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Notes on Meir Amor’s rebuttal of Avishay Ben Haim’s thesis on Hegemony in the Israeli society

It is challenging to translate an inner debate between two Israeli sociologists, especially for someone with a limited vocabulary, as I have.

This is would I could figure out from the article:

Avishay Ben Haim’s thesis claims a constant class struggle between first Israel and second Israel.

However, some of his arguments are rather outrageous,

such as identifying Benyamin Netanyahu as a “second Israel ally.”

Amor argues that Benyamin Netanyahu is no ally of “Second Israel.”

Ben Haim often confuses class, ethnic affiliation, and nationality while ignoring the Ashkenazy hegemony and the power structures that divide the Israeli Jewish sects into Westen and Eastern ones.

Ashkenazim,

The Israeli Jews, with European ancestors, do not exist the way the Mizrahim do – as a nation of people with a superior position within the society’s structure.


First, Ben Haim argues the people of First Israel feel that the people of second Israel are stealing their homeland from them.

The people of first Israel wish to revive this country’s old past, golden times.
The people of first Israel, meaning the Ashkenazim, and the people of second Israel, represent the Mizrahim.
Eastern Jewry, The Mizrahim, meaning the Jewry of the Muslim countries,

the Maghreb, and the Middle East, is part of an ancient nation.
Western Jewry means European Jewry, also known as Ashkenazim.

The people of second Israel attempted to secure positions of power within the government, which caused the people of first Israel to fear that they might lose their Hegemony.
Second, “The Second Israel “challenges “First Israel”‘s privileged position within Israeli society.

The struggle between the “First Israel” and

“The second Israel” manifests itself as a cultural struggle.

The Mizrahim people of “Second Israel.”

tend to be more religious than the Ashkenazim,

who tend to be more secular and liberal compared to them.

To preserve their hegemonic position,

the people of “First Israel” use legal violence against the people of “Second Israel.”
Arieh Deri, the leader of the Shas party,

is a representative of “Second Israel,” as well as Benyamin Netanyahu. “

First, Israel” persecuted Both politicians because both promoted the rise of

“Second Israel” to a position of power.

According to Ben Haim,

The trials of Netanyahu and Deri are a public display

of First Israel’s legal violence against Second Israel.

Amor (2021)

disputes this interpretation of Netanyahu’s trial and points toward the false belief that Netanyahu’s personal interest is the same as the Mizrahim.

Netanyahu has the resources and means to convince us that his interest is the Mizrahi interest, while he is using the Mizrahim,

not granting them a fair share of political capital.

The Mizrahim made no actual gain for their support of Netanyahu.

Netanyahu was merely using them as vessels.

Netanyahu did it in a classic

“First Israeli” move, the classic hegemonic move:

To convince us that his privileged access to political capital should be granted as he promotes “Democracy”, meaning he represents the “People.”

Netanyahu allegedly supports a fair distribution of resources between Mizrahim and Ashkenazim, he allegedly surrounds himself with Mizrahi party members, and he promotes (some) Mizrahim into positions of power- but the Mizrahim will not replace Netanyahu’s rule that is essentially a First Israel regime in disguise of democracy

אילנות סרק קולם הולך מאיר אמור

Amor,M. (2021) – Criticism of Avishay Ben Haim’s thesis , 8 pages.

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