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Yemenite Children Affair

  • The most critical issues Israelis won't be voting on in the next election

    Israelis will head to the polls next April to elect a new government. But none of the major parties are offering any real change when it comes to the occupation or social justice issues. This is where the left has a role to play.  Amid a number of coalition crises and the possibility of an indictment against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leaders of the Israeli government announced Monday that they would be dissolving the Knesset and holding elections on April 9th. The elections will put an end to the most right-wing government in Israeli history, and if the last few years have taught us anything, election season…

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  • Hundreds demand recognition, reparations for Israel's practice of family separation

    Hundreds of protesters chant outside Netanyahu's residence and block major thoroughfares in Jerusalem demanding recognition, reparations, and accountability for the abduction of Yemenite, Balkan, and Mizrahi children by state authorities between the late 1940s and the 1960s.  Roughly 350 people demonstrated outside of the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem on Thursday, calling on the government to officially acknowledge the state's abduction of Yemenite, Mizrahi, and Balkan children between the late 1940s and 1960s. The protesters demanded the government open its records to public scrutiny and recognize the injustice done to the families from whom the children were taken and their communities. Family…

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  • This summer's wave of protests gives us reason to be optimistic

    From asylum seekers demanding their wages to protests against the Gaza blackout to raising awareness over disappeared Yemenite babies, this summer's protests give us every reason to stay optimistic about this place. It's hot outside. The Israeli summer often brings with it a new wave of social and political protests, and yet it looks like summer 2017 will be a special one. [tmwinpost] Since the social justice protest of 2011 — and its successors in the following years — there has been a sense that Israeli citizens have lost faith in their ability to influence, change, protest, and get results. Meanwhile, the strengthening of…

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  • Israel's national wound that cannot heal

    A group of dedicated activists have been working tirelessly over the past several years to force the state to come clean about the disappearance of hundreds of Yemenite children in the early days of the state. They might just succeed. One of the aspects that is easiest to forget about the Yemenite children affair is that it is not a historical one. The disappearance of hundreds of Yemenite babies is not an old story, but rather a continuing injustice — even today. For the families who lost their children, who still do not know their fate, it has been a festering…

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  • Why is the Left silent on the kidnapping of Mizrahi babies?

    In the years following the founding of the State of Israel, thousands of babies, children of mostly Yemenite immigrants, were allegedly taken away from their parents by the state and given up for adoption to Ashkenazi families. The Israeli Left remained consistently silent on the matter. By Naama Katiee Israeli society has a tendency to look at reality from the perspective of either "left" or "right." Sometimes it seems that anything doesn't squarely fall into these categories simply cannot exist. Perhaps this explains the disconcerting fact that such a serious, disturbing affair — which peaked during the first years of…

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  • What Mizrahi activists really want: A ten-point program

    Mizrahi activists have tried explaining their positions for years. Now, in the run-up to the elections, they lay out their political vision for education, land reform, health care and representation in a 'ten-point program.' By Roi Grufi Throughout my years of being active in the Mizrahi struggle in Israel, I found that there are several dominant themes that affect the greater public views  us: past versus present, or in other words — it happened a long time ago and is no longer relevant; complaining instead of taking responsibility for our lives, rather than legitimate claims about the difficulties that stem from…

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  • Why Mizrahim don't vote for the Left

    It is no wonder that Mizrahim vote for right-wing parties when the Ashkenazi-dominated Left has done everything in its power to exclude them. Want things to change? Start talking about Ashkenazi privilege. By Tom Mehager Those who have, historically, voted for Israel's left-wing camp are often nicknamed "the white tribe." On the other hand, the right wing enjoys a high percentage of Mizrahi voters. Why? In the run-up to the elections, it might be worth taking a look at this question. First of all, the social categories "Mizrahim" and "Asheknazis" are nowhere to be found in the platforms of Israel's…

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  • Yemenite Children Affair: Families of the kidnapped speak out

    Between the years 1948 and 1952, thousands of babies, children of mostly Yemenite immigrants to the newly-founded State of Israel, were allegedly taken away from their parents and given up for adoption to Ashkenazi families. Now a group of activists is telling the stories of the traumatized families who vow never to forget. (Translated from Hebrew by Maayan Goldman) The baby in the photo is younger than my Abigail. His name is Rafael - a tiny baby, seen here in his mother's arms. She wandered from Damascus to Beirut and onto the shores of the promised land, before being placed…

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