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mizrahim

  • Building a new Mizrahi political home in Israeli politics

    Mizrahim, like much of the Jewish-Israeli public, are sinking into a kind of fortress nationalism. The key to change can be found in an alliance with the Palestinians. After effectively destroying the Israeli Labor Party by leading it to an unprecedented low in the last elections, chairman Avi Gabbay announced on Thursday that he is quitting politics. Kulanu leader, centrist politician Moshe Kahlon, came crawling on all fours to Prime Minister Netanyahu after he too crashed in the elections. Orly Levy, who broke away from Avigdor Liberman’s right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu to form the centrist Gesher party, didn’t even make it past the election…

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  • The price Mizrahim pay for serving in the Israeli army

    Mizrahim are forced to carry out the dirty work of the occupation, coming face to face with their Palestinian subjects in the West Bank. It doesn't have to be this way. It is hard to know for sure what kind of considerations are at the heart of the growing crisis between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Liberman, which may result in snap elections, should they not be able to form a coalition together. [tmwinpost] But there is something almost ludicrous about the fact that they are unable to agree upon an issue that, in all respects, is one of…

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  • Why the Zionist left died this week

    Stuck in a Zionist paradigm, Israel's mainstream left-wing parties are unable to put forth a vision of equality and inclusion for all in Israel-Palestine. Tuesday’s election results were obvious to anyone paying attention. Although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party and rival Benny Gantz’s Blue and White won the same number of Knesset seats, Gantz has already conceded to Netanyahu, acknowledging that he does not have enough partners to form a governing coalition. Netanyahu will form a government with his “natural allies,” among them the far-right and ultra-Orthodox parties. [tmwinpost] One of the most important stories that has been largely overlooked, however, is the…

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  • Do Israelis vote for political ideology or cult of personality?

    Although Israelis have historically voted for strong political frontmen, it seems that dazzling personalities are no longer sufficient to winning elections. It turns out that voters are looking at the values, worldview, and policies. Last October, Lior Shlein, Israel’s top satirist, made a convincing case that Yair Lapid is a cult leader. Lapid was a TV celeb who entered politics in 2013 trading on his teeny-bop looks and name recognition. He had no discernible ideology other than a vague promise to represent the mostly middle classes behind the social protest of 2011. Yet despite his own tony demographic, his Yesh Atid party…

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  • How one law exposes what Israel has always tried to hide

    From the moment it was established, Israel granted its Jewish citizens privileges at the expense of Palestinians. The 'nation-state bill' reveals the choice Israelis have to make about the future of their country. Years ago, American journalist Ted Koppel hosted a fascinating televised debate between Rabbi Meir Kahane, the far-right anti-Arab leader, and Ehud Olmert, then a fresh-faced Knesset member from the Likud party. As the Israeli parliament is set to approve the Nation-State Law, which would enshrine discrimination against non-Jews in Israel, it is worth going back and paying close attention to the debate. [tmwinpost] Kahane laid out his political vision without qualms. “Israelis,…

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  • The color of racism: What many get wrong about race relations in Israel

    Protests against an Arab family moving into an all-Jewish neighborhood in northern Israel have sparked worldwide condemnation and accusations of 'white supremacy.' But understanding the ways Jewish supremacy and white supremacy work in Israel is the first step toward dismantling them. By Lihi Yona Over the past few weeks, protests have rocked the northern Israeli city of Afula, following news that an Arab family was moving into the Yizrael Quarter neighborhood. The demonstrators, who were joined by the former mayor of Afula, say they are “not racist,” and that they believe that Jews and Arabs should live separately. Shaun King, an American…

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  • 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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  • Even inside Israel, colonialism is far from over

    The attempt to bar Arabs from buying land in one of the wealthiest, more liberal towns in Israel is a disturbing reminder of Israel's colonial past — and present.  It keeps happening over and over again. A Jewish town somewhere in Israel finds a way to prevent Arab citizens from buying homes, using its swimming pools, or playing on its professional soccer team. The media reports about the discrimination, there is some public outrage, a few left-wing politicians issue condemnations — and yet nothing seems to change. [tmwinpost] The latest example came Sunday morning, when Haaretz reported that Sivan Yechieli,…

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  • Between Ramle and Me: Reading Ta-Nehisi Coates in Hebrew

    Three activists, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, an Ethiopian Israeli, and a veteran Mizrahi organizer discuss the applicability of Ta-Nehesi Coates's 'Between the World and Me' to their struggles in Israel. The killing of black men by police in the United States has, over much of the past half-decade, thrust the issue of American racism back into the media spotlight. High-profile shootings of young, unarmed African-American men, such as Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, were a sign that even the election of a black man to the highest office in the land could not eliminate what many view as an epidemic. [tmwinpost] Those…

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  • The Mizrahi communities destroyed by Israel

    Since its founding, Israel has systematically erased hundreds of Palestinian villages from the map. But Palestinians were never the only victims. This is the story of the Mizrahi communities erased before and after Israel's founding. By Eitan Bronstein Aparicio It is well known that since the early days of Zionist immigration to Palestine, the Israeli establishment and its various branches have destroyed hundreds of Palestinian and Syrian villages and towns, which were deemed enemies of the state. The new "Colonial Destruction" map, published by De-Colonizer, an alternative research center on Palestine/Israel, includes the Jewish Mizrahi communities — around half of them Yemenite — which were destroyed by…

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  • Anti-Mizrahi discrimination was official Israeli policy

    The Israeli government has kept documents detailing systematic racism against Jews from the Middle East and North Africa sealed for 70 years. This week the Knesset rejected a proposal to open the state archives. To correct the historical injustice, the public needs to know the truth. By Mossi Raz In nearly every conversation about the arrival and absoprtion of Jewish immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa, the same claim arises—while mistakes were made, it wasn’t because of an explicit policy. If only this claim were true. [tmwinpost] The '50s were difficult years. Israel was a young country, surrounded by enemies and…

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  • Why is Israel still denying the kidnapping of Yemenite children?

    Between the years 1948 and 1952, thousands of babies, children of mostly Yemenite immigrants to the newly-founded State of Israel, were taken away from their parents. After decades of being silenced, it is time to look those parents in the eye and say: you were wronged. This is not a tall order, it is the bare minimum. By Rachel'i Said The facts behind the Yemenite children's affair are clear for all to see. Hundreds of testimonies by parents of children who disappeared tell a similar story: the children were taken away from their parents, often by force, and some of…

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