A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 15, 2019
“An anti-Semite is someone who hates Jews more than is strictly necessary”

A Jewish “joke” is that everyone hates the Jews, but that an anti-Semite is someone who hate the Jews more than is absolutely necessary. The saying was printed in the essay “What Can the Jews Do?” by Lewis Browne in The Virginia Quarterly Review, Spring 1939:

“I know then why a noted rabbi once defined an anti-Semite as a person who condemns the Jews more than is absolutely necessary.”

Authorship of the saying is unknown, but it possibly originated in Hungary. “In Hungary the definition of an anti-Semite is ‘one who hates Jews more than is absolutely necessary’” was printed in The Intercollegian in 1961. “In Hungary, the saying is, ‘An anti-Semite is a person who hates the Jews more than is absolutely necessary’” was printed in the book Social Problems: Persistent Challenges (1965) by Edward C. McDonagh and Jon E. Simpson.


Wikipedia: Antisemitism
Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews. A person who holds such positions is called an antisemite. Antisemitism is generally considered to be a form of racism. It has also been characterized as a political ideology which serves as an organizing principle and unites disparate groups which are opposed to liberalism.

Google Books
Spring 1939, The Virginia Quarterly Review (Charlottesville, VA), “What Can the Jews Do?” by Lewis Browne, pg. 221:
I know then why a noted rabbi once defined an anti-Semite as a person who condemns the Jews more than is absolutely necessary.

Google Books
The Intercollegian
Volumes 79-80
1961
Pg. 12:
In Hungary the definition of an anti-Semite is “one who hates Jews more than is absolutely necessary.”

Google Books
Social Problems:
Persistent Challenges

By Edward C. McDonagh and Jon E. Simpson
New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston
1965
Pg. 318:
In Hungary, the saying is, “An anti-Semite is a person who hates the Jews more than is absolutely necessary.”

13 April 1967, Miami (FL) News, Bill Baggs column, pg. 1, col. 1:
An Israeli, an old gentleman who laced his serious conversation with a serious sense of humor, gazed across the brief valley into Syria and asked his American visitor:

“Do you know how we in Israel define an anti-Semite?”

The American said he did not.

The old gentleman said: “Here in Israel, we define an anti-Semite as someone who hate the Jews more than necessary.”

Google Books
Because They’re Black
By Gus John and Derek Humphry
Hamondsworth, UK: Penguin Books
1971
Pg. 189:
In Hungary there is a saying: ‘An anti-semite is a person who hates the Jews more than is absolutely necessary.”

Google Books
People of the Book:
Thirty Scholars Reflect on Their Jewish Identity

Edited by Jeffrey Rubin-Dorsky and Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press
1996
Pg. 231:
An anti-Semite is a person who hates the Jews more than is absolutely necessary. — Hungarian saying

Twitter
Erik Best
@ErikBest
Daniel Barenboim: “What’s the definition an anti-Semite? Someone who hates Jews more than is absolutely necessary.” http://cli.gs/HtDNrU
10:20 AM - 16 Aug 2009

Twitter
Bret Stephens
@BretStephensNYT
Classic definition of an English anti-Semite: “Someone who hates Jews more than is strictly necessary.”
12:20 PM - 5 Dec 2015

Twitter
Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon
@eliungar
The most British definition of antisemitism ever: Antisemitism is hating Jews more than is absolutely necessary. It somehow manages to both sum up and embody British antisemitism in one pithy, understated, antisemitic sentence.
3:47 AM - 13 Dec 2018

Twitter
Ann Schockett
@WoodmereGOP
There’s an old joke about upper-class British anti-Semitism: It means someone who hates Jews more than is strictly necessary. Ilhan Omar, the freshman representative from Minnesota, more than meets the progressive American version of that standard.
5:30 PM - 12 Mar 2019

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Friday, March 15, 2019 • Permalink