Immigration_ Ethnicity and Ethnic Relations - Jewish Virtual Library

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					    Immigration, Ethnicity and
     Ethnic Relations in Israel

   Larissa Remennick, Ph.D.

Schusterman Visiting Professor
       of Israeli studies
Israel as Ultimate Immigrant
   95% are 1st, 2nd or 3rd generation
   35% were born outside of Israel
   Major ethnic groups: Palestinians (20%),
    Ashkenazi Jews (30%), Sephardic/Mizrahi
    Jews (30%), Mixed Jewish Ethics (15%);
    non-Jews from FSU (4%), Black Ethiopian
    Jews (1%)
   Historic outline: late 19-early 20 century
    Aliyah waves, pre-state immigrants of the
Israel as Ethnic Democracy
   The Law of Return (1950/1970) regulates
    immigration to Israel. 'Jew' for the
    purposes of Aliyah& citizenship is defined
    broadly similarly to the Nazi anti-Jewish
    laws of the 1930s
   The gap between a civic and Halachic
    definitions of Jewishness as source of
    discrimination of non-Jews
   Lack of separation between state and
Ethnic democracy (continued)
   Lack of Constitution and system of Basic
   The Law of Return does not include Arabs
   Minority rights – political representation,
    freedom of occupation, non-discrimination
    by sex, age, ethnicity or religion
   The problem of occupied territories and
    status of Palestinians beyond the Green
    Line (including East Jerusalem)
    Jewish Israel: The lines of social
   Ahkenasim, Spharadim & Mizrahim
   Old-timers vs. recent immigrants
   Social class and wealth
   Center vs periphery
   Political right-center-left-radical left
   Skin color, accents, dress & behavior codes
     The pillars of Israeli identity
   Nation-building project on-going
   Militarism and 'security culture'
   Hebrew mono-lingualism at the expense of
    diaspora languages
   Zionism or Post-Zionism?
   Familism and 'motherhood mandate'
   Immigration & Absorption
The Great Russian Aliyah of the 1990s

   Driven by push factors – demise of the USSR
   Other destination countries closing their doors
   About 1,000 immigrants between 1989-2004, among
    them half just between 1990&1993
   High on human capital but low on Jewish identity
   High % of mixed families and non-Jews
   Multiple integration challenges
    Ethiopian Immigrants in Israel

   Arriving in two organized airlifts: 1984 & 1991
   Many families split by Israel's migration
    decisions (Jews vs Falashim)
   Hard sacrifices and difficult road to Aliyah
   Low human capital and pre-modern society
   Problems of integration & racism
             Emigration or Yerida?

   About 750,000 Israelis live abroad more or less
    permanently (US, Canada,Europe, Australia)
   Shuttle movement to study and work
   Immigrants returning to origin countries:
    Russians 10%
    Americans 30%
    French 20%
   Keeping two homes