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The main dictionary of standard German has altered its definition of Jew (“Jude” in German) after being castigated by the German Jewish community for a recent update of the definition that explained the word could be considered discriminatory.

The online edition of the Duden dictionary had changed the definition of Jew to include a caveat that “occasionally, the term Jew is perceived as discriminatory because of the memory of the National Socialist use of language. In these cases, formulations such as Jewish people, Jewish fellow citizens or people of the Jewish faith are usually chosen.”

But the Associated Press reported that the updated definition caused a backlash from German Jewish groups and members of the Jewish community who were livid, explaining that many Jewish people call themselves Jews and that the word itself is not offensive, contrary to the new definition.

"Even if ‘Jew’ is used pejoratively in schoolyards or only hesitantly by some people, and the Duden editors are certainly well-meaning in pointing out this context, everything should be done to avoid solidifying the term as discriminatory,” Joseph Schuster, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in a statement.

Daniel Botmann, the executive director of the Central Council of Jews, emphasized the absurdity of the new definition in a Twitter post.

“Is it okay to say Jew? Yes! Please don't say ‘Jewish fellow citizens’ or ‘people of the Jewish faith’. Just JEWS. Thank you!” he wrote.

In response to the outcry, the online dictionary definition was changed and now says: “Because of antisemitic usage in the past and present, especially during the National Socialist era, the words Jew/Jewish have been debated by the language community for decades. At the same time, the words are widely used as a matter of course and are not perceived as problematic. The Central Council of Jews in Germany, which uses the name itself, advocates its use.”