Longing for a place they never saw: The sad saga of Mizrahi Jews



A few years ago, a book titled “Echoes of an identity: A third-generation who writes Mizrahi,” was published in Israel. It is a collection of accounts of third generation Israelis of Middle Eastern descent, expressing their sense of identities. The book speaks of the failure of Israel to become a melting pot where all Jewish sects completely fuse together. In a sense, that such a book exists at all demonstrates how Mizrahi identity was able to leave a mark on the Israeli cultural scene.

Nevertheless, we cannot speak of a centralized Mizrahi cultural movement that impacts the community or Israeli society in general. The “movement” is still confined to Israeli intellectuals of Middle Eastern origins. In a Haertz article, poet Mati Shmuelof meticulously describes the contradictions within the Mizrahi identity. He speaks of how the same Mizrahi Jew who adopt a weekly routine of watching Arabic movies on Saturday nights, admiring Arab artists like Fouad al-Mohandes and Farid al-Atrash, would then shout “death to the Arabs” and vote for right-wing parties like Shas and Likud — only because he despises the Ashkenazis who vote for labour: the well groomed “European” leftist party.

Part of the article of Nael AlToukhi — How Hebrew teaches us something about ourselves, Part 5

מודעות פרסומת

אודות Mati Shemoelof

Mati Shemoelof is a poet, author and editor. His writing is diverse and includes six poetry books, plays, articles and fiction. His works have won significant recognition and prizes.
פוסט זה פורסם בקטגוריה ARTICLES, עם התגים . אפשר להגיע ישירות לפוסט זה עם קישור ישיר.

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