How can Israels left-wing parties win more Mizrahi votes? – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on December 23, 2020

Many Mizrahim descendants of Jewish communities in the Middle East and North Africa do not vote for left-leaning Israeli parties because of the way such parties treated them. As my sister, an immigrant from Iraq like me, told me recently, I cannot bring myself to vote for any Left party, whether its Mapai and HaAvodah in the past, or Blue and White and others, because they treated the likes of me like dirt when they were the governing parties. To win more seats and better standing in the Knesset, leaders of left-leaning parties, like Benny Gantz of Blue and White, must appeal to my sister and thousands like her. These leaders should open the dialogue with a simple but sincere message: Im sorry.From 1949 to 1952, about 750,000 Jews from Middle Eastern Arab countries like Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt were flown by the Jewish Agency in cargo planes to the fledgling State of Israel, thus doubling its population. They are called Mizrahim, Orientals, Levantines, blacks and behind their backs schwartzes, or worse. The agency negotiated with the governments of those Arab countries to let their Jews leave in exchange for all their assets. Most, including my father, did not want to leave. To spur the reluctant, the agency sent messengers to set Jewish businesses and synagogues on fire. These tactics were carefully designed to scare rather than cause much harm to life and property, and convinced most Middle Eastern Jews to move to the land of milk and honey, leaving most of their assets behind. The agency is likely to provide another, more self-serving, explanation of those events.This way, the newcomers became Israels captive population, housed in hundreds of makeshift tent camps, maabarot, and later sent to populate Israels long, hostile borders. My family was sent to the maabara of Kfar Saba, three miles east of the all-Ashkenazi city of Kfar Saba and less than a mile from the border with Jordan. But on Sunday, February 15, 1953, in the middle of the night, the Israeli government executed a secret and sudden mission to dismantle our Kfar Saba maabara and transport its 6,000 residents to other places without any advance notice. So secret was the mission, the government did not leave any record it had ever happened, were it not for Mordecai Surkiss, Kfar Sabas mayor, whose record of the event is now housed in the city museum. THAT NIGHT, soldiers stormed our camp, shielded by darkness, with rifles and flashlights and loudspeakers in their hands. Their blaring speakers said it was not safe for us to be in the camp any longer for security reasons, but the only threat came from the rifles and the blinding flashlights the soldiers pointed at us, herding us like cattle into lorries.

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How can Israels left-wing parties win more Mizrahi votes? - The Jerusalem Post

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