This is part of a series by the Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) that presents selections of articles concerning the Middle East, Arab World, and current topics of interest. These articles were recently published in peer-reviewed academic journals of various disciplines. This series uses MESPI’s Peer-Reviewed Articles database to analyze and provide insight into trends in academia.
This is the third and final bouquet of articles on the topic “race” in academic journal articles published from 1979–2019 in Middle East studies and related fields. This bouquet follows one on “Race in the Middle East and North Africa,” and another on “Race and the Middle East in the United States."
In our survey of articles for “Palestine, Israel, and Race,” not counting those included in the other two installments, we note that the bulk of articles focus on systemic racism in Israel/Palestine against either or both Palestinians and Mizrahim Jewish Israelis, Blackness and anti-Blackness among Jewish Israelis, and Black-Palestinian solidarity.
The purpose of these bouquets is two-fold. First, to identify those articles dealing with race as a research topic and analytic category in peer-reviewed articles published in journals focused on the Middle East or disciplinary journals that regulary feature content on the region. We recognize this does not include other journals that feature content on or relevant to race in/and Middle East and North Africa studies. This in turn leads to the second purpose of these bouquets, which is to recognize the uneven terrain of this topic and its relative marginalization thus far in the mainstay of Middle East and North Africa studies. We hope to provide a separate bouquet identifying relavent peer-reviewed articles that were, so to speak, published on the margins of the field, yet are precisely the types of works scholars of the field need to better engage with, helpo circulate, and encourage publication in the core journals of the field. If you have recommendations of such articles or journals to identify and look through, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Palestinian Engagement with the Black Freedom Movement prior to 1967
By: Maha Nassar
Published in Journal of Palestine Studies 48, no. 4 (2019)
Abstract: This article examines early Palestinian engagements with multiple facets of the Black American struggle for freedom through a content analysis of influential Palestinian press outlets in Arabic prior to 1967. It argues that, since the 1930s, Palestinian intellectuals with strong anti-colonial views linked anti-Black racism in the United States to larger imperial and Cold War dynamics, and that they connected Black American mobilizations against racism to decolonization movements around the world. This article also examines Mahmoud Darwish’s early analytical writings on race as a social construct in both the U.S. and Israeli contexts. Understanding these early engagements sheds light on subsequent developments in Black-Palestinian transnational solidarity and on Palestinian Afro-Arab cultural imaginaries.
Troubling Idols: Black-Palestinian Solidarity in U.S. Afro-Christian Spaces
By: Taurean J. Webb
Published in Journal of Palestine Studies 48, no. 4 (2019)
Abstract: This article claims that insofar as they continue to omit analyses of colonialism and racialization, retellings of the biblical Exodus and of twentieth-century Black-Jewish relations—two massively significant narratives in the U.S. Black Christian imaginary—will inevitably continue to fuel the Zionist impulse that prevents much of Afro-Christianity from intentionally engaging Palestinian justice. Furthermore, the religious trope of chosenness, along with the dominant narration of the European Jewish Holocaust moment, have provided a politico-ethical basis for a unique type of dispensation that filters the two aforementioned retellings to ultimately deselect non-Jewish Palestinians from a recognizably complex humanity. The tools of the Black radical tradition, however, coupled with a reimagining of coalitional politics, carve out a radical Black Christian sensibility that is best equipped to speak to the devastations of military occupation and racist exclusion and forge life-giving relationships within the freedom struggles against them.
"To Build a New World": Black American Internationalism and Palestine Solidarity
By: Russell Rickford
Published in Journal of Palestine Studies 48, no. 4 (2019)
Abstract: This essay traces the arc of Black American solidarity with Palestine, placing the phenomenon in the context of twentieth-century African American internationalism. It sketches the evolution of the political imaginary that enabled Black activists to depict African Americans and Palestinians as compatriots within global communities of dissent. For more than half a century, Black internationalists identified with Zionism, believing that the Jewish bid for a national homeland paralleled the African American freedom struggle. During the 1950s and 1960s, however, colonial aggression in the Middle East led many African American progressives to rethink the analogy. In the late 1960s and the 1970s, African American dissidents operating within the nexus of Black nationalism, Pan-Africanism, and Third Worldism constructed powerful theories of Afro-Palestinian kinship. In so doing, they reimagined or transcended bonds of color, positing anti-imperialist struggle, rather than racial affinity, as the precondition of camaraderie.
From the River to the Sea to Every Mountain Top: Solidarity as Worldmaking
By: Robin D.G. Kelley
Published in Journal of Palestine Studies 48, no. 4 (2019)
Abstract: This essay questions a key takeaway from the Ferguson/Gaza convergence that catalyzed the current wave of Black-Palestinian transnational solidarity: the idea that “equivalence,” or a politics of analogy based on racial or national identity, or racialized or colonial experience, is the sole or primary grounds for solidarity. By revisiting three recent spectacular moments involving Black intellectuals advocating for Palestine—Michelle Alexander's op-ed in the New York Times criticizing Israeli policies, CNN's firing of Marc Lamont Hill, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute's initial decision to deny Angela Davis its highest honor—this paper suggests that their controversial positions must be traced back to the post-1967 moment. The convergence of Black urban rebellions and the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war birthed the first significant wave of Black-Palestinian solidarity; at the same time, solidarities rooted in anti-imperialism and Left internationalism rivaled the “Black-Jewish alliance,” founded on analogy of oppression rather than shared principles of liberation. Third World insurgencies and anti-imperialist movements, not just events in the United States and Palestine, created the conditions for radically reordering political alliances: rather than adopting a politics of analogy or identity, the Black and Palestinian Left embraced a vision of “worldmaking” that was a catalyst for imagining revolution as opposed to plotting coalition.
By: Donald Ellis
Published in Israel Studies 24, no. 2 (Summer 2019)
Abstract: The attempt to equate Israel with apartheid is little more than “name-calling” and a convenient challenge used to delegitimize the Jewish state. Since the conflict is asymmetrical it is easy, albeit sloppy thinking, to label Israel an apartheid state and transfer the legal, moral, and ethical degradations of apartheid to Israel. What is interesting, however, is the contrast between the substantive meaning of apartheid, which bears little resemblance to the Israeli political environment, and the semantic and psychological theories that make it possible to label Israel as an apartheid state. I characterize the concept of apartheid, demonstrating its inapplicability to Israel, followed by a closer more theoretical look at the communicative, semantic, and political qualities of language that make it possible to apply such labels when they are not justified.
By: Miriam F. Elman
Published in Israel Studies 24, no. 2 (Sumer 2019)
Abstract: Over the 2018 Labor Day weekend, the Islamic Society of North America (INSA) held its 55th national conference where, as with its gatherings in prior years, “Islamophobia” was a major topic of discussion. According to media reports of the convention, some speakers “linked Islamophobia’s origins to white supremacy” while others expressed the view that condemning honor crimes in Muslim-majority societies—violence directed against women by their families in order to spare the family’s “honor”—should be considered as a form of “liberal Islamophobia”.
By: Gabriel Noah Brahm
Published in Israel Studies 24, no. 2 (Sumer 2019)
Abstract: Intersectionality’s roots in black feminism are deep and venerable, and its original insights are valid and significant, to be sure. What began as a way of talking intelligently about specific injustices to women of color, however, has lately spawned a new sect of victimology and cult of micro-aggressed martyrdom at large. Originally, taking account of intersectionality meant noticing that well-intentioned consideration of either race or gender, independent of one another, could lead to perverse consequences for those affected by both racism and sexism simultaneously. Taken out of context, intersectionality’s long-incubated stirrings harmonized with something more essential to the tortured spirit of the age: It caught on as an all-purpose buzzword for paying instant obeisance to every kind of dispossession in the book all at once.
By: Ilan Troen, Carol Troen
Published in Israel Studies 24, no. 2 (Summer 2019)
Abstract: The injection of “indigeneity” into the Arab-Israeli conflict is of recent vintage. Over the last century, numerous arguments have been leveled against a Jewish state. The use of this term conflates a critique of Zionism with a contemporary legal concept initially expected to protect the rights of authentic indigenous peoples such as the First Nations in Canada and the Aborigines in Australia; it was not intended to apply to the Arabs of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict. When so employed, it attempts to present Palestinian Arabs as the sole indigenous people of the country and thereby challenges the legitimacy of Jewish settlement and the establishment of a Jewish state.
Inadvertent Traditionalism: Orientalism and the Self-Presentations of Polish Jewish Women Immigrants to Israel in the 1950s
By: Aziza Khazzoom
Published in Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 15, no. 1 (2019)
Abstract: In Israel, Middle Eastern women are read as more “traditional” than European women. Yet life-story interviews conducted for this article reveal that elderly Polish Jewish women self-present as traditionally feminine—emphasizing home-centeredness, passivity, modesty, self-sacrifice, and delicateness—in ways a matched group of Iraqis do not. The article shows that these presentations are a by-product of how Poles assert Western identity. They claim Westernness by emphasizing continuity between their current behaviors and ideals and those they were taught in upper-class 1930s Europe, including feminine ideals. They see these behaviors as European and are inattentive to potential links with traditionalism. The discussion focuses on this finding in light of arguments that for women classified as Western, being on the “liberated” side of Orientalist contrasts can render gender invisible, enabling reproduction of gender inequality.
The Original Arabs: The Invention of the “Bedouin Race” in Ottoman Palestine
By: Seraj Assi
Published in International Journal of Middle East Studies 50, no. 2 (May 2018)
Abstract: This article examines the symbiotic relationship between race and empire in British ethnographic discourse on the Arabs of Palestine. Drawing on the works of British explorers in late Ottoman Palestine, I show how native Palestinian Bedouin came to be viewed as a separate race within a hierarchy of Arab races, and how within this racial reconfiguration the Bedouin embodied not only an ideal model of racial purity, but also a racial archetype on which Arabness itself was measured, codified, and reproduced.
Is perfect “Passing” possible? nationalism and gender in the Writings of Sayed Kashua
By: Dana Olmert
Published in Middle Eastern Literatures 21, no. 1 (Nov 2018)
Abstract: The essay addresses a central aspect in the writings of the Israeli-Palestinian writer, scriptwriter and journalist, Sayed Kashua: the passion of his main characters, all Israeli-Arabs, to assimilate into Jewish culture and pass as Jews. It argues that narratives of “passing”, even when dealing with the crossing of racial, national or social lines, are necessarily tied to gender models. Literature and history are full of stories of “passing”, and all of them, including Kashua's, depict a craving to pass that shows an affinity to forceful binary heteronormative ideals of manhood and womanhood. The essay offers an analysis of the narrative of “passing” in Kashua's third novel, Second Person Singular (2010). It points to the successful “passing” of the protagonist, Amir, and examines the psycho-political implications of this success by comparing it with other protagonists in Kashua's earlier writing, who all failed to pass as Jewish-Israelis.
Immersive invisibility in the settler‐colonial city: The conditional inclusion of Palestinians in Tel Aviv
By: Andreas Hackl
Published in American Ethnologist 45, no. 3 (August 2018)
Abstract: The inclusion of indigenous people into settler‐colonial cities is often highly conditional. For middle‐class Palestinian citizens of Israel in Tel Aviv, the invisibility of their ethnonational identity is a precondition for their access to the city's neoliberal economy and “liberal” lifestyle. To increase their mobility and socioeconomic opportunities, they employ diverse tactics of immersive invisibility. Some, in hopes of overcoming their stigmatized identity, aspire to be recognized as unmarked individuals and successful professionals. Although immersive invisibility does not change settler‐colonial exclusion, it determines how much individuals can achieve within existing parameters. Tactics of immersive invisibility do not necessarily enable one to transcend categorical difference and racialized exclusion, but they reveal how neoliberal inclusion and the settler‐colonial politics of exclusion become entangled and constitute each other.
Transnational Alliances: The AAUG's Advocacy for Palestine and the Third World
By: Suraya Khan
Published in Arab Studies Quarterly 40, no. 1 (Winter 2018)
Abstract: This article examines how the Association of Arab-American University Graduates (AAUG) articulated the Palestine question as both an Arab-American and a Third World issue after the 1967 War. Using archival documents and recollections from several AAUG members, this article traces the ways in which activism on Palestine and other issues facilitated the creation of a transnational Arab-American “intellectual generation.” Although the AAUG often focused on Palestine, it educated its members and engaged in activism on issues affecting other communities who grappled with racism, imperialism, and colonialism. In doing so, it attracted diverse allies to the Palestinian cause, such as Black Americans, Africans, South Asians, and other members of the “global Third World.” This article further analyzes the AAUG's transnational engagement with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) during its first decade. Using both traditional and academic activism, the AAUG firmly associated Palestine with the Third World and fostered an Arab-American intellectual movement.
The Israeli Curriculum and the Palestinian National Identity in Jerusalem
By: Laura Wharton
Published in Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics, and Culture 22, no. 4 (2017)
Abstract: The Israeli occupation tried to force on the Palestinian schools in East Jerusalem its curriculum, which seeks to teach Palestinian children to accept, at the expense of their own national identity, religion and values, a Jewish state that views the Jews as superior to any other race or religion.
From Third World internationalism to ‘the internationals’: the transformation of solidarity with Palestine
By: Linda Tabar
Published in Third World Quarterly 38, no. 2 (2017)
Abstract: This paper examines the formation of the concept of ‘the internationals’ in Palestine. The post-Oslo term began to be used in the second intifadato denote white solidarity activists in the colony. In tracing the rise of the concept, the paper charts some of the ways solidarity with the Palestinian people has been domesticated under the Oslo ‘peace process’. Situating and analysing the rise of the concept of ‘the internationals’ within the assemblage of apparatuses and ideological forces inscribed during Oslo, it explains how these material structures have contributed to shifting the notion and praxis of solidarity. Taking Third World internationalist and anti-imperialist feminist practices of solidarity as its starting point, the paper historicises and theorises some of the changes that have taken place over time. It offers an anti-colonial, anti-racist, feminist critique of the individualisation of solidarity and centres indigenous Palestinian perspectives. It concludes by surveying the ways Palestinians are creating alternatives and rebuilding international solidarity.
Putting Messianic Femininity into Zionist Political Action: The Race-Class and Ideological Normativity of Women for the Temple in Jerusalem
By: Rachel Z. Feldman
Published in Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 13, no. 3 (2017)
Abstract: The movement to rebuild the Third Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount/Haram ash-Sharif in Jerusalem has grown significantly since 2000. The Orthodox Jewish “Women for the Temple” group has come to play a central role in this activism. Women for the Temple activists perform a messianic femininity that emphasizes maternal duties and women’s redemptive power in Judaism while challenging male religious authorities and religious law in other areas. Activists define themselves as guardians of domestic space and the House of God (the future Third Temple) and redeemers of the Jewish nation. This project simultaneously empowers women and enables state violence against Palestinians on Haram ash-Sharif. Scholarship that has examined Israel’s messianic right-wing women’s activism has overlooked their Ashkenazi whiteness and their middle-class privileged status in Israel. The race-class normativity of Women for the Temple allows them to access resources and police protection and facilitates the mainstreaming of the Third Temple movement.
Historiophobia or the Enslavement of History: The Role of the 1948 Ethnic Cleansing in the Contemporary Peace Process
By: Ilan Pappe
Published in Arab Studies Quarterly 38, no. 1 (Winter 2016)
Abstract: This article examines closely the role of the 1948 Palestinian catastrophe in the contemporary peace process. It argues that peace mediation in the conflict regarded history in general an obstacle for progress and the Palestinian victimization in 1948 as a marginal and irrelevant issue. This peace process, which ignored the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948 and its impact on the contemporary reality, failed dismally. The article argues that only a courageous encounter with the crime committed in 1948 and an authentic search for rectifying it through restitutive justice, and not retribution, can open up a genuine process of reconciliation in Palestine.
Redefining the Converted Jewish Self: Race, Religion, and Israel's Bene Menashe
By: Yulia Egorova
Published in American Anthropologist 117, no. 2 (September 2015)
Abstract: The Bene Menashe stem from a number of Christian groups of the Indo‐Burmese borderland, some of whom back in the 1950s declared their descent from the Lost Tribes of Israel. In this article, I will use the example of the Bene Menashe migration to Israel to cast analytical light on different ways in which race and religion co‐constitute each other in processes of transnational migration. To do so, I will focus on one specific aspect of the Bene Menashe migration—the way the community has to construct and enact their religious affiliation to be able to become Israeli citizens and to be considered part of the Jewish people by their “hosts.” I argue that, in the case of the Bene Menashe, race and religion co‐produce each other in ways that reinforce racialized understandings of Judaism and Jewishness, and I suggest that what accounts for this phenomenon is that the opportunities that the Bene Menashe immigrants had in defining their religiosity in Israel were limited by the conditions of their migration, which developed against the backdrop of multiple colonial contexts.
The New Second Generation: Non-Jewish Olim, Black Jews and Children of Migrant Workers in Israel
By: Nelly Elias and Adriana Kemp
Published in Israel Studies 15, no. 1 (Spring 2010)
Abstract: This article offers an overview of the empirical research on the new second generations in the Israeli setting, while highlighting the sociological problématique emerging from the data. It summarizes key empirical findings on the second generation of immigrants from the Former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, and children of migrant workers, and it introduces new variables and theoretical angles that have recently emerged within the Israeli context of immigration, such as transnationalism and inequalities based on race, nationality, religion, and citizenship. We argue that by introducing these analytic parameters, the Israeli research agenda on immigrants’ second generation should expand beyond replication of the questions applied toward the massive immigration waves of the 1950s.
We Must Change Our Attitude towards The Other
By: Reut Cohen
Published in Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics, and Culture 16, no.2 (2010)
Abstract: Today, after the war in Gaza, a war that harmed human life and damaged property; a war that ruined families and destroyed buildings; a war that left hundreds wounded and dead and thousands of families bereaved, a war that added more pain, fear and hatred on both sides; a war that further divided both nations and diminished the faint chance of peace; we must look around us.
The day after the war in Gaza is a time to recuperate, a time for soulsearching and a time to consider the question: How can we bring peace and calm to this war-torn region? In a situation of pain and sorrow such as this, what can young people do in order to strengthen the prospects for peace and calm in this region? It's critical to ask this question because it's very possible that young people will be the ones to make the necessary changes that will bring peace closer.
A Racialized Space: Social Engineering in Jerusalem
By: Saree Makdisi
Published in Contemporary Arab Affairs 2, no. 4 (2009)
Abstract: The Zionist project to remove or ‘transfer’ Palestinians from Palestine began but did not end in 1948; it continues to this very day. Since 1980, Jerusalem has been the central focus of the transfer process: the central hub of the project of coercively removing long‐established Palestinian communities in order to make space for new Jewish arrivals. This paper examines the nature and mechanisms of this ongoing transfer from redrawing of boundaries and a system of checkpoints to the legal devices, complexities and manoeuvring employed to achieve the transfer of Palestinians, such as zoning, construction permits and even including documentation of the birth of a child. As the political, cultural and geographical core of the conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, Jerusalem serves, in effect, as a kind of microcosm of the wider conflict.
From Black to White: Changing Images of Mizrahim in Israeli Cinema
By: Yaron Peleg
Published in Israel Studies 13, no. 2 (Summer 2008)
Abstract: The article examines the evolution of Mizrahi images in Israeli cinema in the past fifty years and, unlike most studies about Mizrahim in Israel, focuses on their positive portrayal. The article demonstrates the construc- tive ways Jewish immigrants from the Islamic world were incorporated into Israeli culture by positing three interrelated arguments. The first is that early films incorporated Mizrahim into the fledgling Israeli nation by legitimiz- ing them as Jews. The second is that, once legitimized, Mizrahim were made part of the national Jewish family through marriage. T-he third is that after becoming part of the [national] family Mizrahi men were then put in posi- tions of control and, with the decline of Ashkenazi masculinity, eventually became more genuine or authentic representatives of Israeliness.
Arthur Ruppin's Concept of Race
By: Amos Morris-Reich
Published in Israel Studies 11, no. 3 (Fall 2006)
Abstract: Focusing on Arthur Ruppin's conception of race, I show that race was a stable category in his work-from his first published work in 1903 to his last one in 1940. While Ruppin's overall understanding of race did not undergo major changes throughout his career, I argue that under the influence of German racial science, the volume of Ruppin's writing on race in the I920O and the 1930s increased. What makes Ruppin an especially interesting case is the coexistence found in his work between a deterministic racial outlook and his belief in humanism. In the first part of the article I establish race as a constant in Ruppin's model showing that it ranges from an explicit category to social and demographic considerations that are interwoven with racial considerations. In the second part I place Ruppin's conception of race in historical perspective and analyze its epistemological status.
Soul Citizenship: The Black Hebrews and The State of Israel
By: Fran Markowitz, Sara Helman, Dafna Shir-Vertesh
Published in American Anthropologist 105, no. 2 (June 2003)
Abstract: Based on the experiences of the Black Hebrews in Israel, this article introduces "soul citizenship," an alternate discourse that asserts the right of individuals and groups to match their self-defined identities with existing states. After years of living in the Jew- ish State as an illegal yet tolerated presence, the African Hebrew Israelite Community (AHIC) gained temporary residence status, or ac- cording to the postnational model of membership, de facto citizenship. Nonetheless, having reformulated their claims in terms of Jewish cultural pluralism instead of race, the Black Hebrews continue to demand full Israeli citizenship. Rejecting postnational splits among identity, legal status, and territory, their soulful claims suggest a model of citizenship that opens new space for misplaced people(s) to gain membership in the states that meet their cultural aspirations and nourish their souls.
Racial Policy and the Boundaries of Recognition: the Precarious (Non) Existence of Palestinian Villagers in Israel
By: Tom Abowd
Published in Arab Studies Journal 5, no. 1 (1997)
Abstract: Interwoven into Jacobo Timmerman's The Longest War, an account ostensibly about the Israeli invasion of Lebanon by the renowned human rights activist, are a number of the most enduring of myths concerning the relationship of the Jewish state to the native Palestinian population. Early in his discussion about the 1982 campaign, the author reflects upon the costs of war in Kibbutz Geshar Haziv on Israel's northern coast in the early hours before dawn. He waits with a group of journalists for an army unit to guide them into recently invaded Lebanon where he wishes to assess the damage done thus far north of the border. With anguish he recounts the days and weeks leading up to the invasion – a campaign he opposes – but he does so by describing how his country's heritage of egalitarianism and justice has been belied by the Israeli right's mindless adventurism in Lebanon: a militarism he views as inconsistent with the state's previous policy of fighting only 'defensive wars'. Part of the heritage he praises includes the creation of collectives such as Geshar: Jewish collectives where Jewish labor has produced for Jewish needs, independent of the hostile world from whence Timmerman himself has fled.
Zionism's internal Others: Israel and the Oriental Jews
By: Joseph Massad
Published in Journal of Palestine Studies 25, no. 4 (Summer 1996)
Abstract: The creation of the State of Israel by European Jews was predicated upon reconfiguring Jewish identities. European Zionist leaders asserted that the creation of a Jewish state would normalize the abnormal situation of European Jewry insofar as it would give them, like Christian Europeans, a state of their own. In addition to defendirng European Jews against anti-Semitic attacks, Zionism was also going to make possible activity denied to them in Europe, especially in agriculture and soldiery. Hence, the objective of the Zionist movement was not simply to transplant European Jews in a new area, but to transform the very nature of their society as it had existed in the Diaspora until then.
The Perception of the Other and the Holocaust in Israeli Education
By: Haggath Gor-Ziv
Published in Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics, and Culture 3, no. 1 (1996)
Abstract:The perception of the Other instilled through education in Israel is a product of the mainstream, dominating culture, i.e., of a culture that is Jewish-Zionist, Ashkenazi (European-American), male-militaristic. The educational system includes almost no manifestations of any of the repressed cultures in Israeli society: Palestinian culture, Oriental Jewish culture, women/s sub-culture, etc. In Israeli education the Other is anyone who is different from us/ either in nationality (such as Palestinians), or language (such as new immigrants), or skin color (such as Ethiopian Jews), or appearance (such as victims of cerebral palsy), or ethnicity (such as Georgian Jews), or merely in his or her unwillingness to conform and be like everyone else. The educational system channels children into the mainstream. The products of its success are those who have adopted the prevalent views of this stream, that is of the dominating culture.
Fear of the Other
By: Hanna Biran
Published in Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics, and Culture 1, no. 4 (1994)
Abstract: As the peace process gets under way, the question arises: just who is the Jewish-Israeli society which is about to make peace with its enemies? To what extent is this society sufficiently mature to respect the different identity of another people? The Jewish-Israeli society is one of polarization, of fissures and of divisions within its own ranks. Among its characteristics one finds a long-standing racism toward the Oriental Jewish community living within it. It is a society which is suffering from the failure of its attempts at integration, repeated from generation to generation. The reasons for the failure to integrate diverse elements of the population living in Israel are psychohistorical and deeply rooted.
The Debate Over Zionism and Racism: An Israeli View
By: Aerie Dayan
Published in Journal of Palestine Studies 22, no. 3 (Spring 1993)
Abstract: Back in 1975, when the United Nations General Assembly passed the resolution calling Zionism a form of racism, all Israel rose up in arms. In every city, the local "Avenue of the United Nations" was suddenly renamed "Avenue of Zionism." Every newspaper published dozens of protest articles. There were hysterical demonstrations in the streets. Yet surprisingly enough, when the resolution was finally officially repealed at the end of December 1991, the reaction was an almost generalized indifference. To be sure, Israel's president declared that it was the happiest day of his life, but Israel itself quickly returned to more pressing matters. To what can we attribute this silence?
Black Hebrews in the Promised Land
By: Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi
Published in Middle East Report 160 (1989)
Abstract: The Black Hebrews are a group of African-Americans who have settled in Israel, where their controversial presence has fed charges of Israeli racism. Who are these Black Hebrews, and why have they attracted so much attention? Ben-Ami Carter, leader of the Kingdom of God Nation, as the community formally designates itself, was born in Chicago in 1940 as Gerson Parker. In the 1960s he became a storefront preacher at the Abeita Culture Center, an evangelical church on Chicago’s South Side, and developed his Black Hebrew theology. The basis for the Black Hebrews’ faith is the claim that the original Israelites of the Old Testament, exiled from Israel 4,000 years ago, were blacks. Descendants of those blacks, they believe, should now go back and claim that land.
From the Israeli Press: Racism's Ugly Head
By: Heda Boshes
Published in Journal of Palestine Studies 13, no. 3 (Spring 1984)
Abstract: Racism's Ugly Head. A selection of comment from the Hebrew- language press illustrates the disturbing incidence of racist thinking at all levels of society, and its enshrinement in the decisions of the religious and state authorities
From Colonialism to Racism
Published in Journal of Palestine Studies 10, no. 4 (1981)