Friday, July 18, 2003

Never Enough Straight Talk Department

I'm glad I'm not the only one who knows that the word "semite" does not refer to Jews, but to those whose native language is in the Semitic family--meaning, Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic, Amharic ("Ethiopian"), and Syriac. That's exactly what Sam Hamod, former Director of The National Islamic Center, points out. I don't fully agree about the Ashkenazim being "converts" to Judaism, however--that is, while it is true that Slavs and other Eastern Europeans converted to Judaism, such conversions were more for the sake of marriage to Jewish families who moved into the region as part of the Diaspora. Still, all in all, the article is a lovely condemnation of the term "anti-semite".

I'm pro-Jew--meaning that I am not inherently against the religion any more than I'm against the very concept of religion--but I would probably get labeled "anti-semite" because I condemn Israel's aggressive policies against the Palestinians. I might be considered anti-Zionist because I don't think that Jews need a homeland as much as they need the same universal human rights we all need. The premise that the Jewish people need to set up a fortress around some of the only easily arable land in the region is ludicrous. The premise that they deserve dignity and respect, on the other hand, is only common sense.

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