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Sephardi Leadership in Israel

Transitioning from Mandate to Statehood

Moshe Naor

Abstract

This article seeks to examine the impact of the transition from Yishuv to state on the Sephardi and Mizrahi leadership, as reflected in the patterns of organization and action of the Sephardi community councils in general, and the Councils of the Sephardi Community in Tel Aviv and Haifa in particular. Against the background of the growing centralized power of the state under the leadership of Mapai and the application of the principle of statism (mamlachtiut), the article will discuss the activities of the Councils of the Sephardi Community in Haifa and Tel Aviv. The article analyzes the process that led in 1951 to the dissolution of the Sephardi and Oriental Communities Union as a political framework, as well as the decision made in the same year by the community councils in Haifa and Tel Aviv to withdraw from political activity.