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Israeli Black Panthers

  • At Tel Aviv rally, a Mizrahi-asylum seeker alliance is born

    Tens of thousands crowded Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Saturday to show solidarity for asylum seekers facing deportation. 'If we let the deportation happen, the Jewish people will have a stain on its history forever.' It was an unusually hazy night in Tel Aviv. The lights from the stage caught the dust in long, yellow beams. Banners bearing slogans like “standing together against the deportations” rippled gently in the slight wind. Some 25,000 people were gathered in Rabin Square in central Tel Aviv to protest Israel’s plan to deport tens of thousands of African asylum seekers. [tmwinpost] The words of Monim…

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  • Israel's Black Panthers remind us what their struggle was about

    Back in the 1970s, the deep socioeconomic divide between Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews in Israel led to a massive protest movement and the rise of the Israeli Black Panthers. A newly approved official civics textbook in Israel portrays the movement as violent and criminal. We called up three Black Panthers to remind us all of the true nature of their struggle. The following is a chapter in the Education Ministry's newly-approved civics textbook, To be Citizens in Israel: Criminality motivated by ideology — political violence "Political violence is the use of force by an individual of a group in order to attain political…

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  • The roots of anti-Mizrahi racism in Israel

    The founders of the state, Jews of Ashkenazi origin raised on European ideas, viewed 'Oriental Jews' as backward and primitive from the moment they began arriving en masse on Israel's shores. "An Ashkenazi gangster, thief, pimp or murderer will not gain the sympathy of the Ashkenazi community (if there is such a thing), nor will he expect it. But in such a primate community as the Moroccans' — such a thing is possible." - David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, 1959 Israel's media was abuzz Monday following the release of an overtly racist commercial targeting Mizrahi Jews. The commercial for the upscale…

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  • Fighting occupation must not blind us from remembering the Nakba

    A solution to the problem of the occupation will be worthless if we do not gain the courage to take apart the human food chain that has become entrenched in this land since 1948. On Sunday night, I spoke at the annual protest march — this time in Jerusalem, rather than Tel Aviv where it is usually held — calling for an end to the occupation of the East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. However, despite the protests' emphasis on the occupation that began in 1967, I spoke at length about the need to shift our focus…

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  • Israeli Black Panther: Mizrahim must boycott the elections

    Since its establishment and until today, not a single election has fundamentally changed the status of Mizrahim in the 'only democracy in the Middle East.' Now we must use the only tool we have left at our disposal and refuse to participate in the game altogether.  By Reuven Abergel For Palestinian citizens of Israel, the upcoming elections represent something new. The establishment of the Joint List is the result of the utter failure of the establishment to divide the rule different Palestinian political currents. In the wake of Avigdor Liberman's racist attacks, the oppressed Palestinian public forced its representatives to unite.…

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  • ‘How can this monkey be talking about an ideology that developed in Europe?’

    ‘We are progress and modernization, freedom and equality, ‘peace and love.’ And they, what are they?’ On the history of the painful relationship between the Israeli Left and Mizrahim. By Ron Cahlili (Translated from Hebrew by Orit Friedland) The common wisdom is that Mizrahim and the Left are like oil and water, and that the two shall never meet. This is odd, because a lot of the immigrants who came to Israel from Islamic countries in the 1950s, and from Iraq and Egypt in particular, were Communists. That is, lefties. Thanks to them, says Sami Michael [prominent Israeli writer of Iraqi…

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