This chapter addresses spatial similarity and difference through the observation of Moroccan Jews prior to their immigration to Israel, concentrating on the poorest among them, the residents of the mellah—the Jewish neighborhoods in the large cities. Driven by the traditional antiurban bias predominant within social-democratic Zionism, Israel took steps to settle the immigrants on the rural frontier. Alienated from working the land, some began to abandon the Arab soil on the frontier and sought to settle in the abandoned Arab neighborhoods in the large cities. Once its original inhabitants were expelled, Wadi Salib was soon filled by impoverished Jewish residents. Rather than investing scarce resources on the development that Israel had constantly proclaimed, these were used primarily as a symbolic erasure of the Arab past by means of the Hebraization of the names of the streets of the neighborhood and the city.
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