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Chapter JSTOR

ANT 325L Chapter Notes - Chapter JSTOR: Palestinian Refugees, Option Style, Yemenite Jews


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANT 325L
Professor
Weinreb Amelia
Chapter
JSTOR

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The Politics of Defining Jews from Arab Countries
Abstract
The U.S. and Israel are making a better effort to recognize Jews from Arab countries as
refugees
This article will study how historical and political conditions allowed the “refugee” label
that has been debated within Zionist context and how human agency plays a role in
making the refugee a socially and politically acceptable category.
Introduction
There’s been a resurgence in the importance of the refugee issue in contact of the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict.
Refugee issue now pertains to compensation for the refugees displaced from
Muslim countries
The word “refugee” has changed in meaning within Zionist contexts
Label used to be shunned but now it’s desired because it serves to their interests
Why refugees?
More than 850,000 Jews from Arab have emigrated, 600,000 to Israel
Motivations:
Discriminatory laws and violent outbreaks
Economic opportunities
Decolonization
Arab nationalism
Zionism
Iraqi jews were stripped of their nationality and left the country. They arrived in Palestine
in larger numbers than allowed. The Zionists sympathized but only granted immigration
certificates because european immigration have been blocked— not because the Iraqi
jews were desirable.
For Yemeni Jews, the Zionists were reluctant to grant visas unless the European option
had been exhausted. They were only likely to get visas because they were regarded as
natural manual laborers.
The actual immigration was awful and 850 Jews died in the process.
In 1951, 180,000 Jews tried to immigrate and 200,000 ended up living in unsanitary,
overcrowded and demoralizing conditions. Many Mizrahi Jews experienced this and it
began a history of their persecution in Israel.
Holocaust survivors went through much of the same bad shit but the worst is identified
with what the Mizrahi went through.
Explains why the Mizrahi reject the left political establishment and supports the
right
The Emergence of the Refugee Question
Acceptance of the idea of Jewish refugees from Arab countries occurred in two stages
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