Dissertation: Cohen, Israeli State Violence/Mizrahi Resilience: An Ethnography of Mizrahi Experiences of War and Eviction and Their Intersection with Palestinian Experiences

Cohen, Ilise Benshushan. Israeli State Violence/Mizrahi Resilience: An Ethnography of Mizrahi Experiences of War and Eviction and Their Intersection with Palestinian Experiences. California Institute of Integral Studies, 2013.

 

URL: http://search.proquest.com/docview/1461742758

 

Abstract

Mizrahi Jews have historically been marginalized in Israeli society despite the fact that they make up the majority of Israel’s Jewish population. Through ethnographic research, this study highlights the experiences of Mizrahi Jews around two Mizrahi communities that continue to experience marginalization: Kfar Shalem, a neighborhood in south Tel Aviv that was the site of evictions without compensation in 2007, and Kiryat Shemona, a development town on Israel’s northern border that was directly affected by the second Lebanon war in 2006. Areas of focus of the research include the process of eviction without compensation for Kfar Shalem, the lasting effects of cross-border military conflict in Kiryat Shemona, and the violence produced by these experiences. The research methods utilized included ethnographic interviews, participant observation, archival research, and advocacy. The research participants in Kfar Shalem included Mizrahi families evicted from their homes, lawyers who represented the residents, and Mizrahi activists involved with the community. The research participants in Kiryat Shemona consisted of Mizrahi families who maintained a presence during the war and those who were displaced, and mental health professionals dealing with the effects of the war on residents. I also interviewed two Palestinian citizens of Israel who were able to speak to complex issues of displacement and citizenship. The dissertation frames the ethnographic research in a historical context that includes the U.N. partition of Palestine, Palestinian expulsion/ethnic cleansing, Mizrahi immigration to Israel, and the instrumentalization of Mizrahi Jews being settled in former Palestinian areas. It draws on comparisons between the struggles and ongoing activism of Mizrahi Jews and Palestinians in Israel/Palestine. The findings reveal the complex struggles of Mizrahi identity, discourses of discrimination and internalized oppression, and Mizrahi exposure to physical violence, loss of economic status, and instrumentalization by the state. The findings also highlight meaningful similarities and differences between Mizrahi and Palestinian experiences of state violence and about Mizrahi resilience and agency.

Subject: Cultural anthropology; Middle Eastern Studies; Judaic studies

Classification: 0326: Cultural anthropology; 0555: Middle Eastern Studies; 0751: Judaic studies

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, State violence, Israel, Discrimination, Mizrahim, Mizrahi-Palestinian alliance, Mizrahi resistance

Number of pages: 567

Publication year: 2013

Degree date: 2013

School code: 0392

Source: DAI-A 75/02(E), Aug 2014

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781303480928

Advisor: M’Panya, Mutombo

Committee member: Simons, Shoshana; Shubeli, Rafi

University/institution: California Institute of Integral Studies

Department: Social and Cultural Anthropology

University location: United States — California

Degree: Ph.D.

Source type: Dissertations & Theses

Language: English

Document type: Dissertation/Thesis

Dissertation/thesis number: 3598997

ProQuest document ID: 1461742758

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