Biden: Use of ‘Shylock’ Was ‘Poor Choice of Words’
JNS.org – Vice President Joe Biden has spoke out Wednesday about his use of the term “shylock” in a speech at a conference marking the 40th anniversary of the Legal Services Corporation, calling the word, which many consider anti-Semitic, “a poor choice of words.”
Biden recalled anecdotes from his son’s experience being stationed in Iraq and speaking members of the military who needed legal advice. “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, um, these women and men while overseas,” Biden said, CNN reported.
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) President Abraham Foxman rebuked Biden for the remark. “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 in a statement, Yahoo News reported.
The name “Shylock” comes from the name of a ruthless Jewish moneylender character in William Shakespeare’s play Merchant of Venice.