Humanities and Arts

Not All Who Ascend Remain: Afro-Asian Jewish Returnees from Israel

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In the wake of Israeli Black Panther activism in the mid-1970s, the Arab League invited Mizrahi (AfroAsian) Jews, especially those in Israel, to return to their homeland. Some Israelis used the invitation as an opportunity to highlight the extent of anti-Mizrahi discrimination by departing for the Arab world. Albeit small in number in comparison to thosewho left Israel for other destinations, thosewho repatriated made a huge impact on perceptions of Israeli emigres. Their importance rested not in their numbers but in the significant threat posed to theIsraeli establishment. Afro-Asian Jewish repatriation sent amessage that the Zionist project, particularly as the opposing nationalist movement to Pan-Arabism, was a failure.