On April 2, the Israeli government scrapped a deal with the United Nations to grant thousands of African migrants and asylum seekers legal residency. In the last few weeks, IDF gunfire has killed dozens and wounded hundreds of Palestinians attempting to return to Israel by marching on Gazas border-barrier. Events over the past month have raised a profound question about contemporary Israel: who belongs? The question is as old as the Middle Easts mandate system, and the answer has been contested by a plethora of identity groups West of the Jordan River over the past century. This weeks MENA Salon is about the predicament of one community among this multitude: Jewish people of Middle Eastern and North African descent. We will consider how experiences of persecution, displacement, resettlement, and discrimination have shaped Mizrahi perspectives on belonging in the region.
Recommended reading can be found at http://cmes.berkeley.edu/mena-salon/
Every Friday in the semester, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies hosts an informal weekly guided discussion of current events in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), open to all and free of charge. Check the calendar the Monday before the Salon for the current week's topic.