A is for…..Anti-Semitism

2 September 2020

Or anti-Semitic. Could sound like auntie Semitic. But I don’t know anyone whose has an auntie of that name. Although I see the following website refers to Helen Thomas, now deceased, as Auntie Semitic.

https://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-blog/auntie-semitic-explains-why-she-s-not-auntie-semitic-t6237.html

I’m not sure it helps much ‘tho. Better to look up Helen Thomas (the journalist) on the web to find out more.

But she is recorded as saying that she is a Semite. And indeed, it is clear that a Semite covers a wide group of people. And it is derived from Shem, one of the sons of Noah. Shem in turn was the father of a number of children who became the originators of Middle Eastern countries.

And of course peoples intermarry. So Shem’s brothers, Japheth and Ham, had their own children, and no doubt at some point along the line they will have married distant cousins of Shem’s heritage.

So quite who, of the human race, could be distinctly said to be Semitic, or a direct descendant of Shem, is a moot point. Perhaps genetics can tell us in due course.

Anti is now taken to mean against. But in the original Greek it was another form of ante, as in ante room, a room before another. So anti meant, and can still mean, before. So anti-Semitic should really be ‘before Semitic’.

Before Semitic would be those before, so Noah and his fore-fathers (and fore-mothers).

Still, it’s not how the word anti-Semitic is used today. So who started using it that way? Apparently, according to Wikipedia, Moritz Steinschneider, a Jew born in Moravia, in what is now the Czech Republic.

Interestingly, schneider means ‘tailor’ or ‘cutter’. And a snide remark is a cutting remark.

Wikipedia says “Steinschneider used this phrase to characterise the French philosopher Ernest Renan’s false ideas about how ‘Semitic races’ were inferior to ‘Aryan races'”

Well, given the mixing of families through marriage, I cannot see how one can truly decide that question. But as I have argued elsewhere, we are all of the human race, so it is not a question of race, but rather family.

But again, it is obvious that one family differs from another in its traits. And different tribes, such as in Africa, differ from each other.

For example, there are the Luba people of Democratic Republic of Congo. Wikipedia again says that ‘The religious life included prayers, community singing, dances, offerings, rites of passage rituals and invocations.’

And

‘The religious thought did not limit itself to rituals, but included ideas of a good personhood, good heart, dignity for others and self-respect.’

Sounds like they loved each other, so a generally happy family. It’s in the name Luba. They lubbed each other, or loved each other. Like land lubber in English, a lover of land rather than the sea.

Then there is the Zulu. Wikipedia says of the men ‘They also compare themselves to qualities of powerful wild animals such as, bulls, lions and elephants.’ So perhaps like a bull in a china shop, or lion the ground whilst the lionesses do the work, or play the trumpet like the elephant.

Or perhaps show off, saying ‘My trunk’s bigger than yours’.

Then there is apparently stick fighting.

The art of stick fighting is a celebration of manhood for Zulu men. These men can begin to learn this fighting art form as young as the age of five years old. There are multiple reasons why men learn how to stick fight. For example, men may want to learn so that they can set right any wrongs or insults made towards them. Other reasons some men choose to learn are for sporting purposes, proving skills or manliness, and self-defense. The goal of stick fighting is to injure the opponent and sometimes even kill.

So that’s nice.

What about the women?

‘The women in Zulu society often perform domestic chores such as cleaning, raising children, collect water and firewood, laundry, tend to crops, cooking, and making clothes.’

So they do everything else. Seems fair. The men charge around, make loud noises, and beat each other’s brains out, while the women do the practical stuff of living.

But it doesn’t seem to be very loving does it? Still, when you have a name which sounds like zoo toilet what do you expect. The men are the zoo, like animals, and the women like the toilet to be sat on. Or shat on if you are Shawn Connery.

Anyway, I really don’t see why the Jews complain about anti-Semitism. They are using the word incorrectly, as it covers a far broader group of people.

And it has resulted in a lot of aggro, a lot of unnecessary argument.

I say they should use the word anti-Jewish if that’s what is really meant. And even that should not include Israel which refers to all those who were originally sons of Jacob. But no doubt I will explain the difference more fully in another blog.

You should have noticed by now if you have read other pages on my website, that I do like playing with words. Semitic could be semi-tic. Which is half a tic, and means ‘wait a minute’. And that is so you can do some thinking.

Or possibly half a tic is when you get something part right, half correct, in an answer to a question. Half a tic instead of a full tic, as it were.

So I say to those who call themselves Jews and use the word anti-Semitic; wait a minute, do some thinking, get a dictionary and learn how to use language correctly. Then you may be awarded a full tic.

Perhaps then we can all get a bit of peace.