Origin of the Term Anti-Semite

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk



The Torah tells us in Berayshit (Genesis) chapters 5-9 that Noah survived the great flood and that his ark or boat landed on Mt. Ararat. After landing, Noah and his three sons emerged. His sons were Shem (name), Ham, and Japheth. According to the Torah, Shem became the father of the Jewish people, Ham moved south and fathered the African and Egyptian people, and Japheth became the father of the Mediterranean people.

In the 1880’s, linguists in Germany and France labeled various related languages as belonging together. English was  evidently related to German, Danish, and Latin, and was included among the Indo-European languages.

For convenience sake, linguists then called Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic Semitic languages as they were  all related and because Genesis says that Shem or Sem was the father of the Jewish and other people living in Israel and surrounding areas.

In 1879, a German journalist, Wilhelm Marr, concluded that ant-Jewish hate was gradually diminishing and that fewer people believed that Jews were drinking the blood of Christian  children or were poisoning the drinking water or were “Christ killers.” Marr attributed this decline in religious hate to the rise of science and therefore concluded that anti-Jewish hate should be given a so-called scientific basis. He therefore founded THE LEAGUE OF ANTISEMITES, claiming that Jews were biologically and racially different from normal people and should therefore be exterminated.

His views spread first to France and then to other European countries, and are most popular among Arabs and Muslims today.

The Nazi (German for Nazional or national) party coined the slogan “Die Religion ist einerlei, in der Rasse liegt die Schweinerei,” or “Religion makes no difference, the swinishness lies in the race.”

This meant that conversion to Christianity could no longer save Jews, as their very being was viewed as unfit to live. Moreover, we were now swine, a word first used by Spanish Christians, who called Jews Marranos, which means swine.

The media repeat the phrase “anti-Semitism” although American Jews do not speak Hebrew. But then, the media claim that we have had 45 presidents when there have been only 44 including Trump, and tell us that the Civil War was fought over the issue of slavery when several slave states were included in the Union and not the Confederacy. 

Shalom u'vracha.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including Gender, Sex, & Status (2019).

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