terça-feira, 20 de julho de 2010

The Forgotten Refugees IV - 2nd Class Citizens in Israel

"We have here a people whose primitiveness sets a record" wrote a Ha'aretz reporter, not of the palestinians, but of Mizrahi (Oriental Jews) refugees. Similar statements were made by ashkenazic politicians (and Prime Ministers) such as David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir and Levi Eshkol.

This anti-Mizrahi prejudice among the Ashkenazi elite (European Jews) translated into them being whisked away to live in the remotest parts of Israel and populate what are known as "development towns" that failed to develop into anything beyond a receptacle for broken promises and shattered dreams.

The Ashkenazi elite also set about "civilising" the Mizrahi Jews and shaping them into modern "Israelis". Of course, to a certain extent, this happened to all immigrants, but since the Ashkenazi were calling the shots, it was their culture that most influenced the Israeli ideal.

Today, mizrahim still make up the bulk of Israel's poor and undereducated; they are often stereotyped in the media as pimps and hustlers; their culture is seen as somewhat inferior; and their accent, although it is the more accurate form of Hebrew, is scorned.

Don't call me "black"

אל תקרא לי שחור

Prejudice against oriental Jews in Israel today (in Hebrew)

Links (This is how it works here):

The european secular Zionists - They pretend this never happened; try to sugarcoat their ugly past or say that this doesn't happen in Israel anymore -- A lie.

The european anti-Zionist leftists - They pretend that life under Muslim rule was better and that Mizrahi Jews were happier as second class citizens under brutal anti-semitic dictatorships like Lybia or Syria than as second class citizens in Israel.

Post-Zionism and the Sephardi question

What were Arab-Jewish relations really like?

Israel's other Arabs

"Why Jews left Arab Lands" a Progressive Sephardic view

"The Mizrahi ("Arab?") Jews: The Forgotten Refugees

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