By Ayman Al-Rasheed
Many Americans went on social media to defend congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib after Trump accused them of anti-Semitism. A considerable number of American citizens criticized such blatant accusations and saw that condemning Israel’s actions should not be deemed as an attack on all Jewish people.
To analyze the problem, we must first know what Semitism is and how the term anti-Semitism has been used as an excuse for the heinous crimes committed against Palestinians.
The word Semitic refers to languages spoken by the descendants of Shem, the son of Noah, such as Aramaic, Arabic, and Hebrew. Semitism is nothing but a linguistic or cultural classification that is not related to religion. Therefore, it is not acceptable to use this term as an exclusive reference to Jews and Judaism.
Semitism is nothing but a linguistic or cultural classification that is not related to religion. Therefore, it is not acceptable to use this term as an exclusive reference to Jews and Judaism.Tweet
Even if we assume that the reference has been made to Hebrew speakers, who represent the majority amongst Israelis, it is still a miserable attempt to confuse the meaning. The Israeli government accuses Arab-Palestinians, descendants of the Semites themselves, of anti-Semitism. It is a term that the Israeli state made exclusive to its “chosen” people.
If we look at reliable dictionaries such as Oxford Dictionary, we will find that Semitic means: a person who belongs to a community that speaks a Semitic language, including Jews and Arabs in particular. We could see that Semitism is associated with a family of languages that includes Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic, and specific ancient languages such as Phoenician and Akkadian, which are all part of the central subgroup of the Afro-Asian language family.
While the use of “Jews” in the definition is still problematic, the dictionary refers to different communities that are considered to be Semites based on language and not religion!
Israel has used the term extensively since the establishment of the Palestinian anti-Zionist movement (BDS) in 2005.
Although the international law allows countries that are exposed to any form of attacks to use force in self-defense, governments around the world sympathized with the Israeli state when some Palestinians groups started using various defensive methods like burning Israeli farms and killing Israeli citizens.
As a result, more than 170 Palestinian bodies and movements at that time unified side by side to intensify their peaceful and intellectual efforts, encouraging many bodies, companies, and celebrities to boycott Israel economically, socially, and politically. Since then, the movement has gained great sympathy and caused considerable losses to Israel’s economy amounting to more than $ 40 billion in the period from 2006 to 2016.
Israel sought to use the same method and spread the idea of “anti-Semitism” around the world. The aim of this counter-intellectual movement was not to avoid the accusations of international parties directed against Israel’s brutal crimes, but rather a plan to shift blame and point the finger at all those who oppose the State of Israel. Any attack against Israel becomes a blatant attack against the Jews and Judaism.
The Zionist counter-movement used historical incidents to spread its propaganda in the West, which committed the most horrific massacres against the Jews in the Holocaust, expelled them from the European continent and refused to host them in the United States and Canada under the silence of the church and Christian peoples at that time.
Such incidents have helped the establishment of Christian Zionism that promoted the existence of the apartheid state. The state of Israel have always tried to present itself as a peaceful country catering to all factions of Judaism and all the Jewish people who suffered from European brutality in the past.
Israel continues to use its usual defensive tactics. It will continue to intensify its attacks against all those who condemn its heinous crimes under the pretext of “anti-Semitism” as long as peaceful Palestinian movements, lead by BDS, continue to target its economic, diplomatic, and social interests.