From the German Antisemitismus, which was coined in 1879 by German political agitator Wilhelm Marr to replace Judenhass ("Jew-hatred") to make hatred of the Jews seem rational and sanctioned by scientific knowledge. The similar term antisemitisch ("anti-semitic") was first used in 1860, by Jewish scholar Moritz Steinschneider. See Wikipedia's article on the etymology and usage of the term.
anti-Semitism (plural anti-Semitisms)
- (narrower sense) Prejudice, discrimination or hostility directed against Jews; anti-Jewism (anti-Jewishness).
- (broader sense) Prejudice, discrimination or hostility directed against any other Semitic people (ancient or modern), such as Samaritans, Palestinians, Arabs or Assyrians; anti-Samaritanism, anti-Palestinianism, anti-Arabism, anti-Assyrianism.
- Though Semitic refers in a broader sense to those who speak Semitic languages (e.g. Arabs or Assyrians), the term anti-semitism has historically referred to prejudice against Jews alone. To avoid the confusion of the misnomer, many scholars on the subject (such as Emil Fackenheim) now favor the unhyphenated antisemitism in order to emphasize that the word should be read as a single unified term, not as a meaningful root word-prefix combination. See Wikipedia: Antisemitism:Etymology and Usage
terms related anti-Semitism
prejudice or hostility against Jews
prejudice or hostility against any other Semitic people
- ^ Antisemitism. The Power of Myth (Facing History), Defining Antisemitism p. 2 (PDF p.5)
- ^ “…the spelling ought to be antisemitism without the hyphen, dispelling the notion that there is an entity 'Semitism' which 'anti-Semitism' opposes.” -- Emil Fackenheim, Post-Holocaust Anti-Jewishness, Jewish Identity and the Centrality of Israel, in World Jewry and the State of Israel. ed. Moshe David, p11, n2.
- ^ “Antisemitism is not a scientific word, and it is entitled to neither a hyphen nor a capital.” Dr. James Parkes, 1953, quoted in Holocaust Almanac: David Irving's Hitler: Postscript