Dispute erupts over ‘Palestinian’ Mizrahi Jews

 An article by Hen Mazzig in the mainstream US press debunking the myth that Jews are ‘white, European colonialists’, an idea increasingly prevalent on the left of the democratic party,  has elicited an angry reaction from Marc Lamont Hill, a professor who was sacked as a CNN political commentator for anti-Israel comments. Seth Frantzman reports in the Jerusalem Post (with thanks: Lily, Yoel)

 Marc Lamont Hill: ‘studies Yemeni and Moroccan Jews’

In a Facebook post on May 20 slamming Hen Mazzig’s article in The LA Times,
American academic and activist Marc Lamont Hill described Mizrahi Jews
as an “identity category” that had been detached “from Palestinian
identity.” CNN severed ties with Hill last year after anti-Israel
comments.

Hill’s latest excoriation of Israel, posted to his 90,000
followers, followed Mazzig’s argument that Israel is not a country of
“privileged and powerful white Europeans.” Mazzig sought to emphasize
the role of Mizrahi Jews in Israeli history and condemned the tendency
of critics to define Israelis as Ashkenazi Jews alone. Hill responded
that Mazzig ignores “the racial and political project that transformed
Palestinian Jews (who lived peacefully with other Palestinians) into the
20th century identity category of ‘Mizrahi’ as a means of detaching
them from Palestinian identity.”

Mazzig posted a screenshot of another exchange with Hill in which
Hill wrote that “I literally study Yemeni and Moroccan Jews for a
living.”

Jimena, an organization that describes itself as
committed to achieving universal recognition to the heritage and history
of 850,000 indigenous Jewish refugees from Arab countries, said Hill
was trying to speaking over the voices of Mizrahi Jews.

Read article in full

More by Seth Frantzman 

More by Hen Mazzig

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