On 'the mother' of all ensuing Mizrahi–Ashkenazi ethnic controversies.
The question was simple: should the Hebraist Zionist movement in Ottoman Palestine invest in publishing a newspaper in Arabic and, if yes, should it be communitarian Jewish or general in its topics? What began as yet another obscure intra-Zionist deliberation gradually crystallized into what Dr. Behar argues merits the label of the earliest, explicitly Ashkenazi–Mizrahi ethnic controversy. This is with the smallest risk of the superimposition in hindsight of the terms and signifiers usually associated with Israel’s post-1971/Black-Panthers era onto the Ottoman period. Lasting between 1909 and 1913, the spirited exchange regarding the Arabic newspaper involved two dozen writers, mainly of the Sephardi–Mizrahi Haherut newspaper, and about one third of ethnic Ashkenazim writing elsewhere. It was nonetheless October 1911 that encapsulated the peak of the controversy, mainly due to writing by Mizrahi intellectual and activist Dr Shimon Moyal (1866–1915) and Ashkenazi intellectual and activist Dr Avraham Ludvipol (1865– 1921). Dr. Behar lets let primary texts speak for themselves at greater length than is customary, resulting from his conviction that – in this case – extensive recourse to source material can convey best to twenty-first-century readers why the exchange is effectively “the mother” of all ensuing Mizrahi–Ashkenazi ethnic controversies. Please note that the talk was accompanied by slides, offering the full quotes mentioned by the speaker. Your can read these text in Dr. Behar's article linked here: https://www.academia.edu/32479282/_1911_the_birth_of_the_Mizrahi_Ashkenazi_controversy_2017_