From development towns to ‘Mizrahi enclaves’–was it Mapai's intentional policy?

Oren David Kalman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The notion that development towns, founded at the dawn of the state of Israel, have become slums for North-African Jewish immigrants as part of a deliberate policy that served the status interests of the veteran, dominant Ashkenazi population, is a common perception among some scholars, which has recently taken root among the Israeli public, as well. This article focuses on the problems and hardships that emerged in development towns upon their establishment and the myriad considerations of state leaders and the ruling Party (Mapai), and provides a different interpretation of the government’s actions. In this article, I aim to show how some development towns became Mizrahi enclaves, not as a result of an intentional policy, but mainly due to plans that turned out to be flawed and the demographic trends that took place in these towns, in contradiction to the government’s original intentions and efforts to prevent such an outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-341
Number of pages15
JournalMiddle Eastern Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Israel
  • Mapai
  • development towns
  • discrimination
  • integration policy
  • oriental Jews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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