New Article: Lavie, The Knafo Chronicles

Lavie, Smadar. “The Knafo Chronicles: Marching on Jerusalem With Israel’s Silent Majority.” Affilia 27.3 (2012): 300-315.



In summer 2003, Vicky Knafo marched 125 miles from her desolate development town to the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem to protest welfare cuts for Israel’s single mothers. Single mothers from all parts of Israel joined her. Most of the mothers were Mizrahim—Jews with origins in the Arab and Muslim World. They constitute 50% of Israel’s citizenry. But like the 20% Palestinian Israeli citizens, they are treated as a racinated minority by the ruling 30% Ashkenazim (European Jews of Yiddish-speaking origins). This article consists of diary fragments recording the author’s participation in the protest as a single welfare mother, ethnographer, and Mizrahi feminist.

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