ARABS ARE NOT SEMITES! by Sha’i Bentekoa

IntroductionI’m tired of people referring to Arabs as Semites. I constantly hear the excuse from Jew-haters that Arabs can not possibly be anti-Semitic because they, themselves, are Semites. On top of the fact that there are a goodly number of Jews (Semites) who are anti-Semitic[1], it is a falsehood to claim that Arabs are Semites, when they are actually Hamites. The following discusses the difference between Semites and Hamites.

Semites and Hamites

Here’s the derivation of the word Hamitic.

To begin with, the words Semite and Semitic in English, two centuries ago, used to be written with an “h” viz. Shemite and Shemitic. (I do not know why the “h” fell away over time; linguists specializing in phonetics probably have an answer.)

Two centuries ago, Shemitic referred to Hebrew and related languages: Arabic, Aramaic, Ugaritic, Akkadian, Amharic, etc., and was used by linguists to refer to this language group. It was an exclusively a scholarly/academic term.

But in the late 19th century, the word was borrowed by Jew-haters to give a name to all the ideas floating around which tried to explain why Europeans still hated Jews even after they stopped being Jews, i.e stopped living, dressing and believing as Jews. In 19th century Germany, tens of thousands, maybe scores of thousands of them, converted to Christianity — yet people still hated them and rejected them, and the Jew-haters eventually came up with all kinds of pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-academic, pseudo-historical, pseudo-science/ anthropological theories to explain why.

That is what anti-Semitism was at birth. Not for decades did it come to be associated with the physical extermination of Jews. That was an extremely late development.

Anti-Semitism arose because during the 18th century Enlightenment, European intellectuals lost their belief in Christianity. It therefore no longer made sense to hate Jews for having killed Jesus — not when they themselves no longer believed he was divine. Ergo, the end of the religious deicide charge as a reason for hating Jews.

Anti-Semitism arose saying that the reason people hate Jews is because they are Semites, meaning Asiatics, and therefore they are impossible to assimilate into European culture; people feel racially/biologically uncomfortable in their presence, and so on and so forth. The religious excuse for Jew-hatred having died, a new, pseudo-intellectual one was invented.

Now: Shem was one of the three sons of Noah and he had two brothers, Japhet and Ham, and Hamitic was the term linguists chose to categorize the pre-Arabic languages of North Africa, which are different from the Semitic language group.

And I use Hamitic as I do because I am a believing Jew who says not only that the Arabs stole Zionism and called it Palestinian Nationalism – they stole our claim that we are an ancient people and that this is our ancient homeland and that we are emotionally attached to it. They say they are an ancient people too and that this is their ancient homeland too. (This is, by the way, the identical technique the first Muslims used when they stole Judaism and called it Islam — a religion even more than Christianity that is a complete rip-off of Judaism.)

I say they stole the terms Semite and Semitic no less.

Arabs say they can’t be anti-Semitic because they too are Semites because they also are the children of Abraham, who the Bible tells us was the 10th generation descendant of Shem.

But this could not be more wrong. True, Ishmael was a son of Abraham, indeed his first-born. But we Jews do not — like Arabs, Russians and loads of other nationalities — hold by patrilineal descendant. To be a Jew you have to have a Jewish mother.

And Ishmael did not. His mother (this is all in the Book of Genesis) was Hagar, an Egyptian (Egypt=Mitzrayim), and Mitzrayim was one of the four sons of Ham (along with Canaan, Put and Cush.)

The Torah also tells us that Hagar found a wife for her son who was also an Egyptian.

Therefore: since Ishmael had a Hamitic (not a Semitic) mother and married a Hamitic woman, his offspring are Hamites, not Semites.

And this is a crucial fact because of the character and personality differences between Shem and his descendants on the one hand, and Ham and his descendants on the other — which I have no time to go into now. Suffice it to say that the Arabs today fit to a tee both Ishmael and his forebear Ham in their unbridled, shameless violence.

So the next time someone says the Arabs are Semites too, tell them no, and the above is the reason why.

And that if they have problems with that, tell them to listen to Sha’i Bentekoa at


1. “Self-Hating and Israel-Threatening List,”

For further reading: “Arabs are Hamites”

Sha’i ben-Tekoa writes on the Middle East, Arab terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism and the Arab-Israeli conflict. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Review, on PBS’s “The Newshour with Jim Lehrer,” in Midstream, Congress Monthly and other publications. Contact him at his website — — or by email at

This appeared on the website May 6, 2006 and is archived at

Arab Nazis

  1. #1 by Joe on March 23, 2014 - 10:19 pm

    Websters disagrees.

    Sem·ite noun \ˈse-ˌmīt, especially British ˈsē-ˌmīt\
    : a member of a group of people originally of southwestern Asia that includes Jews and Arabs

    Full Definition of SEMITE

    a : a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs
    b : a descendant of these peoples

  2. #2 by Chaim on March 25, 2014 - 3:34 am

    Arabs are Semites or Shemites because Arabs come from Abraham or Essau If you follow the Torah. So if We as Jews are Semites from Shem then so are Arabs who either come from Ishmael who was the son of Abraham or Essau who was the son of Isaac. BOTH were SHEMITES.
    Now do Arabs hate Jews yes but its not being Anti Semetic Jewish people dont have the exclusive right to being Shemites. So you are wrong


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