What we left behind in Egypt: Mizrahi thoughts on Israel


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Yom Kippur: a Mizrahi Perspective

The Black Panther rebellion broke out in 1972, shortly before the Yom Kippur War on October 6, 1973 . This rebellion was the expression of those who had been oppressed and ignored. They still suffer from neglect to this day, since the Mizrahim in Israel cannot express themselves as a group. Hungry young men from the Mosrara neighborhood followed by throngs of people raised the banner of social struggle for full equality. Unfortunately, this social struggle did not continue because of the war, as Sami Shalom Chetrit has written in The Mizrahi Struggle in Israel . It was once more subsumed under banner of state security, as they told the Mizrahim that there was no place for two banners at the same time.

As a Mizrahi Jew who works as a critic, Yom Kippur has a two-sided symbolism for me. It is the day of the Black Panther  rebellion, stopped in its tracks by the Yom Kippur War, as well as an opportunity for the ruling Ashkenazi Zionist class to beg forgiveness for the injustice inflicted on Sephardic Jews in Israel, who continue to be subjected to this injustice through various means. In truth, I want to see how those oppressors who are still alive will fare in the court of history, and how they will beg forgiveness. I also want history to be rewritten with the names of the oppressors put next to the injustices that ultimately forced the Sephardim to the margins of society.

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