Mizrahim in Israel are movin’ on up

The economist Shlomo Maoz lost his job last week after lambasting the ‘white’ Ashkenazi establishment. But a new study reveals that Mizrahi oriental Jews are doing better than ever – and intermarriage between Ashkenazim and Mizrahim is running at 25 percent – testifying to the astonishing success of the Zionist ‘ingathering of the exiles’. Haaretz reports:

Tens-of-thousands of words, thousands of Internet comments and enumerable conversations have been devoted to Shlomo Maoz’s “white man’s speech” last week – the lecture where investment house Excellence Nessuah’s chief economist called Bank Leumi “the whites’ bank.”

Two issues have been in focus. First, was Excellence justified in firing Maoz for his remarks, or was this illegitimate censorship? Second, what about the fact that Maoz himself is not exactly deprived but rather a longtime collaborator with tycoons of all colors? He’s a member of 15 different boards of directors and earns NIS 200,000 a month, by conservative estimates.

Ayala Tal - 20012012
Photo by: Ayala Tal

Few people have addressed the main points of the speech, which took place at Sapir College. Maoz was hard-hitting, referring to “the ruling white society” and “the robber kibbutzim.” He said he’d like to see “someone bash the heads of the Ashkenazim on Rothschild Boulevard.” Maoz didn’t provide any data to back up his allegations.

But a new study, to be published this year, maps the ethnic component of each of the economic deciles of Israel’s population. It was the widening gaps between them that propelled last summer’s social protest. As of 2010, almost half (47 percent ) of the upper two deciles – the only people who end each month in the black – are Israeli-born non-Haredi Ashkenazim with fathers born in Europe or the United States. Yet Ashkenazim constitute only 25 percent of the general population.

Only 26 percent of the people in the highest decile are Mizrahim – Jews of Middle Eastern or North African descent – and this is also their exact proportion of the population.

In the lowest decile only 6 percent are non-Haredi Ashkenazim, while 12 percent are Mizrahim. Nearly half of this decile – 48 percent – are Arabs, while Haredim of all ethnic groups account for 19 percent (most of the remainder are new immigrants of different backgrounds). The average per capita income of Mizrahim is 20 percent lower than that of Ashkenazim.

The study was initiated by Prof. Momi Dahan, a former director general of the Finance Ministry and former chief economist of the Bank of Israel. Dahan also investigated socioeconomic gaps a decade ago and concluded that they had widened. But this time he’s actually optimistic.

“I had the feeling that Maoz’s speech was motivated more by personal distress than by observation – meaning a dispassionate, thorough analysis,” Dahan told Haaretz in an interview. “You don’t use the word ‘robber’ in a dispassionate analysis.”

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  • thank you so much for the information! there is enough evil in the world; i am surprised, although i shouldn't be, at Salon not catching this.

    I remain not wholly uncritical of the 'smear' article, but the details upon which i cavil are minor. The effect of racism among the doctors which is to say, the ubiquity of racism based on observed epidermal melanin content, and assumptions associated therewith, remains to be grappled with).

    be that as it may, the facts i have checked, check out. and his main thesis is excellent, made of points which bear — which deserve — repeating, reposting, discussion, &c..

    i feel better. much. sheepish also – before pointing at Salon, it goes without saying — but i myself had not posted anything.


    be seeing you.

  • Relevant:

    Israel has admitted that it has been giving Ethiopian Jewish immigrants birth control injections, according to a report in Haaretz. An Israeli investigative journalist also found that a majority of the women given these shots say they were administered without their knowledge or consent.

    Health Ministry Director General Prof. Ron Gamzu acknowledged the practice — without directly conceding coercion was involved — in a letter to Israeli health maintenance organizations, instructing gynecologists in the HMOs “not to renew prescriptions for Depo-Provera for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment.”…

    Depo-Provera is a hormonal form of birth control that is injected every three months….

    But Ethiopian Jews remain a marginalized group, often living in highly segregated communities. Because of this, many women’s and immigrant rights advocates believe that the 50 percent decline over the past 10 years in the birthrate of Israel’s Ethiopian community is the result of the Israeli government’s attempt to limit and restrict Ethiopian women’s fertility through forcible birth control injections….

    …a disproportionate number of birth control shots — 60 percent — were being given to Ethiopian immigrants…..

    more at Salon

  • Let us not forget that the Whole Israeli media belongs to Ashkenazim, so if anyone is looking for real true view on this issue about the Israeli Government being Racist, Discriminating or involve in Segregation, you will only find some clues may be, but this is for the sophisticated and more involved reader, otherwise all what you'll find is some watered down stories about this or that misbehaved person or group of people as it was done throughout the years in Israel while real bad discrimination is going under the surface, helped by the government as in many cases such as the Sephardi / Mizrakhim (Middle Eastern) religious girls trying to enter schools subsidized by the government from tax payers money, and end up out of the system being discriminated by the Ashkenazim In General and not only the Haredim Colt of make belief Jews, (to remind you the Haredim Colt is doing many things in the name of Judaism but mostly against the Torah and Judaism, these people mostly a product of Jewish women who were raped by Cossacks in the 17th Century, and other such assimilation circumstances, Read: http://chfreedman.blogspot.com/2008/09/genetic-testing-as-aid-for-genealogical.html ).
    These Haredim are clearly not pure Jews and out there to make troubles to all, Jews, Noe Jews, Women and Men alike. But nevertheless being helped and heavily funded by the Israeli government throughout the years by All Governments of Israel.
    For one being Ashkenazim does help these people and even with the latest Craze which is going for the last 7-10 years and not much is done about it, The Harsh Discrimination of Women In Any Place Possible Starting with Not Permitting Women to Perform, Sing and such, Forcing Women to Go On The Buses From The Back Of It And Stay There, While The Men Comfortably Sitting In The Front' it had to go to the supreme court and it voiced…not harsh enough and not decisive enough as it was done with the discrimination and Segregation of the Mizrahis Girls. Unlike in the US that if anyone officially and not so officially try to make any of the above will be persecuted to the full extent of the law as it should be! And for that I would say "God Bless America"!
    Thanks to Sec. Hillary Clinton and President Obama involvements now in Israel the Israeli Media and Bibi Netanyahu making some noises about it and some minor arrests, while on the real bad issues like people being badly beaten and harassed, nothing is done and of course by buying (indirectly the silence of the Haredim with more Perks, until the wave of Anti Racism in Israel will subside).
    People of any race, People who care, and Tax Payers in any country, Must Call Your Senators and Tell Them YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR TAX DOLLARS GOING TO ANY RACIST, DISCRIMINATING COUNTRY EVEN THOUGH IT IS CALLED ISRAEL, Especially if you are a Jew and care for Israel.
    Read: ( http://www.ha-keshet.org.il/english/missing_yemenite.htm ).
    Read books by Iraqi Decent Jewish Author Sami Michael ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_Michael ) and others about the issue and DO NOT LET THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT FOOL YOU!

  • Haaretz likes to use the name "Mizrahim" so as to up the statistics. That way they get to average. But while Iraqi, Turkish and Iranian Jews have done better in universities, government and the army, and the private sector, the situation of Jews from North Africa has only worsened. Women have been replaced in the Supermarkets and banks by Russian immigrants. In my town, most teaching and non-profit jobs were taken by urban kibbutzniks, who have set up an enclave called "urban kibbutz" smack in the middle of the town. For construction jobs for men the lowest have been taken by Africans/Sudanese while the skilled construction jobs are taken by Palestinian from Gaza and the West Bank and the contractors are generally Israeli Arabs.

    I find it outrageous that Haaretz questions Maoz' motivations just because he was successful. What they are saying in effect is that you must be poor to speak out for the poor, gay to speak out for the gays, Palestinian to speak out for the Palestinians. This is insane.

    As to the land, it is legitimate to dispassionately use the phrase "land robbery". The supporting evidence is all there.

    Take the Tamar regional council in the Negev for example: there 1500 people are sitting on some 42000 dunams, while the whole town of Dimona which counts a population some 40000 occupies a mere 3500 dunams. They are practically strangled. Sapir college where ironically the yearly social issue conference is held, is on their land.

    To make things worse, you also have the Negev Bedouin who with every new wife and new set of children, or after a feud or another with another tribe or family, go plant their tent elsewhere and start a new unrecognized village, which people of Dimona and Yeroham cannot do.


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