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Jews of color demonstrate the denial of resources and money to Mizrahi culture in Israel
by 309
Wednesday May 27th, 2009 11:22 AM
On wednesday, May 27, members of "Achoti" (my sister), a feminist organization representing jews of color (Mizrahim-Jews who emigrated from Arab countries) and members of the Democratic Mizrahi Rainbow, came to the Jerusalem Theater to demonstrate a convention about culture in Israel. The activists held signs that looked like bank checks with names of cultural institutions and the amount of money given to each. One check (in the picture below), addressed to "Mizrahi culture" had no money on it and the wording "void" was added.
The activists also criticized the Israeli lottery system that is supposes to support all cultural institutions, by wearing bags covering their faces. In Israel, it is accustomed that when someone wins the lottery they wear a bag over their head to disguise their identity. The Israeli lottery like the state, ignores and negates the cultural background of Mizrahim and Palestinians, who represent a majority in Israel.

In Israel, 90% of the state budget is given to institutions who represent a european and ashkenazi (Jews who emigrated from western countries) culture. To justify this kind of elocution of resources, European culture is described as important and needed for people's education and well being, while Mizrahi and arab culture are describe as redundant and empty.
In a leaflet given to those who have come to the convention, it was emphasized that israel is not located between the Alps and Bavaria in Europe, but in the Middle East. That most of the residents of Israel are not from a European background.

Ahoti Movement was established in 1999 by Mizrahi feminist activists. Their goal was to establish a unique movement that could provide oppressed women, who were unable to express themselves, the opportunity to voice their opinion. After years of raising awareness about Mizrahi women, the Ahoti Movement was able to address the needs of the women in the peripheries of Israel, whose social needs were neglected due to their geographical position. Ahoti's primary goals are to advance economic development, personal empowerment for women and advancing a multicultural feminism from a unique Mizrahi perspective.

The Democratic Mizrahi Rainbow (Hakeshet Hademocratit Hamizrahit) is an apolitical, non-parliamentary social movement whose goal is to affect the current public agenda in the aim of bringing a change into the Israeli society as a whole and to its institutions. The organization is Mizrahi (Jews from Arab and Muslims Lands and the East) in its goals, universal in its beliefs and open to all those who identify with its values.
by 309 Wednesday May 27th, 2009 11:22 AM
this check details the amount given to the Israeli philharmonic orchestra
by 309 Wednesday May 27th, 2009 11:22 AM
third to the right is Mois Benarroch who has been awarded the 2009 Prime minister prize in Israel

by 309 Wednesday May 27th, 2009 11:22 AM
lealifts are given to people
by 309 Wednesday May 27th, 2009 11:22 AM
this check revels the amount of money given by the state of Israel to the Israeli Opera. on the left is Reuven Abergel

second to the left is Ezra Nawi who is being persecuted for doing solidarity work with Palestinians. Lately he has been pronounced guilty of assaulting a police officer who was demolishing a Palestinian house on July 22, 2007. He will be sentenced this coming July.
by 309 Wednesday May 27th, 2009 11:22 AM
the sign says "racism 2009"

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by PeaceActivist
Wednesday May 27th, 2009 2:41 PM
Theres the answer to the often repeated, but very stupid question,"Is all criticism of Israel anti-semitism?" Obviously not. Can we dispense with the stupid queston from now on?
by for Zionists?
Wednesday May 27th, 2009 9:27 PM
for Zionists this is not a questing but obviously true, anyone who dares to criticize Israel is Anti-semitic. more, Mizrahim are often accuse that they are hurting Israel, since after all "we are all Jews". here is a statement that we should do away with, there is no such thing as a Jewish nation.
by PeaceActivist
Tuesday Jun 2nd, 2009 4:01 PM
How very racist and condescending to tell others what you think that they are or should be! The White Man's Burden thing again,eh? Where you have to tell those Jews whats good for them because you are a Westerner and they aren't etc. I thought real peace activists got over that crap years ago.
by confised
Tuesday Jun 2nd, 2009 4:19 PM
Not sure what you are trying to say. Are you accusing all these protesters of not being Mizrahi or somehow saying its racist for people to talk about protests by Mizrahi Israelis?
As a person who probably shares some ancestors a few centuries back with some of the AshkeNazis who run Israel, I have no problem rejecting their claim of a "Jewish Nation". They managed to turn the Jews they harvested from Arab countries into self-hating Arabs for the most part, and gave them the dubious privilege of being second-class citizens in a state where there were many third-class citizens they could feel superior to and a large number of non-citizens a few kilometers from "home" whom they could, in league with their European superiors, abuse, and occasionally slaughter, to give themselves a false sense of status.

Down with AshkeNazi Israel!
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