Skip to main content

The legacy of racism toward Mizrahi Jews

The publication of the protocols of the riots in Wadi Salib, disclosing the racism of Israel’s founding generation toward the Mizrahi Jewish population, could have initiated a genuine debate.
Israel's Defence Minister Amir Peretz delivers a speech during a ceremony at the Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv May 24, 2007. REUTERS/Alon Ron (ISRAEL) ISRAEL OUT - RTR1Q234
Read in 

In November 2005, Shimon Peres lost the Labor chairmanship to Amir Peretz. A short time after his victory, Peretz triumphantly announced that ethnic tension in Israeli society had come to an end.

"This is the moment we bury the ethnic demon in Israel," Peretz proclaimed in his victory speech. However, the Moroccan-born Peretz discovered soon enough that numerous communities that had supported the Labor Party in the past as far back as its Mapai days (the Mapai was the dominant force in Israeli politics until its merger into the Israeli Labor Party in 1968) — from the big cities as well as the kibbutzim abandoned Labor together with Peres to support Kadima.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.