There is an agreement that, in turn, an Ashkenazic and a Mizrachic will be elected president of Israel, every six years. However, when the turn was already several times for a Mizrachic, a Mizrachic backbencher was elected who was among insiders known as a womanizer. And indeed, in the course of his term, he was removed and jailed for rape. The prosecutor ‘happened to be’ Mizrachic too. Pride in their president among Mizrachics turned into shame. It was an intricate trick, once again, to show Mizrachics their place.
Next year, much loved and respected President Rivlin’s term will come to an end. Ashkenazic candidates are lining up already, totally in concert with their White factual privilege and imagined entitlement. The chutzpa!
Israel’s next president must be Mizrachic. Any other outcome is racist.
It must be noted that President Rivlin was a known anti-racist and has not disappointed. He has done good work uniting the country, speaking and acting out against blatant and subtle racism consistently and continually. However, that’s not enough anymore.
Obama did not end racism in the US (worse, he was followed by Trump, the self-proclaimed ‘least racist person in the world’). But maybe the contrast between Trump and Obama has helped foster the national awareness that revived the Black Lives Matter movement.
And since it will be 2021, it must be a woman too. Golda Meir was a real token woman leader. And she was scapegoated for a war failure. There is so much everyday normalized sexism in Israel, it must be a woman. Men can be allies, as I try to be, and men should stand up and speak for women. But male allies must do so alongside women–not instead of them!
A Mizrachic woman president will not end oppression in Israel. But her presence and personality certainly will help. Just by showing women’s and Mizrachics’ excellence at everything. Her mere presidency might stimulate that the next head of Israel’s police would be a woman. That more is done against sexual assault, by strangers, in the home, and among friends. That racism against Ethiopians is stopped more.
To those who want to object: ‘How dare you suggest that any Ashkenazi or any man is a priori disqualified?’ I will say: ‘How dare you suggest that any Mizrachic and woman is a priori disqualified?’
If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. Enough with blatant racism and sexism already! Yet another Ashkenazi and/or man as Israel’s head of state is unbearable–no matter how excellent s/he might be.
The present candidates:
- Member of Knesset Yehuda Glick just announced his candidacy.
- Jewish Agency head Isaac Herzog is expected to run.
- Professor Dan Shechtman.
- Minister Yuli Edelstein.
- I expect disgraced PM Ehud Olmert to announce his candidacy too.
- Professor Shimon Shetreet, undeservedly passed over last time.
- Labor Party chairman Amir Peretz.
An Ashkenazic female:
- Former Supreme Court Judge Dalia Dorner.
- Member of Knesset Dalia Itzik, was already acting president.
- Miriam Peretz.
The time to start harping against male and Ashkenazic privilege is now. Please join and let our voice swell to a choir. Enough is enough. Our goal should be to ingrain that not choosing a female and Mizrachic is indecent.