ROSH YESHIVA AT TALMUDIC UNIVERSITY of FLORIDA

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The organization that has brought all of us here tonight to explore this most important issue of antisemitism, deserves our complete respect and attention. While the entire world is feeling the effects of terrorism, extremism, and abhorrent violence, almost no one is taking a proactive approach to this global devastation. 

ISGAP is being proactive in investigating the underpinnings of antisemitism, at this most important forefront, that of academia.

ISGAP is leading the charge on the education of antisemitism and understanding its devastating effects on humanity. My dear and brilliant friend, Dr Charles Small, is a man of modest disposition and incredible knowledge and perspective. Thank you Dr Small and thank you all principals and members of ISGAP, for inviting me here tonight, to share a traditional Jewish Orthodox viewpoint on both the definition and origins of antisemitism.  

May G-d bless us all that our efforts here this week at Oxford and Saint John's College, have a positive impact towards peaceful coexistence and harmonious relationships among all countries and peoples of the world. 

If you look at the Oxford English Dictionary definition of Semite, you will find, that a Semite is a member of any of the peoples who speak or spoke a Semitic language including in particular Jews and Arabs.   The Merriam Webster Dictionary, specifically mentions any of a number of peoples of southwestern Asia. These include Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs. 

Incredibly, if you look in same Oxford Dictionary definition of ANTISEMITISM, you find that antisemitism refers specifically to hostility or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic or racial group, to the exclusion of all others.

How do we explain this phenomenon? On the one hand a Semite is any member of many different peoples, and on the other hand, being an antisemite, is having a specifically anti-Jewish agenda? 

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