Yoav Fisher
Father, Economist

The Coalition is NOT supporting Mizrachi Israelis

As I wrote about before, my biggest fear is that too many people are turning a blind eye to the major underlying issues and ramifications of the Judicial “Reform” in Israel.

One of the reasons for this is that the right wing has quickly adopted the most vile practices of Trump-era politics: weaponizing politics along nativist and cultural lines as a means to mask horrible policy.

Right now, the right-wing punditry in Israel is abusing longstanding cultural divides between Mizrachi and Ashkenazi Israelis as a way of deflect the conversation away from actual politics.

As Aron Heller pointed out recently in the NYT, right-wing Israeli politicians have long ago abandoned any reasoned discussion about policy in favor of incendiary language meant to rile up their base. The right-wing is actively dividing the country into two by claiming that the center-left is treating Mizrachi Israelis as second class citizens. The right-wing is also (fraudulently) utilizing this as justification for the “Reform”, and effectively deterring the conversation away from the actual implications of the “Reform”.

As Heller mentions, Trump-era politics includes all of the nastiness you would expect, including flagrant lies, gaslighting, misinformation, and deception. Right wing Israeli pundits have incorporated these measures quickly, to various degrees of success:

Above is from the Twitter account of Yinon Magal — the Israeli version of Tucker Carlson.  Magal writes: “Protests of the Right in favor of the Reform, according to drone footage of Channel 14… 1.5 Million Protesters”.

The response says: “Hi Yinon, I actually took that photo. The photo was taken after Neta Barzilay won the Eurovision song contest”.

But I want to add something critical on top of what Heller writes. The right-wing politicians in Israel have also incorporated another important aspect from Trump-era politics: Flat out neglect and abuse of their base.

While Netanyahu and his cronies are riling up Mizrachi Israelis against the rest of the country, they are also actively ignoring the needs of the Mizrachi Israelis.

It is very easy to see this in practice. There are currently over 140 proposed laws on the docket. Go over all of them and you will see that NONE mention anything relating to Mizrachi Israelis.

There are hundreds of clauses in the ratified coalition agreements. Go over all of them and you will see that NONE mention anything relating to Mizrachi Israelis.

There is not one single proposed law, nor one single clause that mentions support for Mizrachi Israelis. No mention of affirmative action. No mention of social welfare support. No mention of cost-of-living. No mention of assistance to the periphery.


The gap between Mizrachi and Ashkenazi Israelis is deep rooted, and even though things have been improving, there is still a long way to go. But the reality is that Netanyahu and the right-wing politicians are doing absolutely nothing for Mizrachi Israelis, and actually have no plans to address them at all.

In fact, the coalition government is already planning on cutting the budget for healthcare, education, and social welfare – three major public goods that will directly affect Mizrachi Israelis (and everybody else) – to subsidize Ben Gvir’s paramilitary private militia.

In the cruelest irony, much of this “Reform” is about giving Netanyahu – the epitome of a privileged Ashkenazi – even more privilege.

Israeli’s put so much emphasis on not being “freyerim” (suckers), but it seems like Netanyahu and the right-wing are playing the Mizrachi Israelis for fools…

About the Author
Yoav Fisher lives and works in Israel.