Atheo News: Sacrificing Gaza to revive Israel's Labor party Most of Ashdod, like 50 percent of Israel's citizens, are Mizrahim, the largest of the three groups who constitute the citizenry of the state. Mizrahim means "Easterners," in Hebrew. These are Jews whose origin is in the Arab and Muslim World, or in the former-Ottoman margins of Europe. The second-largest group, 30 percent, are the Ashkenazim, Jews of East and Central European origins. They are the ruling elite. The third group, 20 percent, are the Palestinian citizens of Israel. It is mostly Mizrahim who have been hit by the Hamas missiles. From 1948 on, the self-proclaimed socialist Ashkenazi-Zionist regime purposefully settled them as cannon fodder in the border zones of the state they had carved out of Palestine. The regime planted the Mizrahim in villages from which it had expelled the Palestinians, in order to prevent their inalienable right of return home. Mizrahi communities resented the condescending paternalism of the Ashkenazi hegemon and its pretensions to socialism. No wonder they gave their support to the underdog -- the right-wing bloc. In private, the leaders of the right-wing, who are also Ashkenazim, refer to the Mizrahim as "monkeys" and "Indians." But, recognizing the need to retain Mizrahi loyalty, the Ashkenazi right-wing leaders have invested state funds in a revival of Mizrahi culture. This revival followed several decades during which the left-wing eradicated Mizrahi culture because they conceived of anything Arab as primitive. Cleverly, the right-wing has also provided safe-seats, both in local government and at national level, for a cadre of young Mizrahi politicians whose loyalty was not in doubt.