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NCJ Number: 50789 Find in a Library
Title: ISRAELI BLACK PANTHERS - A CASE STUDY OF THE POLITICISATION OF JUVENILE DELINQUENTS
Journal: HOWARD JOURNAL OF PENOLOGY AND CRIME PREVENTION  Volume:17  Issue:1  Dated:(1978)  Pages:41-48
Author(s): G CROMER
Corporate Author: Howard League for Penal Reform
United Kingdom

Scottish Academic Press Ltd
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Howard League for Penal Reform
London, N19 3NL, England
Scottish Academic Press Ltd
Edinburgh, EH7 5JK, Scotland
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THE BLACK PANTHER MOVEMENT IN ISRAEL, WHICH WORKS FOR THE RIGHTS OF SEPHARDIC (ORIENTAL) JEWS, HAS FAILED TO ACHIEVE ITS ENDS BECAUSE OF CREDIBILITY ISSUES RAISED BY THE DELINQUENT PAST OF THE MOVEMENT'S FOUNDERS.
Abstract: THE SEPHARDI IMMIGRANTS TO ISRAEL, FROM MUSLIM COUNTRIES AND NORTH AFRICA, PRESENT A SERIOUS SOCIAL PROBLEM BECAUSE OF THE GAP BETWEEN THEIR SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC STATUS AND THAT OF THE DOMINANT ASHKENAZI (EUROPEAN) ISRAELIS. THE JUVENILE DELINQUENCY RATE OF SEPHARDIS IS MUCH HIGHER, AND THE BLACK PANTHER MOVEMENT WAS FOUNDED BY FORMER DELINQUENTS. BECAUSE OF DEBATE CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF THESE YOUTHS' PARTICIPATION IN POLITICS, THE MOVEMENT HAS REMAINED CENTERED ON THE CRIMINAL PAST OF ITS MEMBERS AND CONSEQUENT QUESTIONS OF THEIR CREDIBILITY. ISRAEL'S OVERRIDING CONCERN WITH MATTERS OF DEFENSE AND FOREIGN POLICY IS SEEN AS THE CAUSE OF THE FAILURE TO REMEDY ITS SOCIAL PROBLEMS. INITIAL FOCUS OF THE BLACK PANTHERS WAS ON INEQUALITY IN EDUCATION AND HOUSING, ALTHOUGH CULTURAL DISCRIMINATION AND JUVENILE DELINQUENCY WERE ALSO GIVEN ATTENTION. FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, HOWEVER, THE GOVERNMENT HAS RESPONDED TO CONSIDERATIONS OF THE PERSONAL IDENTITY OF MOVEMENT MEMBERS, WHILE MAKING ONLY TOKEN GESTURES TOWARD CORRECTING ABUSES. THE PANTHERS, IN TURN, HAVE ATTACKED THEIR POLITICAL OPPONENTS, EMPHASIZING CORRUPTION OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND CHARGING THE POLICE WITH BRUTALITY. PANTHERS HAVE SUGGESTED REFORMS TO PREVENT AND TREAT JUVENILE DELINQUENCY, SUCH AS PERMITTING FORMER DELINQUENTS TO SERVE IN THE ARMY AND CREATION OF A YOUTH VILLAGE TO BE RUN BY THE BLACK PANTHERS UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION. IN THIS SCHEME, MOVEMENT MEMBERS WOULD BE ABLE TO USE THEIR EXPERIENCE, RATHER THAN BEING FORCED TO DEFEND OR GLORIFY IT. THEY HAVE ALSO CRITICIZED THE ENTIRE PENAL SYSTEM AND CONTEND THAT DELINQUENTS SHOULD BE SENT TO RESIDENTIAL VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS RATHER THAN TO PENAL INSTITUTIONS. THE CONTINUED PREOCCUPATION WITH THE CRIMINAL PAST OF THE BLACK PANTHERS HAS FORCED THEM TO DENY THE RELEVANCE OF THEIR HISTORY INITIALLY, THEN TO DWELL UPON IT. THE RESULT HAS BEEN THE OBSCURING OF THE MOVEMENT'S OBJECTIVES. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Ex-offenders; Groups; Israel; Juvenile ex-offenders; Political influences
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