Sephardim ‘would have set up another Arab country’

 Had Sephardim, not Ashkenazim been first to settle in Israel, they would have set up ‘another crappy kingdom’ in the Middle East. This is the view of Eli Moyal, Sderot’s ex-mayor, himself of Moroccan origin. Moyal’s reaction, reported by Haaretz,  was part of the fall-out to the TV screening of The Ancestral Sin, a controversial documentary allegedly revealing  discrimination by the Israeli authorities towards Middle Eastern and North African immigrants.  The film has led to ministerial calls for the Jewish Agency archive to be opened, although at least one academic claims that the documentation has long been accessible to  interested parties.

Sderot ex-mayor Eli Moyal: how many universities in Morocco?

Speaking Monday on Israel’s Southern Radio,
Sderot (ex-)Mayor Eli Moyal discussed claims that the authorities, during
Israel’s early years, were biased against Jews who were not of Ashkenazi,
or Eastern Europe, descent. “It’s good that the Ashkenazim received the
Sephardim and not the other way around, because otherwise they’d have
set up another Arab country in the Middle East,” he said. “If the
Sephardim had come first, this would be another crappy kingdom.” 

The country’s Sephardim and Mizrahim
should look in the mirror, Moyal went on to say. “How many universities
were there in Morocco? What did we know about the developed world? How
much technology was there in Morocco? When you move cultures, the first
and second generation pay the price. You can’t get away from that. The
price is justified, and I understand it. In exchange, we received
independence and democracy.” 

Yael Ben Yefet, director of the Sephardi Democratic Rainbow, called Moyal a “racist” and a “collaborator.” 

Moyal’s comments were possibly related to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s declaration on Sunday
that she intends to open the Jewish Agency’s archive to the public.
Shaked, who is also in charge of national archiving, made the decision
in response to the 2017 documentary series “The Ancestral Sin.” 

Aired
on Channel 2, “The Ancestral Sin” reveals archive documents, some
reportedly shown for the first time, that show the racist,
discriminatory attitudes Israeli authorities had toward immigrants from
Middle Eastern and North African countries, who were relegated to
development towns in outlying areas – mainly in the southern and desert
areas. After the series was first broadcast, government authorities
including Interior Ministry Arye Dery and Culture Minister Miri Regev
demanded that the Agency archive be opened.

“There
is no reason for materials that deal with the country’s history not to
be revealed. We will go over the documents and recommend publishing
them, as long as they do not include matters that could jeopardize state
security,” Shaked stated on Sunday.

 Read article in full

Film stirs controversy over development towns

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