Multicultural education in the Zionist state: The Mizrahi challenge

Yossi Dahan, G. A.L. Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we explore a specific variant of multicultural education in Israel that developed within the dominant Jewish cultural identity, that is the 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 to represent 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 features on the other.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-444
Number of pages20
JournalStudies in Philosophy and Education
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Equality
  • Ethnic relations
  • Fundamentalism
  • Identity
  • Integration
  • Multiculturalism
  • Oriental Jews
  • Zionism


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