Even though Semites were originally more than just Jews, the term anti-Semite is now one reserved just for the hatred of the Jewish people. With this in mind I decided to take a look at different definitions of the term in order to see how it is perceived and to help people honestly identify it when exposed to it. The definition in the Urban Dictionary, in my opinion at least, covers the most ground, including the connection to the anti-Israel sentiment.
Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. In a 2005 U.S. governmental report, antisemitism is defined as “hatred toward Jews—individually and as a group—that can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity.” A person who holds such views is called an “antisemite”. Antisemitism may be manifested in many ways, ranging from expressions of hatred of or discrimination against individual Jews to organized violent attacks by mobs, state police, or even military attacks on entire Jewish communities. Extreme instances of persecution include the pogroms which preceded the First Crusade in 1096, the expulsion from England in 1290, the massacres of Spanish Jews in 1391, the persecutions of the Spanish Inquisition, theexpulsion from Spain in 1492, the expulsion from Portugal in 1497, various Russianpogroms, the Dreyfus Affair, and the Final Solution by Hitler’s Germany and official Sovietanti-Jewish policies.
While the term’s etymology might suggest that antisemitism is directed against all Semitic peoples, the term was coined in the late 19th century in Germany as a more scientific-sounding term for Judenhass (“Jew-hatred”), and that has been its normal use since then.