The article presents and analyzes the self-representing narrative strategies through which westernized Jewish immigrants from Tangier (Morocco) de-westernize their personal pre-migration colonial history in the context of the ethnic conflict in Israel. By so doing, the article challenges from a new perspective the general post-Zionist notion according to which ethnic revivals among Moroccan Jews in Israel came about in opposition to the European-oriented national narrative; a narrative that had distorted their authentic Mizraḥi culture and history, often in the form of de-Arabization. In an attempt to explain the motivations for de-westernization, the article further implies that not merely did the ethnic revival of Tangier’s natives not match the general post-Zionist notion, but moreover that it had often formed shape in the course of contrasting it. Only through de-westernized self-representations, could Tangier’s natives contest the general representation of Moroccans as Mizraḥim with the sense of “their own” Moroccan ethnic history.

issue 04 / November 2012 by Aviad Moreno