We all remember the bitter Arab/Israeli wars. The record battles, the name-calling. First Israel tried to take hummus. Then it was tabbouleh, shawarmah and baklava. But was it all a cover up for the most controversial thing they took? Anti-semitism.
The fact is, Palestinians are semites! So, what’s the deal yo?
Let’s get one thing out of the way. The theories I’m about to throw down are controversial, which mostly means that no one knows for certain what they’re talking about and sometimes people lie to advance their theory, even when it’s super important to tell the truth.
One theory, the Khazar theory, states that European Jews do not have semitic origins. Arthur Koestler, a Jewish historian, published a book about the history of the Ashkenazi Jews (the ones who established communities in central and eastern Europe) and concluded that their origins were just north of Turkey, near Armenia. His conclusion was disputed, because…Israel, but the refutation was also questioned, and sort of backed up Koestler’s theory, and so the cycle of fuckery continues.
So, if you’re thinking, huh, actually most of the Jews I know sort of look Armenian, then you a least get a United Caucasians of Benetton bonus point for also knowing a few Armenians!
THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
Like many modern-day problems in the Middle East, the label was propagated in Europe in the 19th century when people like Ernest Renan were hating on the European Jews. Specifically, Moritz Steinschneider responded to an anti-Jewish rant by Renan and called his view anti-semitic, and the label sort of stuck and mushroomed into the blanket anti-semitic accusations of today.
WHAT WE DO KNOW
The word “Semite” may be used to refer to any member of any of a number of peoples of ancient Southwestern Asia descent including Arabs and their descendants. So, no matter where present-day Israeli Jews originated from, Palestinians are certainly semites.
So, if you’re hating on Jews, you might be an anti-semite. If you’re hating on the Palestinians, you are an anti-semite. If you’re just hating on Israel, you’re just an anti-anti-semite.
So, next time someone calls you an anti-semite for believing in human decency, you can always say, ‘No, you are’ or it’s most elaborate version, ‘I’m rubber and you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.’