discriminates against Jews both as a racial group and their religion.

The word antisemitism derives from the prefix anti- which means ‘against’, Semite which biblically refers to the descendants of Shem (Arabs and Jews), and the suffix -ism which refers to a type of ‘trend, theory or doctrine’.

It is in the XIX century that the Semitic word begins to be more and more confused, since does not distinguish between ethnic group, language or religionand is used with a connotation of discrimination and racism exclusively to refer to people of Jewish origin or those who profess Judaism.

See also Judaism.

The Semitic denomination was coined by the German August Ludwig Schlozer in 1781 in his research on Biblical and Oriental literature to refer to the Syrian-Arabic linguistic family that includes those who speak Hebrew, Syrian, Arabic and derivatives, and in no way refers to to the biblical reference to the descendants of one of Noah’s sons: Shem. He has been heavily criticized for introducing this confusion.

The word anti-Semitism was used for the first time as a prejudiced concept in 1879 by the German Wilhelm Marr to refer to the anti-Jewish campaigns that were emerging in central Europe due to political differences where Jews were accused of defending the Republic.

Antisemitism is based on the memory of years of religious conflict between Christians and Jews due to differences in their spiritual beliefs about the Bible (divided into Old and New Testaments) and about the divine nature of Jesus.

The Jews were persecuted from the beginning of the Christian Crusades in the Middle Ages. Only at the end of the 18th century, in the year 1791, did the French grant Jews the role of citizens equal to others, but discrimination against Jews arose for all the ills of society.

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Antisemitism and Nazism

Nazism was a fascist ideology with a strong feeling of anti-Semitism that led to one of the greatest crimes of humanity: the Holocaust.

The Nazis justified their anti-Semitism on the superiority of the Aryan race, with “Aryan” and “Semite” being terms used to refer to linguistic and cultural groups. Aryan refers to the Indo-Aryan group, which are languages ​​derived from Sanskrit and Persian, and Semitic refers to the Indo-European group, which are languages ​​derived from Hebrew, Punic, and Arabic.

See also:

  • Nazism
  • Holocaust