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Book Reading: Asaf Elia-Shalev’s Israel’s Black Panthers

April 4 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The powerful story of an activist movement that challenged the racial inequities of Israel.

Israel’s Black Panthers tells the story of the young and impoverished Moroccan Israeli Jews who challenged their country’s political status quo and rebelled against the ethnic hierarchy of Israeli life in the 1970s. Inspired by the American group of the same name, the Black Panthers mounted protests and a yearslong political campaign for the rights of Mizrahim, or Jews of Middle Eastern ancestry. They managed to rattle the country’s establishment and change the course of Israel’s history through the mass mobilization of a Jewish underclass.

This book draws on archival documents and interviews with elderly activists to capture the movement’s history and reveal little-known stories from within the group. Asaf Elia-Shalev explores the parallels between the Israeli and American Black Panthers, offering a unique perspective on the global struggle against racism and oppression. In twenty short and captivating chapters, Israel’s Black Panthers provides a textured and novel account of the movement and reflects on the role that Mizrahim can play in the future of Israel.


Asaf Elia-Shalev (@AsafShaloo) is staff writer for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, which distributes his work to dozens of media outlets in multiple languages. He is currently based in Los Angeles but has spent years working in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. As a Mizrahi Jew who grew up in the United States and Israel, Elia-Shalev is attuned to cultural nuances and offers a unique blend of insider and outsider perspectives to make this history accessible to readers. His new book, ISRAEL’S BLACK PANTHERS, which examines a fascinating but little-known episode in Israel’s history, is now available from UC Press.

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Chevalier’s Books
133 North Larchmont Boulevard
Los Angeles,90004United States
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