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Biden Deploys Anti-Semitic Slur

Updated 1:35 pm ET.

During an appearance in Washington Tuesday, Vice President Biden disgorged the word “shylock,” an ancient slur against Jews.

Biden was talking about how his son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, would hear about people’s financial problems while he was serving in Iraq:

People would come to him and talk about what was happening to them at home in terms of foreclosures, in terms of bad loans that were being–I mean, these Shylocks who took advantage of these women and men while overseas.

Sounds fishy. Why were people coming to Beau Biden to discuss their finances?

Anyway, no, of course I don’t think he was actually trying to malign the Jewish people. He’s just . . . he’s just Biden. And somehow, he became vice president.

At least one Jewish leader reacted with outrage:

“Shylock represents the medieval stereotype about Jews and remains an offensive characterization to this day,” said Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman. “The Vice President should have been more careful.”

Shylock was the moneylender in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. The character became a stereotype that has come down through the years, serving as an epithet to describe Jews as greedy and crafty about money.

Biden was speaking to the Legal Services Corporation, which offers legal assistance to the poor.

UPDATE: Biden responds:

Abe Foxman has been a friend and adviser of mine for a long time. He’s correct, it was a poor choice of words, particularly as he said coming from ‘someone as friendly to the Jewish community and open and tolerant an individual as is Vice President Joe Biden.’ He’s right.

24 Responses to Biden Deploys Anti-Semitic Slur

  1. Jewish people succeed, and do not whine about their hardship they have had forever. It is 2014 and this elected person is insulting these people, and getting away with it.

  2. Joe is on the tail end of a generation that grew up using phrases and adjectives that are not acceptable. In today’s society. More than likely he does not know the background of a word or that it is a slur in Yoddish. Should he know better? Yep. Just as he should have known better saying Obama was articulate and a neat dresser.

    I would rather have him than Obama.

      • I would take Biden over Obama also. Any day of the week. Biden is many things but he stands with America.

        And if the Republicans take the Senate and maintain the House he would be effectively neutered.

    • I am 83 years old and even I know that Shylock is insulting.
      I learned that in High School back in the 40s while reading
      the Merchant of Venice. These politicos are a bunch of no
      nothings. It is like they never read a book. Ignorance!!!!

  3. Why are poor people buying houses? There’s an alternative to that called rent. If banks are making bad/high risk loans (which caused the bubble, and now underwater values for the rest of us), they should eat their losses.

    As far as VP Loose Lips, old slang shouldn’t bother us but he should never be allowed to go off script ! I never heard “shylock” before even as a child in Brooklyn when the Roman Catholics and Jewish people in the neighborhood were at “war”.

    • Denise, when I think back 26 years ago to when we bought our current home, I remember the hoops we had to jump through for our mortgage lender. At the last minute they asked for copies of our checking & savings account bank statements for the previous year. Thankfully, the box with those documents hadn’t been loaded on the moving van.

      People with inadequate income and poor credit should NOT be buying houses.

    • I “suspect” there is government “pressure” on the banks to make these loans. Didn’t Billy Clinton have something to say about that?

      As long as we have a federal government that insists that people who do not have means be afforded the opportunity to spend beyond their means, and then give them a bailout, it will continue.

      Kinda’ like a credit card company —

  4. I dont know how the creep Obama and his Grandfather became Prez.. Sure, I am glad when they get told off, these Commies should be tried for treason…
    But, ADL’s Foxman is a sap. A weak putz who is always taking up for the wrong causes.
    He makes me want to puke.

  5. If “Shylock” is such an offensive characterization, why was all the Anti-Defamation League had to say was that “The Vice President should have been more careful.”?
    Perhaps they are taking the higher road. I wonder what might have happened to Dan Quayle. It remains an enigma to me why the Jewish people overwhelmingly support democrats.

  6. Sometimes, when uncle Joe talks extemporaneously, it reminds me of holidays at my house growing up. Terms were used to describe people of all sorts, including family and friends, and we all understood that it was just the vernacular of the day. Today, we refrain from even saying terrorist. Not sure which is worse.

    I don’t think our elected officials should use language that disparages any segment of the population. But Joe is from the generation that did this, often.

    My dad, of the WWII generation, ( gone 10 yrs) used to say:

    You may not like what I’m saying, but you’ll always know where I’m coming from.

    I miss my dad, and his straight forward approach to life.


  7. Why go to Beau? Bec the Bidens were involved in protecting credit card cos etc and even were involved (Beau) in shady stuff in Delaware–who else to go to? As for the Shylock ref–that is a function of his lack of filters. Quick blab reflex.

  8. Beau Biden is set for life. Let’s hope he comes equipped with more moral stature than his father and can at least speak without putting his foot in his mouth. About the latter, probably. The former, unlikely. Although if memory serves, he was Army JAG and one can only hope that means something.