Length of tour: 3-4 hours
Private Tours Only
The tour begins with a short introduction to the history of the Jewish community in the Arab world focusing on its encounter with Zionism and the state of Israel. From there we will walk to Musrara neighborhood, only a 5 minute walk from the center of west Jerusalem on what was until 1967 the “Seam Line” (Israeli-Jordanian border). We will walk around the neighborhood for 2-3 hours learning about its history and the story of the Middle Eastern “Mizrahi” Jews' social struggle.
The neighborhood of Musrara was originally developed by Palestinian Arabs in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. During the war of 1948 the Arab residents fled or were expelled and new Jewish immigrants from Middle East countries were settled there in the 1950s, living in poverty and hardship close to the 'seam line' dividing Jerusalem prior to 1967. From out of this reality emerged the Israeli Black Panthers, one of the most influential Israeli social movements dedicated to social and economic justice.
On our tour we will learn about their struggle from its emergence in the 1970’s and through to its various offshoots today, as well as explore the rich heritage and current realities of this most fascinating neighborhood. Guiding us on the tour will be Reuven Aberjel, one of the movement’s founders and a leading social activist and critic.
“This tour is an engaging introduction to a key reality in Israeli history that has been either ignored or hidden from view for many decades”, Ron Krybil, AFSC (Quaker) Jerusalem Rep.
Your tour guides:
Reuven Aberjel is one of the founders of the Israeli Black Panther movement continues to be active for the cause of social justice today.
Ayala Sabag, born and raised in Musrara, and one of the leading figures in the Mizrahi struggle today. Ayayla is also the sister of Sa’adia Martziano, one of the leaders of the Israeli Black Panthers who recently passed away.
“an enlightening tour highlighting diversity of Israeli society and opinion. It made me think of our reality here in whole new ways.”
Khaled Salem, Peace activist and academic
“ A thought inspiring tour, delivered excellently from an insider’s perspective and with much charm and intelligence.”
Gal Mor, IDF reserve officer and tourism entrepreneur
About the Black Panthers
The Israeli Black Panthers (Hebrew: “HaPanterim HaShkhorim”) were one of the biggest and most important social protest movement in Israel. They were a movement of second generation Immigrants from Islamic countries, referred to in Israel as Mizrahi Jews.
The movement began early in 1971 in the Musrara neighborhood of Jerusalem, a neighborhood whose inhabitants were mostly North African (Arab) Jews. It was established in reaction to the state’s European (Ashkenazi) elite’s discriminating policies and attitude towards Mizrahi Jews. They named themselves after the African American Black Panthers, who were active at the time in the U.S and with whose struggle they identified with.
The Black Panthers felt that this discrimination could be seen most clearly in the different attitude of the Ashkenazi Establishment favoring the new immigrants who had come from the Soviet Union over the more established Mizrahi immigrants. The movement's founders protested "ignorance from the establishment for the hard social problems", and wanted to fight for a different future. The struggle of the Israeli black panthers was one of the key historical social struggles in Israel and it is continued by their different successors until today.
Tour conducted in cooperation with Jerusalem Reality Tours