Ethnography research for “Race, Ethnicity, and the Gender” in Palestine (Part 2):

Posted: March 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

The policy of Israel is based on the ethnicity and race discrimination, as well as the apartheid, Michel Shiha have argued in his book “The roots of the Zionist ideology and policy of racial discrimination in Israel” that the Jews due to their holy book, they believe they are the God’s chosen people, and all the other mankind are lower degrees. (Michel Shiha, 2003)

In addition, there are many researches have been launched in the comparison between the apartheid in Israel and South Africa, most of these researches have focused on the apartheid in Israel when the South African prime minister in 1961 (Hendrik Verwoerd) have dismissed an Israeli vote against South African apartheid at the UN, he said: “Israel is not consistent in its new anti-apartheid attitude… they took Israel away from the Arabs after the Arabs lived there for a thousand years. In that, I agree with them. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.” Moreover, the former President of the United States (Jimmy Carter), have argued in his book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid”, that the policy of Israel based on racial discrimination against the Palestinians, he continued to say: “system of apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights. This is the policy now being followed, although many citizens of Israel deride the racist connotations of prescribing permanent second-class status for the Palestinians.” (Simon & Schuster, 2006)

As we said before, there are a lot of researches have conducted on the tragic discrimination situations that faced all the Palestinians by Israeli policy, wherever they were in the Israel, or Palestine state, which all of these cannot be addressed here.

But let’s us discuss a little bit the discrimination between Jews themselves!!!!! According to the history books, the Jews are divided to two categories:

Ashkenazi Jews: who originally emerged from “the Holy Roman Empire”, they have come to Palestine from Europe, and USA, and their traditional language was Yiddish.



Ashkenazi Jews

Sephardi Jews: have lived in the Iberian Peninsula and they came to Palestine from Arab, African, and Asian countries.

Sephardi Jews


Sephardi Jews

Michel Shiha have argued in his book, that the race, and ethnicity discriminations can be clearly noted between these two categories, that the Ashkenazi Jews are enjoying the best social service, massive wealth, and the best positions in the governments, while the Sephardi Jews are suffering hardship, and they just have jobs that the Ashkenazi Jews do not work in it. (Michel Shiha, 2003)

The reason from mentioning these two categories of Jews is to show how the state of Israel is based on the discriminations even between Jews themselves, so how you can imagine the discriminations of “Race, Ethnicity, and the Gender” that Palestinians can face inside this community!!

With regarding to the visiting of our team, and the participant observation for the social life of Palestinian community, we have noticed the benefit from engaging in the sport activities for the youth Palestinians generation, this finding is a self-evident and an evidence on the state of despair for this community, so the sport activities are used by these youth to escape from the feeling of tension, sadness and stress, it is very important to say that these behaviours are common among the Arab youth societies as a result of the restrictions from their dictatorial governments.

The evidence that can support this supposition has come from the discussion with children about their own culture, which highlighted many different way of their understanding about the culture, this contradict came as a result of the conflict between the two main parties in Palestine (Hamas and Fatah), as well as came from the living inside different culture, which is Jewish culture.


Written By : Fatma Bensalem



  • The Empire’s New Walls: Sovereignty, Neo-liberalism, and the Production of Space in Post-apartheid South Africa and Post-Oslo Palestine/Israel. Andrew James Clarno. 2009. p.66-67
  • Michel Shiha, The roots of the Zionist ideology and policy of racial discrimination in Israel, Damascus University Journal – Volume 19 – Issue II –2,003
  • Dick Hobbs, Ethnography, The SAGE Dictionary of Social Research Methods (2006), Victor Jupp (ed.)
  • Graycar R, Morgan J 1990 The Hidden Gender of Law. Federation Press, Annandale, Australia
  • Sacks K B 1989 Toward a unified theory of class, race, and gender. American Ethnologist 16(3): 534–50
  • Adnan Abu Amer, The newspaper of Palestine Pulse, 11 Feb 2014
  • Palestine Online Website, 17 May 2012
  • Simon & Schuster: Palestine Peace Not Apartheid (Hardcover) – Read an Excerpt,” Simon & Schuster November, 2006.
  • UN CIVIL SOCIETY CONFERENCE SLAMS ‘ISRAELI APARTHEID’: Worldwide Activism, Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign”

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