Israel's Black Panthers: The Radicals Who Punctured a Nation's Founding Myth (Hardcover)

Israel's Black Panthers: The Radicals Who Punctured a Nation's Founding Myth By Asaf Elia-Shalev Cover Image
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The powerful story of an activist movement that challenged the racial inequities of Israel.
Israel's Black Panthers tells the story of the young and impoverished Moroccan Israeli Jews who challenged their country's political status quo and rebelled against the ethnic hierarchy of Israeli life in the 1970s. Inspired by the American group of the same name, the Black Panthers mounted protests and a yearslong political campaign for the rights of Mizrahim, or Jews of Middle Eastern ancestry. They managed to rattle the country's establishment and change the course of Israel's history through the mass mobilization of a Jewish underclass.

This book draws on archival documents and interviews with elderly activists to capture the movement's history and reveal little-known stories from within the group. Asaf Elia-Shalev explores the parallels between the Israeli and American Black Panthers, offering a unique perspective on the global struggle against racism and oppression. In twenty short and captivating chapters, Israel's Black Panthers provides a textured and novel account of the movement and reflects on the role that Mizrahim can play in the future of Israel.

About the Author

Asaf Elia-Shalev is an Israeli American journalist based in Los Angeles. He is a staff writer for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, which distributes his work to dozens of media outlets in multiple languages.

Praise For…

"Drawing on archival press accounts, government documents and interviews with surviving Panthers, Elia-Shalev — a Los Angeles-based reporter with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency — weaves a tale of young street toughs who underwent a political awakening. These young men saw their plight as a result of entrenched prejudice and lack of public resources, and they decided to fight back."
— J: The Jewish News of Northern California

"In the 1970s, a group of Moroccan Israeli Jews protested against the racial hierarchy then existing in Israel that left many of them both impoverished and lacking rights. Their campaign, inspired by America’s Black Panthers, was, says Asaf Elia-Shalev, part of the wider global struggle against oppression."
— New Statesman

Product Details
ISBN: 9780520294318
ISBN-10: 0520294319
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: March 19th, 2024
Pages: 344
Language: English