Sunday, September 11, 2011
It did not take long for a thread about the product of an Arab-Jewish marriage on the leftist anti-Zionist blog +972 to turn into a discussion of 'Ashkenazi racism' towards Sephardim. Several commenters try to make out that Mizrahi Jews are in denial about their Arabness. Here's one of the better rebuttals, by Y:
"There’s something illiberal and perverse about trying to force people to define themselves as Arab when:
A) They don’t want to define themselves as such, and historically, most of them did not.
B) The Arabs don’t and never did want to define them as Arabs (which is one of the reasons they were driven out in the first place).
C) They share actually rather little with the Arabs (including the vast majority not-speaking Arabic. And since when did belonging was decided by language alone? Are we all English?).
I think the key is the perception by some that to be “authentic” one must be Arab/European/anything other than Jew/ combined with far-Left politics which would say about everything just to avoid a Jewish identity (that would imply national demands, and so would be bad for the narrative). So we have people like Shlomo Sand and Chipper on the ‘European’ side, and like Giladi on the ‘Mizrachi’ side. What’s so bad with having the cultural heritage of Jews and of your Edah without baggage? There’s no need for validation from any others – this is particularly ridiculous for ME Jews which lived there before Arabs even existed…
** One might for example consider all these Jews in the Maghreb which took French names, got French citizenship, and so on. Or Aramic-speaking northern Iraqi Jews, or Egyptian Jews were 70% did not have Egyptian citizenship and were typically referred to as “khawaga” (foreigner) etc. etc. Oh, wait, that’s not convenient for the radical Left narrative.
P.S. I have to wonder whether Philos lives in Israel. First, “Medieval Shtetl” dress is actually widely ridiculed. And people like Yishai adopted Ashkenazi customs from before Israel even existed:
Second, the “Great Revolt” was always taught as a time of disunity. We can start from the Talmudic story of Kamza and Bar-Kamza… I don’t recall if my schooling mention that, but it was pretty heavy on the division between the ‘Kanaim’ and the more moderate leadership."
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