A New Term Would End Confusion on Anti-Jewish Prejudice

Historians of ideas have documented three historical phases of Anti-Jewish bigotry; these are known as Anti-Judaism, Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism with the term Anti-Semitism also being used in the more general sense as a word for all three phases. This is profoundly confusing since few people are aware that the term ‘Anti-Semitism’ has two meanings. Furthermore, all three terms are fundamentally misnomers. Anti-Judaism is not only directed against Judaism but against Jews generally. The term ‘Anti-Semitism’ was coined by anti-Jewish bigots in the 19th century so as to legitimize anti-Jewish racial theories according to which Jews belonged to a non-existent Semitic race. The term Anti-Zionism does not cover all or even most Anti-Jewish prejudice disseminated by Operation SIG which for the most part is about insidious discrimination against the Jewish state as the collective Jew rather than mere opposition to the Jewish national movement.

What is needed is a different term for all forms of Anti-Jewish prejudice that will not sow confusion as the narrow sense of the term ‘Anti-Semitism’ is abused to excuse Anti-Jewish prejudice created and disseminated by Operation SIG. I have previously suggested the term ANTIVRISM [anti-ivri-ism] with IVRI being the modern Hebrew term for a Hebrew person. It is an urgent task to discredit the systematic Anti-Jewish discursive discrimination of Operation SIG and this requires a term that does not lead to confusion. The IHRA definition is a step in the right direction but is entirely insufficient since it does not expose and discredit Operation SIG and Anti-Jewish discursive discrimination.

The Mossad research department should be tasked with investigating what would be an appropriate alternative term and how consensus could be found in the Jewish world and among specialists in Anti-Jewish prejudice.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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