Multicultural Education in the Zionist State – The Mizrahi Challenge

Studies in Philosophy and Education 19 (5/6):423-444 (2000)
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Abstract

In this paper, we explore a specific variant of multicultural education inIsrael that developed within the dominant Jewish cultural identity, that isthe claim of Jews from Islamic countries (Mizrahi Jews) for educational autonomy. This demand arose against the backdrop of an aggressive nationalist ideology – Zionism – that claimed torepresent all Jews, and yet was too ambivalent toward its non-European Jewish subjects. The Mizrahi Jews' dual identity, as Jews and as products of the Arab culture, conflated with the state's problematic self-conception as both Jewish and democratic. This phenomenon, apparently, is evidenced by the two types of multicultural responses that developed within the Mizrahi sector: a critical multiculturalism with a social-democratic character on the one hand, and an autonomist multiculturalism with fundamentalist featureson the other

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