There are many in the Arab world - and outside it -
scratching their heads over the term "anti-Semitism" and
wondering why it only applies to racism directed at
their fellow Semitic cousins the Jews. When an Arab is
accused of being anti-Semitic, he will invariably
answer: How can I be anti-Semitic when I, myself, am a
The term "anti-Semitic" should, perhaps, be erased from
the lexicon since etymologically it doesn't mean much.
There is, in fact, no Semitic race as such, since
Semites include different racial groups, whose mother
tongue is one of a family of Semitic languages. These
include Arabic, Hebrew, Amharic and Tigraniya - the
latter two languages widely spoken in Ethiopia, Sudan
and Eritrea. So literally speaking, anyone who is
anti-Semitic is against the languages spoken by those
various racial groupings. In other words, the term is
But let's put aside the dictionary for a moment and
take, instead, the common usage of "anti-Semitism". The
origin of the expression is down to a German journalist
Wilhelm Marr, who wrote a book entitled: The Victory of
Judaism over Germanism. In 1881, Marr founded an
Anti-Semitic League and by the following year there was
a fully-fledged "Anti-Semitic Party" which managed to
win seats in the German Parliament. "Anti-Semitism" soon
came to replace the former, etymologically correct,
Whether the hatred of Jews, due simply to religious or
ethnic reasons, is termed as "Jew-hatred" or
"anti-Semitism" it is a rose (albeit a thorny one) by
any other name and just as vile. Racism in any form is
always vile. The burgeoning anti-Semitism in Germany
finally climaxed in the Holocaust and the inhumane
slaughter of six million men, women, children and
babies. It is, therefore, no wonder that today the term
"anti-Semitism" is a loaded one, weighed heavy with
emotion, insinuation and innuendo. The ghastly
consequences resulting from Jew-hatred or anti-Semitism
in Europe is there for all to note. It is hardly
surprising therefore, that Jews said "Never Again" and
are ready to pull around themselves a defensive mantel
whenever they come across anti-Semitic trends in the
The problems that Arabs have with "anti-Semitism",
though, are several-fold. Firstly, they object to the
term's misuse and overuse by those who seek to deflect
genuine criticism of Israel by calling its detractors
Secondly, they are concerned that while Jew-haters are
reviled, those who hate Arabs and/or Moslems are
tolerated, even accepted.
Thirdly, when factual information is given concerning,
let's say, the prevalence of Jewish media-owners and
managers; how Hollywood is the province of Jews; or the
fact that the Federal Reserve is partly owned by Jewish
banking families, whoever says it like it is, risks
being conveniently labelled "anti-Semitic".
When uttering the truth becomes "anti-Semitic" surely it
is time to review and overhaul the term or even replace
it with the more correct "Jew-hatred", which doesn't
have the same connotations. Why for example, would it be
a deep, dark secret, too heinous to even contemplate,
if, say, minority groups, such as Japanese-born
Americans or Mormons were controlling the media or the
Fed? In that unlikely event, wouldn't it be natural for
people to say: "Hey, has anyone noticed that most of the
network and newspapers owners belong to the Church of
the Latter Day Saints (Mormons)?" But in the case of
Jews they can't say that, at least in public, because of
the old anti-Semitic European canard Jews want to take
over the world.
When a Jew is confronted with those facts, he is likely
to say: Why are you categorising people in terms of
religion? This is bigoted. This is anti-Semitic. Yet, at
the same time, most Jews think of Judaism not simply as
a religion but also as an ethnic group sharing the same
gene pool. They think of all Jews as one people, the
Biblical "Children of Israel". Some deny that Jews, like
Arabs, are made up of different racial groups and one
wonders how they come to terms with fair red-haired Jews
from Eastern Europe, olive-skinned Mizrahim or
Middle-Eastern Jews and dark Ethiopian Jews all making
up one race. The problem is they want it both ways. When
it suits them Judaism is a religion while at other times
they maintain Jews share the same ethnicity. When Arthur
Koestler, a Hungarian-British novelist and philosopher,
dared to suggest that many European Jews descend from
Aryan-Turkish Khazars, whom he termed the 13th Tribe, he
became in Zionist eyes an anti-Semitic public enemy
It is this highly debatable contention that Jews are one
race - brother and sisters whose forefathers left the
Holy Land en masse and were scattered around the four
corners of the Earth - which is the basis of Zionism.
For decades, the Zionist's cry was "Next year in
Jerusalem" and this at a time when most German Jews were
secular with Jerusalem as far from their minds as Outer
It is the ethnic component to Judaism, and not the
religious, which lends the State of Israel its raison
d'etre for the perpetuation of a Jewish state on land,
which once belonged to Palestinian Moslem and Christian
Arabs. Jews, who have made aliyah or return to Israel,
believe they have made their way home to the land of
their fathers. But here lies another strange anomaly.
Where do Jewish converts fit into this picture? Even if
we accept that the ancestors of some Jews once tended
their herds in Palestine, what right do Jewish converts
have to take precedence over the true sons of the soil,
In fact, their right derives from might. From the point
of view of the Israeli government, the more Jews in
Israel the better. Israel can only be a Jewish State
when its Jewish population outnumbers its non-Jewish.
This is why Ariel Sharon is constantly calling for new
immigrants, anyone with even one Jewish grandparent will
do. Rabbis have even travelled to Peru to conduct
quickie conversions of Peruvian Indians before they are
relocated to West Bank settlements. As things stand,
with Israeli Arabs having an average of six children to
every two Jewish children, by the year 2020, there will
be more Moslems and Christians in Israel than Jews.
Hence the total rejection of a one-state solution to the
Palestinian conflict by Israel with the divisive wall
currently being constructed as a symbol of separation,
not to mention yet more Zionist land grab.
Turning once more to the subject at hand anti-Semitism,
while Jews were being subjected to vicious pogroms in
Eastern Europe and discriminated against in the
Diaspora, then terming their oppressors as
'anti-Semitic' was valid. Nowadays, there is very little
discrimination against Jews outside the Jewish state; on
the contrary many enjoy elitist lifestyles. If anything,
there is a strong bias towards Jews in the U.S. where
the Israelis are thought of as enjoying "shared values"
with Americans. Israel itself can no longer be perceived
as a poor little country surrounded by over 100 million
hostile Arabs as it was during the 1967 War. Israel is
the most militarily powerful country in the Middle East
with up to 200 nuclear missiles turned against its
neighbours while its nuclear-armed submarines patrol the
The victim became the aggressor while nobody was looking
but the aggressor still plays victim and uses the
leitmotifs of victim-hood, such as anti-Semitism, to its
Anti-Arabism and Islam-phobia
If we insist on keeping "anti-Semitism" in our
dictionaries, then its meaning should be changed. The
new anti-Semitism equals anti-Arabism and Islam-phobia.
The Jews and the Israelis are no longer vulnerable;
Arabs and Moslems are.
The shift began on the 11th September 2001 when 19
Moslem Arabs flew passenger planes into symbols of
American power. The actions of those 19 criminals, said
to have been minions of Osama bin Laden, have curiously
caused a paradigm shift in the way that the U.S. and
British governments perceive and treat the Arab world.
Although, subsequent to 9-11, Arab governments and
peoples fell over backwards trying to disassociate
themselves from the crimes of the 19, the door has been
left ajar for Western leaders with long-ago scripted
agendas to step forward in the name of fighting
Suddenly 1.5 billion Moslems came under the spotlight.
Leaders of Moslem countries had their arms twisted to
sign-up to the War on Terror, which often meant opening
their doors to U.S. and British bases. Afghanistan was
invaded and its branch of Wahhabi Islam vilified. Iraq
was next on the list for U.S. occupation, while the
so-called leaders of the Free World rattled their sabres
against Syria and Iran.
Thousands of Arabs and Moslems were scooped up and
incarcerated in the U.S. post 9-11 for minor visa
infringements, while others were flown from Afghanistan
to Guantanamo Bay, gagged, chained, shackled and hooded.
Yet others are languishing in British prisons without
access to lawyers or due process.
Evangelical television preachers, such as Pat Robertson
and Jerry Falwell felt free to pour their venom onto
both Islam and the Prophet (pbuh). Moslem charities were
closed down, while Islamic bankers came under the
spotlight and were in some cases jailed without charge.
Citizens of Arab countries, which previously had little
trouble getting visas to study or receive medical
treatment in the U.S. were now subjected to
fingerprinting and interrogation if they were "lucky"
enough to get visas at all.
Cherie Blair felt no compunction in recently criticising
Saudi Arabia for its treatment of women in front of the
Saudi ambassador. This would have been inconceivable
prior to 9-11 and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Now Moslems in France are battling for the right to send
their daughters to school wearing the hijab or
headscarf. So much for democracy and the right to choose
Worse, in this New World Order, the Superpower has
decided to forcibly democratise the Middle East,
whatever that means. The region will be de-fanged
without a nuclear weapon in sight, except for Israel's,
of course, which officially don't exist and are,
therefore, not subject to international monitoring.
Many of the Arabs I've spoken with are disorientated.
For decades they admired the West for its superior
technology, faire attitudes and individual freedoms. For
years they respected the U.S. and Britain for their
human rights and civil liberties records. Then one day
they woke up to a new reality. Many are asking: Why the
double standards? What is the cause of this hostility
from the West directed at us?
Why is Israel being favoured not only by the Bush
administration but also by the American people?
The process didn't happen over night. It was subtle. It
began with the negative portrayal of Arabs in Hollywood
movies over generations and ended with the power of
Jewish lobby groups, without whose backing an aspiring
U.S. President could not gain office. Arabs neglected
their own Public Relations for more than half-a-century
and by the time they realised what this meant in terms
of consequences, it was too late. Furthermore, they
placed their trust in the U.S., a trust, which we now
know to have been misplaced.
Due to the overwhelming power of the U.S. propaganda
machine, often manipulated by Zionists, many Americans
still believe that Jews are victims and Arabs
aggressors. Few get to see the bodies of Palestinian
children, murdered by the Israeli Defence Forces or the
faces of the elderly waiting all day to cross an Israeli
checkpoint under the searing summer sun. Yet all are
bombarded with hours of footage showing Israelis injured
by suicide bombers.
Did I say it was too late? It is never too late. Arabs
must get their act together. Where is the
English-language Arab satellite channel promised by the
Arab League? Why are Arabs not producing movies and
buying up distribution companies and film theatres? Why
aren't Arabs using their undeniable wealth, much of it
invested in the West, to dictate terms? Why doesn't the
Arab League threaten to switch from Petrodollars to
Euros if it doesn't appreciate the status quo? Why, in
heaven's name, can't Arabs get together and walk down
the same path, just for once? The time for lethargy and
fatalism is over. If Arabs and Moslems don't speak with
one voice... and mean it... then the legendary Arab 'karama'
(pride) will be buried in the annals of history along
with the region's rich culture and traditions - a
tragedy of epic proportions and one that can never be
The gap is closing and Israel has one foot firmly in the
door. Candles for the Jewish Chanukah holiday have
already been flown to Baghdad. It's now or never. That
door must be slammed shut but who will stick his neck
out far enough to do it?