With thanks: Sylvia and Eliyahu
The Biton report, which was released last week, has already sparked a furious controversy.
No sooner than the ink was dry on the report into how more Mizrahi and Sephardi culture and history might be incorporated into Israel's education system, than Gidi Orsher (above), a movie critic on the Army Radio station Galei Tsahal, launched a rant on his Facebook page. Orsher disparaged Biton's recommendations that more should be taught about North African rabbis such as the Baba Sali.
"Next time you want protection from missiles, forget Iron Dome and put a chicken leg on your head," Orsher wrote, referring to a North African old wives' superstition.
"Next time you want to conceive a baby, bypass the fertility clinic and go and prostrate yourself at the tomb of Rabbi Kosama in the Galilee. And wait, wait, and wait."
Culture minister Miri Regev (right), who is of Moroccan extraction, has applauded the suspension of Orsher pending an inquiry. On her Facebook page, Regev denounced Orsher as an elitist who 'rated zero' in her scheme of things.
The Biton report seems to have ignited a new phase in Israel's culture wars, recalling the resurgence of the 'ethnic demon' at the time of the 2015 national elections. Yair Garbuz, scion of the Ashkenazi cultural elite, had then denounced the 'talisman kissers and tomb-worshippers' who supported the Likud party.
Seth Frantzman has translated Orsher's entire rant