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Word Count: 4,376
Anti-Semite The word rests in a conversation like a foul stench and with it comes unbidden images and accusations Today in many circles this word alone is possibly the most horrendous name to place on a person Maybe though not because of what it means but because of what it brings to mind Automatically and unwanted pictures come to our mind of goose stepping Nazis and concentration camps bodies piled high and what we think of as the air fills with the scent of burning flesh Our worst nightmares and human kinds worst behaviors Yet many of us do not know where the term came from or even what it means beyond their simple ideas Even dictionaries only give the blandest description of the term Websters New World Dictionary defines anti-Semitism as having or showing prejudice against Jews discriminating against or persecuting Jews hostility toward Jews but there really isnt a lot to be learned from that that we didnt already know So I knew I had to dig deeper So I started to look for references to Nazis and Hitler as well as Martin Luther I began to even look for sites of the Ku Klux Klan in efforts to find some background on the term that brings so much angst into the mind as this Although I admit I did find a wonderful article in an unexpected location unexpected only because I had already consulted so many encyclopedias and found nothing Yet Funk and Wagner told me this ANTI-SEMITISM political social and economic agitation and activities directed against Jews The term is now used to denote anti-Judaic acts or sentiments based on any grounds including religious ones The adjective Semitic originally was applied to all descendants of Shem the eldest son of the biblical patriarch Noah in later usage it refers to a group of peoples of southwestern Asia including both Jews and Arabs The word anti-Semitism was coined about 1879 to
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