Saturday, December 24, 2005

Perspectives


High expectations... Israel was a land created out of lofty idealism, and in many ways still clings to these truths. Israel is also a land comprised of immigrants, however, and much like the United States, there have developed many cultural divides. Beyond the most obvious conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, there are also ethnic divides amongst the Jews themselves. Much like in the United States, Russian Jews are the target of much ire and resentment from the rest of the European Jewish population. Similarly, Arab Jews from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Ethiopia (as well as other parts of the Middle East) are the target of discrimination as well. Young Arab Jews, with their different dress and social customs (such as slicked back hair, tighter clothing, and a penchant for cruising five deep in a hatchback) are commonly referred to as "Arsim." It is a bit unclear to me how this translates, but it is evidently a derrogatory term. Like any other immigrant nation, Israel grapples clumsily with its pluralistic identity.

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