Mizrahim in Israel: A Critical Observation into Israel's Ethnicity

Mizrahim in Israel: A Critical Observation into Israel's Ethnicity
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Edited by: 
Hannan Hever
Pnina Motzafi-Haller
Publisher: 
The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and Hakibbutz Hameuchad
Language: 
Hebrew
Year of Publication: 
2002
About: 

Mizrahim in Israel: A Critical Observation into Israel's Ethnicity brings together enlightening studies from new critical perspectives about the place of Mizrahi Jews in Israeli society. At the heart of the book are attempts to remove the consideration of Mizrahi Jews from the formerly accepted categories of discussion and research on Israeli society and to place them primarily in postcolonial discussion. These new perspectives seek to free the research from the perception of the Mizrahi Jew as a victim, and to develop instead a flexible view that highlights new sites of identity-formation and protest-formation in Israeli society.

One of the central axes in the book is the challenging of the hegemonic narrative about Mizrahi Jews’ opposition. According to the hegemonic story, Mizrahi Jews’ opposition begins with the events of Wadi Salib (1959), and continues through the Black Panthers, the political turnabout of 1977, and the establishment of the Shas Party. In contrast, the studies in this book show that the opposition of Mizrahi Jews begins with their immigration to Israel and continues ceaselessly over time and in various sites, such as the agricultural villages of immigrants, education institutions, politics, the media, and literature. This anthology also reexamines the question of Mizrahi identity within the map of Israeli identities, which has at its core heterogeneous identities, such as Jewish-Arab.

The book brings together various research disciplines, such as sociology, anthropology, history, education, philosophy, literary studies, and political science, and combines them into a new statement about Mizrahi Jews in Israel.