Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 19:33:45 -0400
Sender: Progressive News & Views List <PNEWS-L@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU> From: PNEWS <> Subject: Discrimination of Jews in Israel

From: Doron A. Tal (Ilana Tal) <>
In response to opinions raised on PNEWS-L.

Discrimination of Jews in Israel

By Doron A. Tal (Ilana Tal) <>
21 October, 1995

Is there discrimination against Jews coming from certain ethnic groups?


About 50% of Israeli Jews are not white Europeans but Oriental Jews. Some of them look the same as their Arab neighbors. They fled the Arab nations to live alongside their European Jewish brethren because they suffered from discrimination and national oppression.

Opinion stated by

Oriental Jews have been subject to discrimination in Israel.

Opposing claim:

There has never been discrimination against any class of Jews, as a policy of the state. Yet, there has always been differences among individuals who came from various parts of the world. Many of them do not like the other groups, just because of different habits or look. Though the circumstances caused socioeconomic differences, which are vanishing.

During the 50's many Oriental Jews came to Israel FOLLOWING European Jews. The resources of the new state were quite limited and therefore the newcomers lacked far behind the veterans. The differences in mentality, language and basic attitude to life just polarized the groups. Nowadays the status of most newcomers has been vastly improved through the years.

The rate of adjustment shortened dramatically. While it took more than twenty-five years for those who came in the early 50s, it took on the average 5-8 years for Jewish immigrants from Russia who came during the 70's to feel they are part of the Israeli society. Recently, "assimilation" took less then two years for Jewish families who came in the 90s. Obviously there are exceptions, but on the average it was a tremendous success.

As a national policy, the State of Israel has been anxious to equalize different classes of people based on their socioeconomic status and national origins. Actual trends may be analyzed only after at least one generation.

The continuing immigration of Ethiopian Jews obviously underscores the purpose secular Zionism, which has been a movement for the national liberation of all Jews regardless of race.

Additionally, Israel has shifted from a socialistic into a capitalistic economy, attempting to build economy based on free enterprise and healthy competition. The transient has never ended. Yet, Israel has a peculiar mixture of doctrines. On the top of this, Israel has had continuous state of war with ALL her neighbors for the first thirty years (1948-1978), which made life even more complex.

Conclusively, although there are classes of Jewish individuals who would believe their rights were deprived, on the average the Israeli society is integrated more than other nations just fifty years on the road.

Wishing you all Shalom from Israel.

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