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Israel's Black Panthers: The Radicals Who Punctured a Nation's Founding Myth

On Wednesday, April 10th, author Asaf Elia-Shalev discussed his new book about Israel's Black Panther movement, which was started by Moroccan Israeli Jews who challenged their country's political status quo.

About the Book

Israel's Black Panthers tells the story of the young and impoverished Moroccan Israeli Jews who challenged their country's political status quo and rebelled against the ethnic hierarchy of Israeli life in the 1970s. Inspired by the American group of the same name, the Black Panthers mounted protests and a yearslong political campaign for the rights of Mizrahim, or Jews of Middle Eastern ancestry. They managed to rattle the country's establishment and change the course of Israel's history through the mass mobilization of a Jewish underclass.

This book draws on archival documents and interviews with elderly activists to capture the movement's history and reveal little-known stories from within the group. Asaf Elia-Shalev explores the parallels between the Israeli and American Black Panthers, offering a unique perspective on the global struggle against racism and oppression. In twenty short and captivating chapters, Israel's Black Panthers provides a textured and novel account of the movement and reflects on the role that Mizrahim can play in the future of Israel.

Purchase Israel's Black Panthershttps://indiepubs.com/products/israels-black-panthers/


About the Speakers

Asaf Elia-Shalev is staff writer for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, which distributes his work to dozens of media outlets in multiple languages. He is currently based in Los Angeles but has spent years working in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. As a Mizrahi Jew who grew up in the United States and Israel, Elia-Shalev is attuned to cultural nuances and offers a unique blend of insider and outsider perspectives in his writing on Israel's Black Panthers.




Tamar Hofnung, Ph.D. (moderator) is the Israel Institute Fellow at UCLA's Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies and UCLA’s Department of Sociology. Prior to joining UCLA, Tamar held the Rothschild Postdoctoral Fellowship at UC Berkeley's Sociology Department. Having earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tamar specialized in human rights under the joint program "Human Rights Under Pressure" with Freie Universität Berlin. Tamar has also served as a Japanese government scholar (MEXT), conducting research for two years at Kyoto University's Institute of Research in Humanities. Tamar's ongoing research focuses on racial and gender equality policies in Israel and the United States, with a specific emphasis on gender violence and equitable representation. Her scholarly contributions have been recognized with prestigious awards, including the Annenberg Foundation Prize of Excellence in American Studies, the Jacques Nass Political Economy Prize of Excellence, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Post-Doctoral Award for Exceptional Female Researcher.


DISCLAIMER: The views or opinions of our guest speakers and the content of their presentations do not necessarily reflect the views of the UCLA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Hosting speakers does not constitute an endorsement of the speaker's views or opinions.