Mizrahi Women in Israel: The Double Erasure


Publication Date: November 1999

Publisher: Hadassah International Research Institute on Jewish Women

Author(s): Pnina Motzafi-Haller

Research Area: Culture and religion; Population and demographics; Social conditions

Keywords: Feminism; Women; Israeli Jews; Mizrahi Jews

Type: Brief

Coverage: Israel


The emerging mizrahi feminist discourse is a vibrant and courageous discourse. It has faced critical, unresolved issues that underlie the social experience of women in Israel in ways that "mainstream" Israeli feminist discourse has never dared to do. It has brought to the surface the question of the relations between Palestinian and Jewish women in Israel and explored the deep tensions between middle-class, intellectual women on the one hand and working-class, underprivileged women on the other. It has opened a public discussion that examines the everyday and political implications of working within non-essentialist ethnic definitions of community. Despite its limited range, both in terms of its time, depth , number of intellectual/activists engaged, and the meager institutional resources available for its production and distribution, the impact of mizrahi feminist intellectual thought on mainstream Israeli feminism has been tremendous.