There is a fascinating coalition between militants on both sides. They are trying, with great effort, to put together a conflict between Ashkenazim and Sephardim.
The former are returning to the days of old anti-Mizrahi racism, and the latter are excited by the "A Mizrahi votes for a Mizrahi" slogan. The former include types such as Prof. Amir Hetsroni, author and former actress Alona Kimhi, and the "Lo Latet" ("Don't Give") campaign, and the latter are intellectuals from the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow who have turned Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri into their messiah. We should pay attention to the fact that most of the people taking part in this dispute, on both sides, are either post-Zionist or anti-Zionist. That's no coincidence. They are trying to sell us a split, racist society which is falling apart.
In the 1960s, Kalman Katzenelson published a book titled "The Ashkenazi Revolution," a slanderous lampoon by a revisionist who claimed that there are two people living in Israel: Supreme Ashkenazim and inferior Sephardim. It was an antithesis of the integration of exiles vision. The book wasn't a success. Katzenelson didn't represent the revisionists, and his new successors, Hetsroni and Kimhi, don't represent the Ashkenazim. Just like the Shas voters among the anti-Zionists don’t represent even one-quarter of the Mizrahim.
Shas, represented by Arieh Deri (bottom), launched its 'A Mizrahi votes for a Mizrahi' campaign after Yair Garbuz (pictured top) insulted 'talisman-kissers and tomb-worshippers'(Photo: Shas )
The problem is that both groups are being given backing and a stage in certain media channels. They are being discussed and inflated. They are being turned into a stream and phenomenon. In the social media, this slander is turned into a celebration.
So we should put things in order. There is no abyss between the camps. There is no abyss between Mizrahim and Ashkenazim. That's nonsense. There is an abyss between the extremes. Insanity versus insanity. Hatred versus hatred. In reality, there is a different Israel.
Over the weekend, two days ago, I attended a family event in one of Tel Aviv's satellite cities. A celebration for a daughter who has just been born. The mother is "mixed." She is neither Mizrahi nor Ashkenazi. The father is an engineer, a kibbutznik. There were many other similar couples there. The middle class. The elections were forgotten. It's seems that when you leave the bubble of the phalanges of the extremes, there is another life. It's a bit different. The newborn baby has no ethnic identity. There are many others like her, from Gideon Sa'ar to Dov Khenin, even when people don't know that's what they are.
Following the outburst of racism on the days after the elections, we have forgotten, and so have I, that the other Israel represents the majority. Eighty percent of the members of the golden age club already have "mixed" grandchildren and great grandchildren. Here and there, there are ethnic ghettos, mainly among the haredim, but for the rest this is a disappearing thing.
There is no need to cover up anything. There are still expressions of racism. There are remainders of the state racism we used to have here, which requires distributive justice. And certain elites, like the Supreme Court and the academia, are finding it difficult to change. Not because there are no suitable candidates, but because of the power maintenance mechanisms.
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How the Israeli election awakened the ethnic demon (Huffington Post)
Satirical article (Preoccupied territory)
Herzog blames failure on talisman-kissers speech: