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Latin American Israelis: The Collective Identity Of An Invisible Community

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Chapter Summary

This chapter tackles an issue of key importance in the experience of Latin American Israelis; namely, their communal invisibility. Researchers have neglected to consider the case of Latin American immigrants, most likely because the story of this immigrant group is seen as one of successful integration and amalgamation into the social texture of Israel along the lines of the 'melting pot' absorption predicated by the traditional Zionist vision. The chapter considers this invisibility as a riddle to be analyzed. It suggests some lines of interpretation through findings on Latin American Israelis and insights from migration studies and multicultural research. The public invisibility betrays the existence of wide organizational and business ventures oriented primarily toward those Latin Americans interested in keeping tuned to Spanish news, or buying products from the home countries. In recent years and particularly since 2000, there has been an exponential increase in the Latino-Israeli sites.

Keywords: Latin American community; Latin American Israelis; Latino-Israeli sites; pan-Latin American identity; Spanish culture; Zionist politics



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