A characteristically thoughtful piece by Gershom Gorenberg has an important passage on recent efforts by the Israeli government to further include the lives and stories of Mizrahi Jews in its educational curricula.
In June, the Education Ministry published the Biton Report, named for the head of the committee that produced it, prominent Algerian-born poet Erez Biton. It's a set of recommendations for reforming the country's Ashkenazi-centered schooling. Ashkenazi Jews have their roots in Germany and Eastern Europe. The report aims at including the history and culture of Mizrahi Jews—those from Muslim countries—and of Sephardim, whose ancestors were expelled from Spain.
Reform is long overdue. It's a failure of the Israeli left that the issue was left for a right-wing government to champion.The emphasis is my own, because it is worthy of emphasis. The degree to which the Israeli left (to say nothing of the broader Jewish left, to say nothing of the broader international left) has left matters of Mizrahi equality and inclusion is a failure we must be held accountable for. That the right picked up the baton we dropped is likewise to their credit. It is our fault, our responsibility, that we did not tackle this issue on our own. We cannot therefore be indignant when a community we did not, for the most part, protect today mistrusts our politics (to say nothing of our egalitarian slogans).
The way you rectify that is by jumping back into the fray. I found this post on +972 searching for ways to reinvigorate efforts to promote restitution for Mizrahi refugees heartening (though, it must be said, my friends at JIMENA were less enthused). It's not quid pro quo, we're not "owed" anything for our (belated) backing. You do it because it's right, and hope that leads someplace better.