Wednesday, July 03, 2019

  • Wednesday, July 03, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon


Ethiopian Jews refer to themselves as "Beta Israel" and consider the term "Falasha" to be derogatory.

"Falasha" means stranger, exile, wanderer or landless person. Wikipedia notes: "The derogatory term Falasha, meaning 'landless, wanderers', was given to the community by the Emperor Yeshaq I in the 15th century, and is to be avoided as extremely offensive. "

It was already known to be offensive in 1988 as mentioned in this Washington Post article. The BBC noted its offensiveness twenty years ago.

Yet Encyclopedia Britannica still has an entry for "Falasha." It doesn't even note that this is an offensive term. Its online entry was edited earlier this year, so they don't have the excuse of, say, the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906.

Perhaps worse, the Britannica students site also has an entry for "Falasha," teaching children that this is an acceptable term.

This is racism enshrined in the most prestigious encyclopedia in the world.

(Palestinian Arab websites routinely use the word "Falasha" transliterated to Arabic, and the current violent demonstrations in Israel by the Beta Israel are being followed closely as the Arab media. The Palestinians are anxious to call Israeli society racist, without noticing that their very terminology is racist. But no one expects Arabs to hold by Western standards of not referring to people by names they find offensive. The question  as to why Arabs are held to lower standards than Westerners, and why people would be more upset at Britannica than Palestinian Arab media for using the offensive term,  is a topic for another day.)





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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



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