Sephardi leaders’ mission to Ramallah: the real story


Levana Zamir addresses Mahmoud Abbas, urging him to begin peace talks without pre-conditions

 Following media reports headlined “Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands go to Ramallah to meet Mahmoud Abbas”,
here is a short report by Levana Zamir, head of the umbrella organisation representing Jews from Arab countries in Israel. Zamir was one of the Sephardi leaders present:

very important meeting of 70 Israeli representatives of Israelis from
Arab Countries, is only the beginning of a new kind of “negotiation
with the Palestinians” where our ‘Ashkenazi’ government (sorry for this
quote) failed until now.

“We got a special letter from our Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu asking us to go. He reminded us of the time a few years ago, when  Netanyahu finally appointed a
Jew from Egypt – David Meidan-Mosseri – to negotiate the release of Gilad Shalit. He
succeeded, after many years of failure, sadly, by ‘Ashkenazi’ representatives. 

Only organizations from Arab Countries who wanted to go would be part of this very
important Mission to Ramallah – and all of them were there.


the first time ever, this important turning point in Israeli history – led
by Jews from Arab countries – was fully covered by the TV News, radio
and newspapers. Not that we are sure it will bring peace soon, but it is our duty to try.

” Next
week, we are going to have a special General Assembly of Jews from
Egypt – in our Cultural Center of Egyptian Jewry in Tel Aviv – to decide
whether to issue an invitation of a Palestinian Mission to our Center in Tel Aviv,
to discuss with them how they should stop the incitement and terror as
the first thing to talk about.

as Sephardi Jews, always wished to be part of those “negotiations” led
so badly by people like Tzipi Livni or MK Hilik Bar, Vice-chair of the

In his recent working paper presented at Harvard
University-Boston, MK Hilik Bar said again that Jews from Arab countries
should present their claims to the Arab countries, and only
Palestinians should get  compensation from the International Fund.
Our Coalition Board, of Jews from arab countries Organisations, is
going to meet with MK Hilik Bar soon after Pesah, to tell him how wrong he is.”


  • They're also naive thinking that there's any real difference between Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews in the Palestinian mind.

  • Jews from Arab countries have been involved in Israeli diplomacy since before independence. Consider Ezra Danin, Eliyahu Sassoon, Moshe Sassoon, and others. Israeli diplomacy has sometimes been very ham-handed, especially under Peres' influence, but the fault has not been with Israeli diplomacy, all of its mistakes notwithstanding. There has always been a fundamental Arab unwilliness to make peace. Moreover, Western and Communist powers have often, perhaps regularly, encouraged Arab states and movements to oppose peace with Israel.

    Only an ignoramus or a fool could possibly believe that the Western powers [not only the Communists] have wanted peace in the Middle East. OR specifically Israel-Arab peace. Of course, they do produce a lot of hot air which the environmental scientists ought to look into.


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