Yahud: The Arabic Word For Jews

UPDATE: Thanks to sharp-eyed Israellycool reader, IronyDome, who noted my slight linguistic error. Corrections made accordingly.

What Jew living in the Middle East has never heard the phrase, “Itbach el Yahud” (Kill the Jews) in one video or another or even up close and personal, Heaven forfend? Until now, Muslims have been careful to hide their anti-Semitism from view, speaking only to their own people, and of course in their own language. Never in English. Never in any language understood in Europe.

The video you’re about to see, on the other hand, doesn’t take place in the Middle East. It takes place on American soil—in New York City, to be exact. To me, this open anti-Semitism betrays a shocking level of brazen effrontery that can only be the result of the “bend over backward for Muslims” policy of the Obama administration.

Here too, in this clip of a pro-Morsi rally by members of Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights (EADHR), filmed February 8, by The Investigative Project on Terrorism, the chanters speak only in Arabic. The major difference is the very public, very American venue.

If you’re anything like me, you turn down the sound when you watch a clip in a foreign language, preferring to rely on the English subtitles. But in this case, I’m going to ask you not to do so. In fact, I’m going to ask you to close your eyes and listen—just for the first 15 seconds.

What you heard is protestors chanting in Arabic. Every couplet or so ends with the word “Yahud.”

The chanters chant, “Oh Saud, Al Saud, you are much dirtier than the Jews.”


“Yahud” means “Jews.” In Arabic.

This too, is nothing new to me or anyone else who lives in the Middle East. But I’d like to call your attention to the root meaning of the word “Yahud” or as it is in singular: “Yahudi.” The word is similar to the Hebrew word for Jew, which is “Yehudi” or one who comes from Yehuda, also known as (wait for it) Judea.

In short, by calling Jews, “Yahud,” Arabs are acknowledging the origins of the Jewish people and their geographic birthright, the territory known as “Judea.” Judea, as you may know, is said by those who perpetuate the Arab narrative, to be part of the “West Bank.” This is an inaccurate term for the area, as it describes the territory as the West Bank of the Jordan River, from inside of the country known as Jordan.

Under the Mandate for Palestine the Jews were granted the legal right under international law to settle anywhere in the geographic area known at the time as “Palestine,” the land mass between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This, of course, includes Judea and Samaria. Partition, passed by the UN in 1947, took away some 78% of this land mass promised to the Jews by the Mandate for Palestine and gave it to the Arabs. The area that was carved away from the Mandate for Palestine was called Transjordan, which was eventually shortened to “Jordan.”


The Arabs weren’t pleased with their 78% of the Jews’ land mass and waged war against Israel in 1948. During the war, Jordan captured Judea and Samaria, illegally occupying the area until 1967, when the Israelis took back their rightful property during the Six-Day War.

The claim of the Arabs and of the left-wing is that Judea is “occupied” by the Jews who have stolen the land from its “rightful owners,” the Arabs. In actual fact, Judea and Samaria were given to the Jews by the Mandate for Palestine, as voted on by the League of Nations, and then granted this land again through Partition, by the UN. The only nation to occupy Judea (Yehuda) and Samaria in recent history is therefore—ta dum—Jordan.

The fact that the Arabic word for Jews is derived from the word for Judea, Yahud, gives further lie to the claim that the Jews have occupied Arab land. The Arabs well know that Judea is the birthright of the Jews and this is reflected in the Arabs’ own native lexicon.

Lexicological Proof

What does this prove? It proves that in addition to international law, the Jews have history on their side. The Arab lexicon gives lexicological proof of the historic right of the Jews to Judea.

Again: the only country to occupy the land of the Yahud—Judea—in recent times, was Jordan.

The left wing may not know that Judea belongs to the Jews for eternity, but the Arabs know it full well. So boys and girls, the next time someone accuses Israel of “occupying” the West Bank, ask them if they know the Arabic word for “Jews.” Tell them it’s “Yahud,” and it means, “Judea.”

Always did. And it always will.



About Varda Epstein

A third-generation-born Pittsburgher on her mother’s mother’s side, Varda moved to Israel 34 years ago and is a crazy political animal who spams people with right wing political articles on Facebook in between writing about education as the communications writer at Kars for Kids, raising her 12 children, and noshing constantly on fried food


  • unpluggged

    The other lexicological proof is that they even don’t have an indigenous name for their “Palestine” — apart from “Filasteen” or “Suryah” (both are of Roman origin). They don’t even have the right consonant for the initial phoneme of the name in their language!

    • Varda Meyers Epstein

      Very true, unplugged. But I like the Yahud argument best. You don’t have to know so much history to get the point.

    • IronyDome

      Yeah, the Romans came up with the name “Palestina,” naming the territory after the Philistines, who are from Greece and aren’t even Semitic.

    • DevilInPgh

      Are you sure about Syria? I thought they call it Shams.

      • cba

        Nope, the country is “Suryah” (in both Arabic and Hebrew). You might be getting confused with the town of Majd al-Shams on the border with Syria; “shamss” is Arabic for sun (cognate of the Hebrew “shemesh”) (Majd al-Shams means Tower of the Sun; in Hebrew it would be Migdal ha-Shemesh.).

        • IronyDome

          Arabs call Syria “Sham” not Shams (which as you said means sun).
          Tower of the Sun would be Burj al-Shams. Majd means glory.

          • cba

            Thanks, Irony! Now I have to smack my (mis)-informant upside the head! :)

      • Shy Guy .

        Try Assyria, know in Tanachic Hebrew as “Ashur”. No Romans or Greeks here. Ashur was the name of a son of Shem, making him a grandson of Noach (Noah).

  • IronyDome

    Actually Yahudi is Arabic for Jew. Yahud is the plural. But you’re still correct, I just had to be the Arabic grammar police :)

    • Varda Meyers Epstein

      Oh dang. Do I need to make corrections all over the place??

    • Varda Meyers Epstein

      Fixed, and credited to you, IronyDome. Thanks for pointing out my error! Much appreciated.

      • IronyDome

        Thanks, and you’re welcome :)

  • starlight

    Israelis and Israeli politicians in particular started using the term west bank and thereby altered perceptions both in the west and in the ME about our claim to Judea and Samaria.

    • Varda Meyers Epstein

      Yes. And crazy people like me refuse to perpetuate that particular propaganda tool.

  • E ben Abuya

    It gets even better. The Filastini position contradicts the Quran

    • Varda Meyers Epstein

      E ben Abuya, yes! I saw that one. It’s great, isn’t it? Nobody does it better than Elder of Ziyon.

      • E ben Abuya

        We have many formidable defenders. They are armed with reason and with truth. The light they shine makes the lies and slanders fall back on our attackers; who are hoist on their own petard. Consumed by their besotted delusions they tear themselves to pieces.
        Kol ha’Kavod to all who stand fast against Amalek.

  • Alja Gerschman-Meijer

    Warda, Eastern Palestine or Trans-Jordan was already cut off from Jewish settlement by the Brits in 1922, and it became an independent state in 1946, which is the reason Arab refugees had to have lived in Western Palestine for at least TWO years in order to be counted as “refuges from Palestine”.

    The partition plan of November 1947 (UN-GA res. 181) only dealt with Western Palestine, and was unanimously rejected by the Arab UN members.

    • Varda Meyers Epstein

      Alija, The Palestine Mandate in 1923, reaffirmed the Balfour Declaration. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1947_UN_Partition_Plan#Background
      The Arab states did indeed reject Partition, as I mentioned, however, Partition was passed by the UN in spite of Arab rejection. The Arabs attacked Israel because they wanted all the land for themselves. Jordan managed to grab Judea and Samaria during this war, which according to Partition, was to be part of the Jewish state. When Israel recaptured these areas in 1967, they were only taking back what was theirs by international law, as determined by the League of Nations and reaffirmed by the UN when it voted in Partition.