Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
In this historically important documentary, director and writer Mario Offenberg explores discrimination against Sephardic Jews in Israel by means of interviews, an analysis of Israeli government films, and the presentation of historical documentation. Sephardic Jews are from the Arab-dominated or Arab-influenced cultures around the Mediterranean, including Spain and Portugal, and make up 60% of the citizenry of Israel (as of 1984). Their cultural background is Arabic and many of their European and American compatriots look down on them as Third World and "underdeveloped." Government offices are held primarily by Eurocentric, Ashkenazi Jews, and therefore, national policy toward the Arab nations is formulated from a European-influenced perspective. Offenberg proposes that as the Sephardim gain government positions and a greater voice in politics, they will be effective mediators for Arab-related issues that dominate contemporary politics -- including the national security of Israel.