Joe Biden Accidentally Used an Anti-Jewish Term

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Photo: Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden is getting a slap on the wrist from Jewish groups this week, after he called those who took financial advantage of servicemembers “Shylocks.”

Biden was discussing his son’s military services during a speech when he uttered the term, which comes from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, a play in which Shylock is a Jewish moneylender and antagonist. Clearly Biden meant the term not in a “shady moneylender” way, but in a “shady Jew” way, right?

Not even the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish advocacy group that watches out for anti-Semitic incidents, thinks Biden believes those stereotypes. Yet its president, Abraham Foxman, issued a statement condemning this particular phrase anway.

When someone as friendly to the Jewish community and open and tolerant an individual as is Vice President Joe Biden, uses the term ‘Shylocked’ to describe unscrupulous moneylenders dealing with service men and women, we see once again how deeply embedded this stereotype about Jews is in society,” Foxman said.

At least we know Biden reads his Shakespeare?