Tags: Joe Biden | Joe Biden | Shylock | bankers | Jewish community

Biden's 'Shylock' Comment Offensive, Jewish Group Says

By    |   Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 12:10 PM


Vice President Joe Biden drew criticism from a Jewish group on Tuesday after he described unscrupulous bankers as “Shylocks” — a term that is widely considered to be anti-Semitic, reports Yahoo! News.

During a conference marking the 40th anniversary of the Legal Services Corporation, a legal aid association, Biden was telling the audience about experiences his son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, had while providing assistance to fellow soldiers deployed 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,” said Biden, using the pejorative term based on a Jewish character in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice.”

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"Shylock represents the medieval stereotype about Jews and remains an offensive characterization to this day. The vice president should have been more careful,” Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman told Yahoo! News.

Biden did not respond to their requests for comment.

Foxman continued, “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."

Biden has a well-known reputation for making misstatements and inappropriate comments.

In 2006, while noting his support for the Indian-American community, Biden noted that "in Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."

In 2007, then-presidential candidate Biden described then-Sen. Barack Obama as "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."

While on the campaign trail in 2012, Biden told a largely black audience in Danville, Virginia, that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney "is going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street. He is going to put y'all back in chains."

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Vice President Joe Biden drew criticism from a Jewish group on Tuesday after he described unscrupulous bankers as "Shylocks" — a term that is widely considered to be anti-Semitic.
Joe Biden, Shylock, bankers, Jewish community
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2014-10-17
Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 12:10 PM
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