This is a recording of a long dialogue, followed by an audience Q & A, held at the Cork chapter of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign on January 17, 2009. The topic covers the position of Mizrahim within the Israel-Palestine conflict. It provides a good introduction to the dilemmas and predicaments faced by Mizrahim as Jewish Israeli citizens who have origins in the Muslim World. The talk also analyzes the reasons why the Israeli political center moves farther and farther toward the right wing.

This talk coincided with the IDF Operation Cast Lead (December 27, 2008 – January 18, 2009) and with the Israeli elections on February 10, 2009.

This is being presented now, in December 2012, because of the forthcoming elections in the State of Israel scheduled for January 22, 2013. These early elections come on the heels of the IDF "Pillar of Clouds" operation (November 14-21, 2012).

See a video of the author's lecture here (minus questions and comments).

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Comment by Smadar Lavie on December 13, 2012 at 2:51am

Dear Keith,

My heartfelt thanks for the time and effort you invested in seeing the long video. SL

Comment by Keith Hart on December 11, 2012 at 11:27pm

Smadar, I think you sell yourself short with this lowkey introduction to your wonderful talk. I will try to encourage our readers to check it out and stay with it, for it is long.

When she gave this lecture in 2009, Smadar was Hubert H Humphrey Distinguished Visiting Professor of the Islamic World and the Middle East, Macalester College, St Paul, Minnesota.

The Mizrahim are Oriental or Non-European Jews from the Arab world and elsewhere living in Israel. The European or Ashkenazy Jews form an elite minority. Zionism is ultimately impossible because the demographic majority is subject to racial discrimination. For reasons the lecture explains, the Mizrahim vote for the right, not the left. Smadar is giving her talk in Ireland which has a history of racist and sectarian oppression similar to Israel's (and South Africa, the third capitalist theocracy of recent times). Her audience consists of activists who want to aid the Palestinian cause, as many of us do. But she tells them they first need to understand the race problem within Israel's Jewish population, since there will be no solution to Arab-Israeli relations without that internal contradiction being resolved.

Thank you for posting this important lecture at the OAC, Smadar.


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