Caribbean Zion: A creolization perspective on Jewish-Israeli cultures

Johannes Becke, Avi Shilon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article explores Jewish-Israeli cultures through the innovative prism of creolization, defined here as the contingent and dynamic process of transculturation between European Jews, Middle Eastern Jews and Palestinian Arabs. Similar to the history of ethnogenesis in the Caribbean, Israeli society emerged from a process of colonization and immigration in a setting of geographic isolation, resulting in a contested process of ethnicization and indigenization. Based on case studies of Jewish-Israeli cultures (including food, language, and religious practices), the article argues for a periodization of Jewish-Israeli creolization. After a long period of intense interaction and creolization between Ashkenazi settler-immigrants and native Palestinian Arabs under Ottoman and British rule, Israel’s state-founding elites aimed at top-down Europeanization and decreolization after 1948. Since the rise of country’s right in the 1970s, Israeli society has been undergoing a process of renewed creolization between Ashkenazi Israeli and Mizrahi Israeli elements.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Earth-Surface Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Caribbean Zion: A creolization perspective on Jewish-Israeli cultures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this