Twice Removed

Joyce Dalsheim

in Unsettling Gaza

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199751204
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895014 | DOI:
Twice Removed

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This chapter considers ethnicity (or race) in the struggle over settlement and the ways in which it marks moral and geographical boundaries. This chapter looks at the presence of Mizrahi Jews as settlers and asks why their presence is so rarely discussed. Post-1967 settlers tend to be depicted as religiously motivated Jews of Ashkenazi descent and often Anglophone origin, while Jews from the Middle East and North Africa (Mizrahim) tend to be associated with development towns, peripheral locations within Israel known for high unemployment and other social and economic problems. Prior to the Israeli disengagement from Gaza in 2005, public attention focused on the controversy surrounding settlement in the occupied territories. The most outspoken settlers and those most often portrayed in the popular media tended to be of Ashkenazi origin, a representation that minimizes the presence of Mizrahim in the settlements then slated for evacuation. This chapter questions the hegemonic representation of the Israeli sociopolitical-religious scene with respect to Mizrahi Jews who lived in the settlements, and suggests that recognizing their presence as settlers contains the potential to undermine comfortable categories of politics and morality.

Keywords: Ashkenazi Jews; Mizrahi settlements; development towns; Gush Katif; race; ethnicity; moral boundaries; geographical boundaries

Chapter.  6310 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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