The Marginalization of the Mizrahim: Jewish Syndicalism in the Context of Settler-Colonial Zionism in Palestine before 1948
settler colonialism

This article investigates the institutional attitudes of the Histadrut (the General Organization of Workers in the Land of Israel) toward Palestine’s Middle Eastern Jews (Mizrahim) between 1920 and the late 1940s. Based on archival evidence and secondary sources, it argues that what Mizrahi workers experienced in their dealings with the Histadrut was not the result of random or unintended abuse but of a political culture that promoted social fragmentation and inequality. The corollary of this argument is that the Mizrahim who arrived immediately after 1948 found themselves thrown into a racial binary mold that had been in the making for about fifty years, beginning with the first waves of Zionist immigration to Palestine.

Author biography: 
Marcelo Svirsky is a researcher and lecturer at the School for Humanities and Social Inquiry, University of Wollongong, Australia. He studies settler-colonial societies, particularly Israel, focusing on questions of social transformation and decolonization.