Traditionalism • Can be regarded in two ways: • 1. Degree of distance from religious beliefs and obedience to religious commandments • 2. Manifestation of traditionalism as a separate belief system, which includes elements of formal religion alongside popular beliefs and practices.
The Enlightenment “Modern” and “rational”= secular
Traditionalism and The Mizrahi • Traditionalism: Fragmented into ethnicity and class • Self-defined traditionalism is anchored in the first, second and third generation of immigrants from developing societies of the Middle East and North Africa • Mizrahi value education, socialization, military service and social, spatial and economic mobility. • Mixing of the cultures of countries of origin with that of the Israeli people to create Mizrahi customs.
Shas The Shas party was created when the Mizrahi split from the Ashkenazi Orthodoxy and formed their own version of Orthodoxy around the Sephardic Chief Rabbi OvadiaYoussef.
Shas: Defines itself as traditional. Has enormous demographic and constitutional potential because it touches on the collective memory and frustration of half the population of Israel. Shas also blurs the conventional boundaries between secularism and religiosity, prizing lifelong religious studies.
Arab Citizens in Israel Transformed from a powerful majority to a small, helpless minority of 150,000 after 1948. Lacked social class organization, political and spiritual leadership.
Curriculum The Israeli school curriculum designed for Arab citizens was formulated to construct a novel Israeli Arab ethnicity. The curriculum sough to de-Palestinize students by teaching Hebrew and Israeli history as dominant factors of society.
Double-Edged Sword Exclusion from compulsory military service. Subsequent denial of full citizenship rights.
Arab Progression Arab citizens have progressed in development of culture, wealth and political power. Emil Habibi won Israeli prize for literature.
Russian-Speaking Immigrants The largest ethnic or cultural linguistic group to have immigrated to Israel. This group includes people from Uzbekistan, states in Caucus, Ukraine, Belarus, and Baltic states.
Waves of Immigration 1970s 1990s 2nd wave of immigration from the Commonwealth of Independent States. Better adapted to the lifestyle in Israel than immigrants of the 1970s. Did not receive direct absorption services; instead, received money and turned to the markets. Bush signed the Lautenberg Amendment, limiting immigration from Russia and Vietnam. This funneled immigration into Israel. • 1st wave of Immigration from USSR to Israel • Around 200,000 immigrants • Received direct absorption services
Integration Considered Jewish under “Law of Return” but when it came to personal status issues such as marriage and burial, considered Non-Jews. Acquired Hebrew language skills but maintained a distinct culture and Russian identity. Pioneered the “New Israel” and with this, Israeli heterogeneity. “From immigrant to immigrant, our strength is rising”
Russian Institutions High rate of literacy created demand for various media outlets, specifically a Russian-language press. The Zionist Form was created and served as an umbrella organization for many local and national Russian associations. The Forum prompted the organization of the Israel B’Aliyah party. Politically, Russians were white-collar middle class and ideologically more patriotic: right wing, anti-left and anti-Arab.
Israel B’Aliyah Maximal integration into the political system while maintaining its own “rules of the game” to obtain maximum material means to preserve the cultural ethnic-barriers. “Russian vote” was split between more right-wing, newly-founded party Israel Bieytenu, created in opposition to Israel B’Aliyah’s perceived poor performance in protecting Russian interests.
Will absorption occur? The youngest generations of Russians might be be absorbed into Israeli culture out of fear of racism. This is not for sure. The Russian culture could preserve itself because of their separate educational system, an endogamous marriage market, Russian press and media and a distinct lifestyle and community.
Ethiopians Known as “Beta Israel” or “Falashas”
“New Socialist Society” Presence of Marxist group led by MengistaHaile-Mariam in 1974 led to abolition of state’s religious character. Youth were mobilized into the army and rural associations, urban schools were opened and traditional “Beta Israel” authorities were undermined. Civil wars, famine, drought and conscription caused a dramatic unraveling of Ethiopia.
This was a collective decision. • By 1984, nearly 10,000 Falashas had crossed into Sudan, with another 4,000 dying from disease on the journey. • The Falashas stayed in camps in Sudan which brought sickness, an erosion of traditions and “Sudan marriages” Leaving Ethiopia These conditions forced a movement to Sudan.
Operation Moses and Operation Solomon Operation Moses began at the end of November 1984, transferring Falasha refugees from Sudan. From 1985 to 1989, 2,000 additional Falashas exited legally by Addis Ababa airport. Brought to Israel in two dramatic secret missions Held in camps that were full of diseases like jaundice and AIDS.
“Blacks” “Beta Israel” has been labeled as “blacks” Marginalized for color, Jewish origin and poor human capital.
The immigrants were treated as refugees, given family names and Hebrew first names and guessing ages. • Despite the existence of their own priesthood (the Quessotch), the Ethiopians were subject to the authority of Orthodox rabbis. • Ethiopians were forced to convert under the strictest standards,including phlebotomy. • Families received tiny housing units but these absorption centers quickly became permanent residences. • The first wave of immigrants acted in accordance with the immersion attempts but the second wave from the Gondar region responded with unrest. “Discovering the Lost Tribe”
Ethiopian Jews Despite the army building an enlisting framework and universities absorbing Ethiopian students, Ethiopians were discriminated against in the labor market. Women became breadwinners because of their abilities in the service industries.
Blood Magen David Adom destroyed donations of Ethiopian blood for fear of it carrying the AIDS virus. Caused a massive otucry in the Falasha society as blood is a symbol of the collective identity among the Falashas and relations with the Christians. This symbol is trifold:menstruation, slaughter and eating.
Non-Citizen Workers Occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip served as reservoirs for inexpensive and flexible day laborers. Mainly employed in construction, agriculture, sanitation and industrial plants.
Wave of Migrant Workers from Developing Countries This immigrant labor challenged the Zionist concept of “Jewish Labor” and healing the Jewish nation through work.
Results of Immigration Policies Formation of exclusively foreign-worker communities. Influx of Palestinian commuting day laborers created an ethnic hierarchy of subordinate non-citizen Arabs and higher-ranking Arab Israelis
Conclusion The influx of immigrants has created subsocieties which are largely autonomous and separate from another. The separations are embodied in marriage rituals, housing, dining, schools, houses of worship, alternative media.