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Coming from a diaspora Iraqi Jewish family I don’t identify at all with the term mizrachi

Even though I understand we’re not technically Sephardic, in the diaspora especially in the west we go to Sephardic synagogues. And since most Jews around us are Ashkanaz we usually call ourselves Sephardic.

My elders speak Arabic, listen to Oum Kalthoum and carry Islamic style prayer beeds. They are Arab Jews and I’m sorry if that offends anybody but it’s who they are wether you like it or not.

I didn’t know the term mizrachi existed until I went to Israel when I was 19 and i have a hard time identifying with it. Even though I know not all mizrachi are Arab (Persians, Georgians and bhukaran) it feels like mizrachi is a term to distance ourselves from Arab/Islamic culture.

I understand there is a complex relationship in Israel and people might not want to identify themselves as arab but to me I can’t stand when somebody corrects me when I tell them my family is Sephardic or Iraqi or arab Jewish. They don’t know my family or our history and it really doesn’t matter. They are always so snarky and elitist when they correct me. It’s not like my family in Baghdad were proud “mizrachi Jews” they were Babylonian Arab Jews who’d been there for over 2,000 years .Identity politics are a social construct. And no matter how much the Jewish world tries to distance us from our arab heritage I will make sure my future generations know where they come from.

I have a blessed life the fact that I’m able to complain about this, I don’t have any real problems like my ancestors faced but to the next person who corrects me when I talk about my heritage, shut up can’t we all Just be Jews?

God bless you all.

submitted by /u/johnserish
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Source: Reditt

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