May 24, 2019
- No, Israel Isn’t a Country of Privileged White Europeans – Hen Mazzig
Israel’s critics have undertaken a strategic campaign to taint Israel as an extension of privileged and powerful white Europe, positioning Israel as a colonialist aggressor rather than a haven for those fleeing oppression. This narrative all but erases the story of my family, who came to Israel from Iraq and Tunisia. Indeed, the majority of Jews in Israel today are of Middle Eastern and North African descent.
In Iraq, a Nazi-incited riot in 1941, the brutal Farhud, claimed the lives of hundreds of Jews. My great-grandfather was falsely accused of being a Zionist spy and executed in Baghdad in 1951. 850,000 Jewish refugees expelled from nations across the Middle East emigrated to Israel. Demographic ignorance also works to deny the existence of almost 200,000 descendants of Ethiopian Jews who were airlifted to Israel in the early 1990s.
One of Judaism’s central themes is a story of national liberation in the face of imperial powers. Israel is a place where an indigenous people have reclaimed their land and revived their ancient language, despite being surrounded by hostile neighbors and hounded by radicalized Arab nationalists who cannot tolerate any political entity in the region other than their own. (Los Angeles Times)