Author Archives: David Shasha

About David Shasha

David Shasha is the director of the Center for Sephardic Heritage in Brooklyn, New York. The Center publishes the weekly e-mail newsletter Sephardic Heritage Update as well as promoting lectures and cultural events. His articles have been published in Tikkun magazine, The American Muslim, the Christian Progressive and other publications. To sign up for the newsletter visit the Sephardic Heritage Google Group at

Israel is now attempting to ‘de-Arabize’ Palestinian Christians, but in the 1950s it was Jews from the Middle East

Emily L. Hauser’s recent blogpost for the Forward, “How ‘De-Arabizing’ Christians Serves Israel” is another example of liberal Ashkenazi Jews showing their concern for Palestinian Arabs while at the same time ignoring Arab Jews. The process of “De-Arabization” that is discussed in the article is actually one that began with the immigration of Jews from the Middle East in the 1950s.

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 55 Comments

Both Massad, and ‘Open Zion’, ignore the experience of Middle Eastern Jews

In the current media discourse the actual culture and history of the Arab Jews is completely ignored in favor of a bare-knuckles political approach that marks Jews and Arabs as separate categories. The narrative is one that has been constructed by the Zionists and leaves out the existential and cultural substance of the Sephardic community.

Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel/Palestine, Media, Middle East | Comments Off

Notes on Purim: The affirmation of the diaspora

Shasha: “Purim is thus an affirmation of the Diaspora whereas Hanukkah was a commemoration of the restoration of Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel.”

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 8 Comments

A Jewish voice left silent: Trying to articulate ‘The Levantine Option’

A response to our recent post on food magazines labeling Arabic food “Israeli” which rested on the false assumption that Jews cannot be Arabs.

Posted in American Jewish Community, Middle East | 33 Comments

Should have seen this coming – Dershowitz defends Paterno

Alan Dershowitz stands up for Joe Paterno’s inaction on the Sandusky case despite demanding collective responsibility for Palestinians.

Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel/Palestine, Media | Comments Off

Notes on Hanukkah: The Maccabees and Zionism’s ‘invented traditions’

1. The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, a Hebrew word meaning “to dedicate,” is a minor Jewish festival with no Biblical source. 2. Hanukkah is a historical holiday that commemorates the Jewish defeat of the Seleucidite Syrian Greeks in 165 BCE … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 103 Comments