It was only yesterday (May 13, 2015) the Vatican announced an official recognition of “the state of Palestine,”and already there are some calling this an act of Antisemitism.
Former Republican Congressman Allen West said:
“This is horrific. At a time when Islamic terrorists are slaughtering Christians — Catholics — all over the Middle East, for the Pontiff to recognize a terrorist organization — which is really, either Hamas or Fatah, they’re both terrorists organizations, it’s just the degree of the actions that they’re taking. This is unconscionable that he is doing that. And it just goes to show the level of propaganda success that the Palestinians have, and the level of disdain and antisemitism that there is out there; it is even coming from the Vatican.”
But recognition of the State of Palestine is not Antisemitism. It’s not. This is not an opinion. This is not a value judgement. It's just a simple matter of using words properly.
The Arab people of Palestine are themselves Semites.
The words Semite and Semitic derive from the Biblical name Shem – one of the sons of Noah (Genesis 10:21) and describe any of various ancient and modern Semitic-speaking peoples, mostly originating in the Near East, including: Akkadians (Assyrians and Babylonians), Ammonites, Amorites, Arameans, Chaldeans, Canaanites (including Hebrews/Israelites/Jews/Samaritans and Phoenicians/Carthaginians), Eblaites, Dilmunites, Edomites, Amalekites, Turukku, Ethiopian Semites, Hyksos, Arabs, Nabateans, Maltese, Mandaeans, Mhallami, Moabites, Shebans, Meluhhans, Maganites, Ubarites, Sabians and Ugarites.
Notice that: Arabs are Semites. Recognition of the State of Palestine is not Antisemitism.
West (and others like him) may want to say that recognition of the state of Palestine hurts Israel, or hurts the Jewish people (both claims that can be, and should be challenged) but it is not–by definition–Antisemitism.
And, if I may go further, it’s not a bad thing for Christians, either, especially the 50,000 Christians in the Palestinian territories, 44,000 of whom are Catholic. (Those numbers are from 2009)